Houseplants add beauty and charm to a home, bringing the outdoors inside. Making the most of those houseplants requires some attention to detail and care. Broad-leafed plants such as the rubber tree or other ficus varieties require special attention to their surroundings. By following a few simple care tips, you can help your indoor plants grow wide and succulent for years to come.
Place the plant in the correct environment. Houseplants favor a warmer temperature, raging from 65 to 75 degrees F. Move the planter to a location that is free of drafts and away from heat registers to prevent drying of the plant. Position the planter in adequate light. Wide-leafed houseplants prefer partial sun. Placing the plant by a window for six hours each day will provide the necessary light, without burning the plant.
Fertilize houseplants every two weeks with an indoor plant food. Mix a water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer according to the label directions and apply to the soil. Pour the water through the planter until it drains out the bottom to prevent the plant from becoming root-bound.
Place the planter on a tray filled with pebbles. Fill the tray with water, letting the planter rest on the pebbles and not in the water to provide humidity to the plant. Lightly mist the leaves with distilled water daily to aide in retaining moisture in the plant. Do not use tap water to mist the leaves. It will leave brown water spots.
Water the plant generously when the top 1 inch of soil has become dry. Pour water throughout the planter, providing water to the entire surface, not just the area around the plant base. Allow the excess water to drain from the planter bottom. Spread a light layer of mulch on top of the soil, paying attention not to lay mulch against the plant, to retain moisture in the soil.
Inspect the plant often for brown spots, yellowing leaves or other ailments caused by insects. Spray large plants with a hose to wash away pests. Turn smaller plants upside down and gently dip into a bucket of water. Spray plants monthly with an insecticide soap and rinse clean with room temperature water.