How Fast Do Rubber Plants Grow?

The glossy and oval-shaped foliage of rubber plants never fails to catch everyone’s attention, whether you’re fond of plants or not. As identical to its tropical cousins, rubber plants also have massive foliage–but how big do rubber plants get exactly? How fast do rubber plants grow and how to make them grow faster? And most importantly, are they perfect to grow indoors, or will this plant cause trouble to your roof?

How big do rubber plants get?

how fast do rubber plants grow

Rubber plants or Ficus elastica is a perennials originating from South-East Asia, Nepal, and India. They belong to the Moraceae or Mulberry Family. The word ‘rubber’ is derived from the thick, sticky, milky white sap of this plant that is usually processed to make rubbers. Rubber plants’ sap contains latex that can cause vomiting and poisoning to both humans and pets when ingested. When touched by bare hands, the sap would also cause skin irritation and itchiness. The sap emerges when the stems, especially the bark, are broken.

In their natural environment, rubber plants can grow around 15 to 25 meters, but as a houseplant, the size would reduce to about 3 meters. So yes, rubber plants can be grown anywhere–in fact, they are one of the most well-known indoor house plants!

rubber plants grow in nature
rubber plants grow in nature

But how fast do rubber plants grow as a houseplant? If you provide rubber plants with everything they need to thrive, in general, rubber plants are fast-growing. They are easy to maintain and do not need any extra treatments. However, it all depends on the most crucial things like weather and temperature. To be wise, always check out where your hardiness zone is before deciding to bring one rubber plant home. This plant thrives well in 10 or higher hardiness zones and is not cold-tolerant. 

A little fun fact, rubber plants contain high levels of ortho-dihydroxy phenols, a chemical compound that may be the reason why rubber plants are resistant to some diseases and some pathogens–making it another plus point. In addition, knowing how fast rubber plants grow, you might not want the plant to reach the top of your roof. To resolve this, you can do regular pruning to keep the plant growing the size you desire. Aside from keeping the rubber plant ‘small’, pruning is also beneficial to keep the plant to stay upright. Droopy foliage usually occurs when the plant grows too high.

How to make rubber plants grow faster?

How fast rubber plants grow is dependent on several factors. Here are the main keys to making your rubber plant grow rapidly:

how to make rubber plant grow faster

Sunlight and temperature

As part of tropical plants, rubber plants love the full sun indirectly. Do not place them in areas with direct full sun to avoid leaf burns. A good example is the north-facing window area which mimics their natural habitat. Set the minimum temperature as 26 celsius (or more) during the daytime and keep the temperature as low as 18 celsius maximum in the nighttime. This plant is not cold-tolerant. If the temperature gets too cold or drops rapidly, there won’t be new growth or stunted growth may occur.


Rubber plants will thank you if you water them regularly. Do not water too much and try to water only when the first 5 centimeters of the topsoil is dry. Also, make sure that the planting materials have good drainage holes to flow any excess water. Mix soil materials such as coco peat and perlite to improve drainage, and aeration, as well as to prevent water retention.


The next basic requirement that determines how fast rubber plants grow is humidity level. Tropical rainforests, the natural habitat of rubber plants, is an areas where the humidity is high all year long, so you might want to apply this to your home or garden environment. Make sure the humidity level is no lower than 50%. To bring more humidity, there are tricks you can follow. It’s either using a humidifier, moving your rubber plants to a more humid area, or spraying the foliage with a spray mist once a day.

Soil and fertilizing

Providing nutrient-rich soil and fertilizing during the growth phase are just other crucial requirements when we talk about how fast rubber plants grow. This drought-tolerant plant needs a good and balanced combination of potting soil, coco peat, orchid bark, and perlite or sand as their potting mix. To boost growth, fertilizers such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, along with non-chemical fertilizers can be used as well.

Repotting and propagation

Another basic requirement that is significant in how fast rubber plants grow is repotting and propagating. You need to repot rubber plants to larger pots or containers to avoid root bound. This usually can be done after the plant reaches its maximum growth or the desired height. To illustrate, as an indoor houseplant, rubber plants will grow anywhere from 180 centimeters or even 3 meters! If the plant grows too high, this is the time when pruning is needed. To propagate rubber plants, you can do the stem-cutting method as this plant can be propagated easily.

Rubber plants cultivars.

Now you know how fast rubber plants grow, you might be wondering, how about rubber plants cultivars? Rubber plants cultivar is a variegated species of rubber plants that are known for their striking combination of colors–different from the ordinary green foliage. Equal to ordinary rubber plants, rubber plants cultivar is also a fast-grower. Take note that this might only happen when you provide the plant with all the basic requirements. Here are several rubber plants cultivars with beautiful foliage colors:

Ficus elastica ‘Decora’

The most widely available rubber plant cultivar, Ficus elastica ‘Decora’ has deep dark green foliage and stems that almost look completely black from afar.

Ficus elastica ‘Doescheri’

This rubber plants cultivar has yellowish-white and dark green or bright green foliage with pink nerves.

Ficus elastica ‘Tricolor’

As the name states, Ficus elastica ‘Tricolor’ is a mesmerizing combination of green, broken white, and pink foliage with deep pink stems. 

Bottom line.

Overall, rubber plants are easy-to-grow, fast-growing plants that can be grown both outdoors and indoors. Nonetheless, how fast rubber plants grow depends on many things such as light, temperature, and humidity. Most rubber plant cultivars come not only in green color but also can be white and pink. To conclude, rubber plants are one of our best picks for indoor decorating plants.

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