The ficus elastica is a rubber tree plant that has large dark green leaves up to eight inches long. The rubber plant is native to India and will grow anywhere in the world as a houseplant when cared for correctly. The rubber tree is an easy plant to grow as long you know how to water it, feed it and the proper temperatures and lighting conditions it thrives in while in the house.
Place the rubber plant by a window that has indirect sunlight. The plant does need bright light, but direct sunlight will dry out the plant quickly and burn the leaves.
Set the temperature in the room where the plant is placed so that it stays between 60 and 80 degrees F, with the ideal temperature at 68 to 70 degrees F. The plant does have to have some humidity, which can be added by misting the leaves daily with a mister bottle or by placing a dish of water next to the plant.
Water the ficus when the soil becomes moderately dry. Do not allow the soil to completely dry out. Use warm tap water. Add enough water to soak the plant, and allow the soil to almost dry before adding more water. Keeping the soil wet all the time will allow diseases to start and may cause root rot.
Feed the plant with a 10-10-10 fertilizer, which is an equal part of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. The fertilizer should be given about every two to three weeks during the spring and summer months. Avoid fertilizing during fall and winter when the plant does not grow.
Use a damp rag to wipe the leaves when needed. Do not use soap.