Rubber trees, a type of ficus, have few maintenance requirements beyond proper watering. Rubber trees aren't cold tolerant, so they are most often grown as houseplants. Eventually, the rubber tree will outgrow its pot and require repotting in order to remain healthy. Rubber trees need repotting when the roots become visible on the soil surface or if the plant begins lifting itself out of the pot. Repot the plants in late winter or early spring when the rubber tree is semi-dormant and less prone to transplant shock.
Place 7.5 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) of potting soil in the bottom of the new pot. Use a pot that is one to two sizes larger than the current pot and has at least one drainage hole in the bottom.
Water the soil in the old pot thoroughly, as moist soil helps with plantt removal. Grasp the rubber tree by the stem near the soil surface in one hand, and pull the pot off the root-ball with the other hand.
Place the plant in the new pot. Adjust the depth of the soil under the root-ball until the crown of the rubber tree -- where the trunk emerges from the roots -- sits 5 cm (2 inches) beneath the pot rim.
Fill in around the root-ball with additional soil, until the soil level is even with the crown of the plant. Water until the excess moisture drains from the bottom of the pot, then add more soil to make up for settling, if necessary.
Make your own potting soil by combining three parts peat moss with one part perlite and one part vermiculite. Otherwise, use a commercial soilless potting mixture.
Tips and warnings
- Make your own potting soil by combining three parts peat moss with one part perlite and one part vermiculite. Otherwise, use a commercial soilless potting mixture.