Ficus elastica 'Burgundy'
Common Name: India rubber plant 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Moraceae
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 10.00 to 40.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 40.00 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers indoors
Bloom Description: Rarely flowers indoors
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-12. Grow as a houseplant in St. Louis. Easily grown in a soil-based potting mix. Site indoors in bright indirect light or part shade with protection from afternoon sun. Water regularly during the growing season. Avoid overwatering. Reduce watering from fall to late winter. Prune main branches to encourage a bushier habit, or leave unpruned to create a tall, narrow, more tree-like form.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ficus elastica, commonly called India rubber plant, India rubber tree or India rubber fig, is native from the Himalayas to Malaysia, Sumatra and Java. It is a broadleaf evergreen shrub or tree that may grow to 50-100’ tall in its native habitat. It is widely grown in the tropics as an ornamental tree. Mature trees develop banyan-like aerial roots that form trunks. In colder climates, this is an extremely popular houseplant that typically grows to 2-10’ tall. It is noted for its thick, leathery, glossy, dark green leaves (to 12” long and 5” wide) and pink to purplish stipules. Milky sap from these trees was used to make an inferior rubber in the early 1900s. Small oblong axillary fruits (1/2” diameter) in pairs are rarely seen on plants outside of its tropical native habitat.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for the edible fig.

Specific epithet refers to the milky sap that can be used to produce rubber.

'Burgundy' is a dark leaved selection of India rubber tree that features very dark green, nearly black leaves with red mid-veins. The leaves can reach up to 12" long and 4" wide. The new foliage emerges red before maturing. Mature plants can reach up to 40' tall with a similar spread. As a potted houseplant, plants can reach around 10' tall with a similar spread.

Problems

Watch for scale, aphids, mealybugs, thrips and spider mites. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants

Garden Uses

Houseplant in St. Louis area.