Wyevale Garden Centres

Questions and Answers

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Can you tell me why my very big rubber plant has lost a lot of leaves? They’re just dropping off it. I don’t know how old it is.

Plants respond is many ways when subjected to some form of stress (draughts, over-watering, lack of nutrients, too many nutrients, not enough light, too much light, rapid changes in temperature etc.). For many species, the plant's response to these variations are visually hard to detect. However in others, such as rubber plants, the response is much more obvious and dramatic - they drop their leaves!

There are a variety of possible causes, listed below:

1. Over watering: only water your rubber plant when the surface of the soil is dry
2. Humidity: rubber plants like a humid environment. Our homes can be very dry, particularly during the winter months when the central heating is on. Mist your plant regularly using rainwater
3. Draughts: rubber plants don’t like draughts. This sudden shift in temperature is obviously more pronounced during the winter months, so make sure your plant is located away from doors and windows that are opened
4. Feeding: it is easy to kill a rubber plant with kindness – don’t over-feed, less is definitely more especially during the dormant months (winter and early spring)
5. Pests: rubber plants are vulnerable to pests, particularly scale bugs
6. Soil drainage: make sure your soil is free draining

rubber plant