The burgundy rubber plant, also known as the ficus decora burgundy is a cousin of the well known ficus tineke.
While related to both the ficus tineke and ficus ruby which produce highly variegated leaves, the ficus burgundy maintains a deep, burgundy green color that appears dark red on new leaves and stems.
This striking ficus plant makes the perfect accent in a living room, bedroom, or kitchen.
Ficus Elastica Burgundy Care Guide
The burgundy rubber tree is a resilient plant, and with a little bit of trial and error anyone can make this house plant happy. The key to ficus burgundy care is proper lighting and making sure that the soil dries out between waterings.
Burgundy Ficus Care Overview
Light: Bright Indirect
Watering: Water when the top 70% of soil is dry
Soil: Light, well draining mix that does not remain soggy
Feeding: Use houseplant fertilizer once a month in spring and summer
Like most ficus plants, the ideal lighting conditions for the burgundy ficus tree is bright indirect light. While the variegated versions of this plant can handle some direct light, the ficus burgundy may burn if exposed to direct sun. The best placement is in an east facing window or in a dappled west facing window.
The burgundy rubber plant is relatively drought tolerant. While this plant enjoys being evenly moist, it is best to let it dry out a bit between waterings to prevent root rot. You should be careful not to delay watering too long, as this can lead to yellow or dropped leaves. The ideal watering schedule is once every week in the summer, or as the top 70% of the soil is dry.
Preferred Soil / Potting Medium
The ficus burgundy enjoys a soil that stays consistently moist but not soggy. We suggest a mix of 1 part peat moss, 1 part bark, and 1 part perlite. This mixture allows the plant to receive enough oxygen to the roots while still maintaining consistent moisture between waterings.
The burgundy plant can survive in normal household humidity, ranging from 40-50%. As this plant is tropical, it will thrive when misted or near a humidifier. A sign that humidity needs to be increased is brown or crispy edges on leaves.
How to Propagate Ficus Burgundy Rubber Tree
The burgundy plant can be propagated from a stem cutting. It is important to be careful when propagating this plant as its sap can cause both skin and eye irritation. We suggest working with gloves on and ensuring you wash your hands after completing the project.
For a stem cutting, locate a spot below a node and ensure that the branch is at least 6 inches long with 4 nodes above the cut. While a shorter cutting with fewer nodes can survive, taking a larger cutting will increase your chances for success.
Once cut, remove the lower leaves to encourage growth of roots rather than foliage. Dip the end of the cutting into the rooting hormone and then place in a well draining potting mix. Water and cover with a ziplock bag.
Finally, find a sunny, warm location. It can take up to three months to see root results from a stem cutting.
*If propagating in water, follow all steps until rooting hormone. At this point place the cutting into water and place in a bright, warm location. It can take up to 6 months to see roots begin to grow.
Is Ficus Elastica Burgundy Toxic?
All rubber tree sap is an irritant to both the skin and eyes of humans. The milky sap that is exposed when the plant is cut can produce rash and swelling eyes.
The rubber tree sap is also toxic to cats, dogs, and other animals in the same way as humans – Contact with skin or eyes can cause irritation. If the sap of the rubber tree is ingested it will lead to vomiting. Seek medical attention if this occurs.
Common Problems With Ficus Burgundy
While burgundy ficus care is fairly simple, this plant can be picky about a few things. Moving the burgundy rubber tree or inconsistent watering can cause it to drop leaves and cause alarm. Thankfully, these issues can be fixed and prevented.
Burgundy rubber plant leaves curling
There are many things that can cause the leaves of a ficus elastica burgundy to curl. The main causes of this issue are too much light, low humidity, inconsistent watering, or pests.
Make sure to take note of the environment your plant is in to ensure the lighting and humidity are accurate, and from there look at the plant itself for signs of pests. Signs of pests include brown spots on the leaves, bumps on the stem, or small dots.
Leaves falling off
The main reason that the burgundy rubber tree plant drops leaves is a change in lighting. This plant enjoys remaining in the same place in your house and may drop leaves when moved.
Another reason for the ficus burgundy plant to drop leaves is low humidity. To correct this, spray the plant daily, introduce a humidifier, or place the plant on a pebble tray.
Cold drafts from air conditioning vents or open windows can also cause this plant to begin dropping leaves. Immediately move your plant to a warmer, sunny spot with no draft.
The main reason a ficus burgundy will develop yellow leaves is over or under watering. If you notice yellow leaves on your burgundy rubber ficus, check the soil. If the soil is moist, allow it to completely dry out before watering. If the soil is dry, thoroughly water and mist the leaves of the plant.
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