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- Common name:
- Ficus Elastica Zulu Shield
- Regional name:
- Marathi - Ficus Zulus Shield
- Shrubs, Indoor Plants, Trees
- Moraceae or Fig family
- Sun growing, Semi shade, Shade growing
- Normal, Can tolerate less, Can tolerate more
- Primarily grown for:
- Flowering season:
- Flowers are inconspicuous
- Foliage color:
- Variegated, Bronze or coppery, Green, Pink, Cream or off white
- Plant Height or length:
- 4 to 6 meters
- Plant Spread or Width:
- 4 to 6 meters
- Plant Form:
- Irregular, Spherical or rounded, Spreading
- Special Character:
- Good for screening
- Attracts birds
- Recommended for creating shade
- Quick growing trees
- Evergreen trees
- Suitable for avenue planting
- Good on seaside
- NASA plant for Indoor pollution control
Ficus elastica, commonly known as the rubber plant or rubber tree, is a species of plant in the fig family, Moraceae. It is native to the tropical rainforests of India and Malaysia, but is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant and is often used as a houseplant. The rubber plant gets its common name from the sticky, white latex that is produced by the plant and is used to make rubber.
Ficus elastica 'Zulu Shield' is a cultivar of Ficus elastica that is known for its attractive, dark green leaves with distinctive, white veins. It is a fast-growing plant that can reach heights of up to 10 feet (3 meters) in its natural habitat, but it is often kept much smaller when grown as a houseplant. Rubber plants are generally easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. They prefer bright, indirect light but can also tolerate low light conditions, and they prefer well-draining soil that is kept evenly moist. Rubber plants are known for their ability to purify the air, making them a popular choice for indoor gardening.
To care for your Ficus elastica 'Zulu Shield', follow these guidelines:
Light: Rubber plants prefer bright, indirect light, but they can also tolerate low light conditions. Avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to fade or burn.
Water: Keep the soil evenly moist, but be sure to let the soil dry out slightly between waterings. Rubber plants are susceptible to root rot, so it's important to avoid over-watering.
Soil: Use a well-draining soil mix that is high in organic matter. A mix of potting soil, perlite, and peat moss works well.
Fertilizer: Rubber plants benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season. Use a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Temperature: Rubber plants prefer warm temperatures, ideally between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Avoid placing the plant in a location where the temperature falls below 60°F (15°C).
Humidity: Rubber plants prefer moderate to high humidity, so consider placing the plant on a pebble tray or using a humidifier to increase the humidity around the plant.
Pruning: Rubber plants can be pruned to control their size and shape. Prune the plant by cutting back the stems to the desired length, using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears.
Repotting: Rubber plants will eventually outgrow their pots and will need to be repotted into a larger container. Repot the plant in the spring, using a pot that is one size larger than the current pot.
Ficus elastica 'Zulu Shield' is a popular choice as a houseplant because it is easy to care for and can thrive in a wide range of growing conditions. In addition to being an attractive plant with its dark green leaves and white veins, it has a number of other benefits as well:
Air purification: Rubber plants are known for their ability to remove toxins from the air, making them a popular choice for indoor gardening. They have been shown to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air, including formaldehyde, which is commonly found in household products.
Stress relief: Studies have shown that caring for plants and being around nature can have a positive effect on stress levels and overall well-being. Having a rubber plant in your home or office may help to reduce stress and improve your mood.
Increased oxygen: Like all plants, rubber plants produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis. This can help to improve the air quality in your home or office, making it a healthier place to be.
Decorative: In addition to the practical benefits of having a rubber plant in your home or office, they are also attractive and can add a touch of greenery to any space.