Even easy-care green plants such as the rubber tree can suffer from diseases and pests. However, if you recognize these at an early stage, you can quickly help the plant.Dust gets the rubber tree e.g. Not at all The rubber tree is generally a very sturdy journeyman that requires little maintenance. If it is poured at regular intervals, does not suffer from waterlogging and is quite bright, this genus of ficus grows wonderfully. Nevertheless, the rubber tree is not immune to pests or diseases. For example, most problems arise when you misuse the tree permanently.
Dust can affect the plant
The leaves are usually dark green and have a leathery surface. Due to its size, dust is naturally easily deposited here. This then clogs the pores of the leaves and prevents photosynthesis. It is therefore important that you regularly clean the rubber tree leaves by dusting them with a soft cloth. Alternatively, you can gently shower them off when soaking them in the bathtub.
These pests can occur
The plant can of course also cause pests. However, make sure that there is no waterlogging in the flowerpot and clean the leaves in between, your rubber tree should hardly have any problems with pests. If an infestation does occur, the Ficus Elastica often survives this very quickly. Most often these pests spread to the plant:
Spider mites / red spider:
If the rubber tree is dry for a long time, it can be attacked by spider mites or the red spider (one of the spider mites). If this is the case, fine cobwebs appear, which are particularly attached to the branches and leaf forks. Spider mites are particularly common in dry air and warm temperatures. The characteristics of an infestation are:
- Spin on leaves / branches
- Speckles on the leaves
- Leaves turn gray to brown
There is no need for an infestation with spider mites. You can prevent this by spraying the rubber tree regularly with a fine spray of lime-free water.
If there is a spider mite infestation, it helps to wash off the plant with lukewarm water. However, make sure that you not only wash the surface of the leaves, but above all clean the underside. Then you have to put a plastic bag over the plant and leave it there for a few days. As the air humidity under the bag increases significantly, the spider mites die.
If you want to use a pesticide, please always use a natural one. We can recommend e.g. Natures pest-free (e.g. available here). It is a ready-to-use spray based on rapeseed oil.
Mealybugs are another problem that can occur with the rubber tree. The pests, which are up to 0.5 centimeters in size, have hair that secretes a greasy substance. Hence the nickname mealybug. The characteristics of an infestation are:
- Yellowing of the leaves
- dried leaves
It is important that you separate the rubber tree from other plants if possible, otherwise the lice can pass on to them. Neem oil can then help kill the mealybugs. A recommended product is e.g. Bayer organic pest-free Neem (e.g. available here).
A mixture of paraffin oil, water and washing-up liquid that you have to spray on the leaves has also proven itself. The oil then lies on the mealybugs like a film, causing them to suffocate.