What to Do About Rubber Plants with Yellow Leaves

Rubber plants, also referred to as Ficus Elastica, are known for their rich, green leaves so it can be quite concerning for gardeners when the leaves start to fade and turn yellow. Here are the most common reasons for rubber plants with yellow leaves and steps you can take to save the houseplant.

Changes in Environmental Conditions

Changes to the rubber plant’s growing environment, such as the lighting or surrounding temperature, is a common reason for leaves to turn yellow. For example, rubber plants prefer indirect light conditions and tolerate temperatures between 65 to 80 Fahrenheit. If you place the rubber plant in an area of the house that gets too much direct sunlight then that could be a reason for the development of the yellow leaves. Pay close attention to these external growth factors and make the necessary changes, such as to the plant’s placement, to ensure the rubber plant is able to grow in its optimal environment.

Damages from Over-watering

Over-watering can also cause the leaves of the rubber plant to turn yellow. Take a close look at the soil where the rubber plant is grown in. Does it feel very watery or compact? Over-watering can prevent the plant from absorbing the necessary nutrients from the soil. This can eventually lead to diseases like root rot so it’s important to watch your plant watering habit. You should only be watering the rubber plant when the top inches of the soil start to feel dry.

Damages from Pests

Yellow leaves may also be a sign that there are pests damaging the rubber plant. Common pests may include aphids, scale, spider mites, and thrips. All of these insects are quite tiny so they may not be easy to see unless you pay close attention to the undersides of the rubber plant leaves. These pests can damage the rubber plants by sucking on the sap, the fluid transported in the xylem cells.

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