Rubber plants (also known as Ficus elastica) are one of the most popular houseplants due to their ease of care and beautiful leaves that bring a fantastic look to the environment you place them in.
As rubber plants stay green throughout the whole year, they can be the center of attention in your home every day of the year with adequate care and the right conditions.
A vital thing to consider before placing your rubber plant in a spot is how quickly and how tall the plant will grow, as plants require sufficient space to grow freely and healthily.
So, what is the growth rate of a rubber plant?
A rubber plant can show a growth rate of up to 24 inches per season outdoors, but this figure is usually lesser in indoor conditions.
While a rubber plant can grow up to 100 feet outdoors, you should expect your indoor rubber plant to stop growing between a range of 6 to 10 feet of height.
With adequate care and conditions, rubber plants grow pretty quickly and will reach their maximum height sooner than later, making it vital to plan early to find a suitable position in your house for them.
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How Fast Do Rubber Plants Grow?
As rubber plants aren’t too demanding, they usually grow pretty fast and reach their maximum height before you even notice.
While rubber plants achieve their quickest growth outside with up to 24 inches each growing season, you can expect a slower growth rate indoors as indoor plants never grow as quickly or as tall as outdoor plants.
Alongside a slower growth rate indoors, a rubber plant will also have a shorter maximum height indoors, with a range of 6 to 10 feet being considered average.
To make it easier to plan for it, let’s go over a quick example to find how long it would take your rubber plant to reach a certain height within certain timespans.
Assuming you bought the rubber plant at 10 inches (including the pot) and assuming 15 inches of growth every season, your rubber plant would reach 55 inches, or 4.5 feet of height, after only three years.
With the example above, it would only take around six years for your rubber plant to reach its mature height.
How quickly your rubber plant will grow entirely depends on the conditions it grows in, which is why you, as the houseplant owner, also play a vital role in getting your rubber plant to grow as fast as possible.
How Can I Make My Rubber Plant Grow Faster?
While you can’t make your rubber grow faster than it’s possible, you can help it achieve its maximum growth rate indoors by providing the best conditions and care possible.
Here are the things you can do to make your rubber plant grow as fast as possible.
- Let your rubber plant receive bright indirect light. While you can usually find indirect light next to an east-facing window, feel free to place your rubber plant in any room that is full of sunlight. As your rubber plant can be affected by the heat, it’s best to use sheer curtains or a UV-blocking film on the windows.
- Water your rubber plant carefully during the growing season. We recommend checking the moisture status of the soil every day or every other day and water the plant only when it’s close to drying out. Watering schedules usually end up with under or overwatering, which is why it’s always better to analyze the status of the soil before watering.
- Fertilize your rubber plant regularly during the growing season. Rubber plants require frequent fertilization during the growing season, with a figure of two to four weeks often being considered optimal.
- Mist the leaves of your rubber plant. Misting the leaves helps your plant stay hydrated, especially on hot summer days where its leaves are likely to dry out. As an alternative, you can also wipe the leaves with a damp cloth.
- Provide a humid and warm environment. Rubber plants prefer humid environments, preferably away from air conditioning and heating vents. If you live in an environment where humidity is low, you can consider purchasing a humidifier.
- Repot the plant as it grows. If your rubber plant is struggling to fit its pot, you need to repot it and allow it to have enough space to grow larger.
How Long Does It Take for a Rubber Plant to Grow a New Leaf?
While the amount of time it takes for a rubber plant to grow a new leaf depends on the conditions, the average time for new leaf growth is usually between two and four weeks.
To accelerate the growth of new leaves on your rubber plant, you can make cuts on the nodes of the leaves that previously fell off. While not necessary, this process has a significant impact on how fast new leaves will grow.
When Is Rubber Plant Growing Season?
The growing season of a rubber plant is during the summer, which is when your rubber plant will require the highest amount of care in terms of watering and fertilization.
When the growing season starts, ensure that you check the water status of your rubber plant once every day and apply fertilizer every 2-4 weeks to ensure that your rubber plant gets enough nutrients to grow healthily.
These requirements drastically go down during the dormancy season in the winter, where rubber plants require very small (once a month is usually enough, but it’s best to check the soil as usual) amounts of water and no fertilization.
There is no denying that rubber plants are a fantastic addition to your home with their evergreen foliage and undemanding nature.
To quickly recap, the growth rate of a rubber plant is up to 24 feet per season outdoors, but considerably less indoors. The difference in growth rate also affects the maximum height your plant will reach, so expect a maximum height of 6 to 10 feet with indoor conditions.
If you have enough space for a fast-growing, tall plant that will illuminate your living room and draw all the attention, a rubber plant may be what you exactly need.