The rubber plant is from the Ficus family, and is also called Ficus elastica. Known for its green, leathery leaves, the ficus has its origins in India, Southeast Asia and the Malaysian Archipelago, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. Due to their history in tropical and subtropical areas, the rubber plant is resistant to heat--but cold temperatures are a Ficus elastica's worst enemy. Other than keeping your ficus warm, you'll need to tend to a few other needs to keep your rubber plant healthy.
Plant the rubber tree in a commercial potting soil in a pot with good drainage, and place the tree near a window so it receives full sunlight, or bright to medium light, advises the University of Minnesota.
Set the household temperature at 80 degrees F during the daytime, and 65 degrees F during the evening, suggests Colorado State University. Do not keep the plant near a drafty window during the winter, as the cold air will cause leaf drop and potential death.
Water the ficus until water pours out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Use lukewarm, or room-temperature water. Remove the extra water that collects underneath the pot after the soil has had a few minutes to absorb the water.
Wipe the leaves of the rubber plant regularly to remove dust. Dust prevents light from reaching the leaves.
Fertilize the plant every month using a water-soluble fertilizer--1 tsp. per 1 gallon of water, says Purdue University. A 20-20-20, 5-10-5, 4-12-4 or 7-7-7 fertilizer is acceptable.