Why is my Rubber Plant Dying? (8 Signs + How to Save it)

dying rubber plant

A rubber plant is a popular houseplant because it’s easy to care for and adds some green to your home. But what do you do if you think your rubber plant is dying? 

Most people don’t know how to save a dying rubber plant, but it’s not too difficult. If you catch the problem early enough, there are a few things you can do to revive your rubber plant.

In this blog post, we’ll show you the signs of a dying rubber plant and how to save it. We’ll also share some tips on how to keep your rubber plant healthy so that it doesn’t die in the first place.

Why is my Rubber Plant Dying

How do I know if my rubber plant is dying?

Yellow or brown leaves:

One of the most common signs that a rubber plant is dying is yellow or brown leaves. This can be caused by several factors, including direct sunlight, pests, disease, or too little water.

Spots on rubber plant leaves:

Another sign that your rubber plant may be dying is the presence of spots on the leaves. These spots can be caused by a variety of issues, including pests, disease, or low humidity levels.

Slow growth or wilting:

If you notice that your rubber plant is experiencing slow growth or wilting, it may be a sign that the rubber plant is dying. This can be caused by many factors, including root rot, pests, or insufficient water.

Excessive leaf loss:

If you notice that your rubber plant is losing excessive amounts of leaves, it may be dying. This can be caused by overwatering or excess humidity.

Brown and rotting root:

If you notice that your rubber plant’s roots are brown and rotting, it is a sign that the rubber plant is dying. This is usually caused by root rot due to overwatering or high humidity.

White spots or goo like thread stems:

If you notice white spots or goo-like threads on your rubber plant’s stems, it may be a sign that the rubber plant is dying. This is usually caused by mealybugs or scale insects.

Rubber plant stem wrinkled

If your rubber plant’s stem starts to appear wrinkled, dry, and grayish, it may be a sign that it is dying. This can be caused by a variety of issues, including low humidity, dry air, overwatering, fungi, and pests.

Rubber plant leaves turning black

If your rubber plant’s leaves start to turn black, it may be a sign that the plant is dying. Fungi, mold, germs, and even viral infections can all produce black spots.

Why is my rubber plant dying (how to save a dying rubber tree plant)

Overwatering:

Overwatering a rubber plant can have some pretty serious consequences.

If you think your rubber plant has been overwatered, the best solution is to stop watering it for a while.

Let the soil dry out until it’s about an inch below the surface. You may also need to cut off any dead leaves.

With a little time and care, your rubber plant should recover from overwatering.

So how can you tell if you’re overwatering your rubber plant? There are a few things to look out for.

First, check the soil before watering. If it’s still moist from the last time you watered, then it’s probably not necessary to water again.

Second, take a close look at the plant itself. If the leaves are wilting or discolored, it could be a sign of overwatering.

Finally, consider the weather. If it’s been particularly hot and dry, your plants may need more water than usual.

By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can avoid overwatering your plants and keep them healthy and happy.

Underwatering

One of the most common problems with rubber plants is that they are underwatered.

This can cause the leaves to look lifeless, and the soil to pull away or dry out. The leaves may also fade in color.

If you think your rubber plant is underwatered, the solution is simple: start watering the plant. However, it is important to keep the draining of water in mind while watering, as rubber plants are susceptible to root rot.

Just be sure not to drown the soil; rubber plants prefer moist conditions, not wet ones.

Low light or too much light

To ensure optimal growing conditions for a rubber plant, it is important to provide the right amount of light.

In general, rubber plants prefer indirect bright light, but too much or too little light will adversely affect their growth and health.

Ideally, exposure to the sun should be minimal, as the direct sun can quickly damage the leaves of the plant. At the same time, rubber plants also need some exposure to sunlight to produce enough chlorophyll for photosynthesis and optimal growth.

As such, they should ideally be placed in a spot where they receive filtered or indirect light throughout the day.

Whether indoors or outside, it is also important to maintain consistent temperatures during all seasons so that your plant is not subjected to alternating hot and cold conditions that could cause wilting and other stress reactions.

Remember,  If the leaves are exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, they may droop and burn. In low light conditions, the plant may become leggy or start to turn brown.

The solution to an underwatered rubber plant:  it is crucial to find a good balance when choosing a location for your plant.

Ideally, this space should provide indirect bright light, so that your plant receives enough light while still being spared from harsh direct rays.

Root Rot:

Root rot is a common problem for rubber plants. It is caused by a variety of fungi, and it can lead to a range of symptoms, including stunted growth, yellow leaves, black spots on leaves, soft and brown roots, mushy roots, wilting, and shedding leaves, slow growth, and curled leaves.

To prevent root rot, it is important to provide your rubber plant with well-drained soil and ample ventilation.

If you suspect that your plant has root rot, you should remove it from its pot and inspect the roots.

If the roots are black or mushy, you will need to dispose of the plant. However, if only a small portion of the roots is affected, you can try to rescue the plant by cutting away the affected roots and repotting them in fresh soil.

A few things to remember:

Pest Infestation and rubber plant diseases

The most common pests that invade rubber plants are aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects.

These pests suck the juice out of the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and brown.

In addition, the pests can spread disease to the plant. If you notice pests on your rubber plant, it is important to take action immediately.

Steps to take: It is important to thoroughly clean your plant and its pot after removing any pests so that they do not spread to other plants.

Lack of humidity or dry air

Like most plants, rubber plants need a certain amount of humidity to thrive. If the air around them is too dry, they will begin to experience several problems, such as dried leaves.

The good news is that there are a few simple ways to increase the humidity around your rubber plant.

One easy way is to mist the leaves regularly. You can also try moving your rubber plant to a spot where indirect light is plentiful, as this will help to create a more humid environment.

Finally, during the winter months when humidity levels are typically low, you may want to consider moving your plant to a more humid location in your home.

How to save your dying rubber tree plant

Watering:

One of the most important things you can do is to make sure that it gets proper watering.

Plants need water to survive, and since the rubber tree is particularly prone to drying out, you’ll want to be sure to give it 4-5 waterings per week. For especially large plants, this may mean forgoing regular watering for one week at a time 

Maintain humidity and moisture:

Another way to keep your rubber tree happy and healthy is to maintain proper humidity and moisture levels.

One way to do this is to mist its leaves regularly or to place it in a room with plenty of indirect light.

If the air around your rubber tree is especially dry, you may want to consider moving it to a more humid location in your homes like the bathroom or kitchen.

Sunlight: 

Rubber trees also need plenty of sunlight to thrive.

However, it’s important not to expose your plant to direct sunlight, which can make its leaves appear dry or burnt.

To ensure that your rubber tree gets the sunshine it needs without overheating, try placing it in a spot with lots of indirect light instead. 

Maintain the temperature above 55 degrees F.

Fertilizing:

Every couple of months, you’ll also want to fertilize your rubber tree.

This will help to ensure that it gets the nutrients it needs to grow and stay healthy.

When choosing a fertilizer, be sure to select one that is specifically designed for use on indoor plants.

Pruning:

In addition to the above tips, it’s also important to regularly prune your rubber tree.

This will help to promote new growth and allow air and light to circulate more freely.

Protect from pests: 

Finally, be sure to protect your rubber tree from common pests like aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects.

These pests can quickly destroy a plant and should be removed as soon as possible using tools like neem oil or insecticidal soap.

If none of this works, you have two ways to save your dying rubber plant:

Repotting your snake plant:

The process is relatively simple and can be done in a few easy steps.

First, choose a new pot that is slightly larger than the existing one. It’s important to not go too big, as this can lead to problems with root rot.

Once you have selected a pot, add some fresh potting soil to the bottom.

Next, gently remove the rubber plant from its current pot. Be careful not to damage the roots in the process.

Finally, soak the roots in an antifungal solution to ensure that your plant cannot be readily infested in the future.

Once the plant is out of its pot, place it in the new one and fill in any gaps with more potting soil.

Finally, water the plant well and place it in a spot with bright, indirect light. With a little care, your rubber plant will thrive in its new home.

Note: Rubber plant dying after repotting?  If your rubber plant is dying after repotting, it might have been in shock.  When transplanted, a plant can go into shock as it adjusts to its new environment. This is especially true if the plant was moved from a pot that was too small.

To help your rubber plant recover from its shock, you can try the following steps:

– Avoid fertilizing for the first month after repotting.

– Water only when the soil is dry to the touch.

– Place the plant in a spot with bright, indirect light.

– Avoid moving the plant around too much.

If your rubber tree is still dying after repotting, it’s possible that the roots were damaged during the process.

In this case, you may need to start over with a new plant. However, with proper care, it should recover and begin thriving again in its new home in no time. So don’t give up just yet!

Propagate your rubber plant:

While rubber plants (Ficus elastica) are often grown as houseplants, they can also be propagated outdoors.

Rubber plants are easy to propagate from stem cuttings, and they can be done at any time of year.

However, it is best to take the cuttings from healthy, actively growing plants. To propagate a rubber plant, simply take a 6-8 inch cutting from the tips of a branch and remove the bottom leaves.

Next, dip the cutting in rooting hormone and plant it in a well-drained potting mix. Keep the soil moist but not wet, and maintain moderate humidity levels around the plant.

Within a few weeks, roots should begin to form and new growth will appear. With proper care, your rubber plant will soon be ready to transplant into the garden.

You can read more about propagating rubber plant here.

FAQS: signs of a dying rubber plant (and how to save it)

How do you revive a dying rubber plant?

If you have a rubber plant that is starting to die, the first thing you should do is check the soil.

If you feel the soil is dry, water the plant, and be sure to water it deeply and if it feels wet or soggy, allow it to dry out before watering again.

You should also check the light levels and make sure the plant is getting enough light. If the plant is not getting enough light, try moving it to a brighter spot.

Finally, check for rubber plant pests or diseases and take steps to remove them.

What are the signs of a rubber plant dying?

There are several signs that a rubber plant is dying. These include wilting leaves, yellowing leaves, signs of pests or diseases, and poor growth or lack of new foliage.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action right away to save your plant.

This might include repotting the plant in a larger container, fertilizing regularly, pruning regularly, and protecting it from pests. Additionally, you can try to propagate your plant from stem cuttings.

What are the causes of a rubber plant dying?

There are several possible causes of a rubber plant dying, including low light levels, lack of moisture in the soil, pests or diseases, and poor care or maintenance.

To revive a dying rubber plant, it’s important to first identify the cause and then take steps to correct it.

Why is my rubber plant leaves dying?

There could be several reasons why your rubber plant leaves are dying, including low light levels, improper watering or drainage, pests, or diseases.

How do I know if my rubber plant is dying?

Several common signs indicate a rubber plant is dying, including wilting or yellowing leaves, poor growth or lack of new foliage, signs of pests or diseases, and dry soil. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action right away to save your plant. This might include repotting the plant in a larger container, fertilizing regularly, pruning regularly, and protecting it from pests. Additionally, you can try to propagate your plant as well

Will rubber tree leaves grow back?

Yes, in most cases rubber tree leaves will grow back if the plant is healthy and receiving proper care.

However, if the plant is suffering from a pest or disease infestation, the leaves may not grow back. It will depend on your situation

How long do rubber plants live?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as rubber plants can vary in lifespan depending on many factors. Typically, rubber plants can live for over 10 years and more.

Conclusion: Dying rubber plant

If you have a rubber plant that is starting to die, there are several things you can do to save it.

First, check the soil and make sure it is getting enough water.

You should also check the light levels and make sure the plant is getting enough light. If necessary, move it to a brighter spot or take steps to correct any pest or disease issues that may be present.

Finally, you can try propagating your plant from stem cuttings to grow new plants.

With proper care and attention, your rubber plant can thrive for years to come.

Dying rubber plant