Rubber Plant Leaves Falling Off | Rubber Plant Leaves Drooping, Curling, Turning Yellow

Causes of rubber plant leaves falling off or drooping, curling and turning yellow and how to prevent them are discussed. You can save your rubber plant from falling off after repotting or transplant, if you can identify the reasons of healthy leaves falling off rubber plant. Continue reading below to revive a rubber plant which is loosing leaves.

Many years ago, I was having a healthy rubber plant (Ficus Elastica) in my living room, but after a few months, it started dropping bottom leaves, even healthy looking leaves were falling. Soon the upper leaves started dropping.
A healthy Rubber Plant Growing in a Pot
A healthy Rubber Plant Growing in a Pot

Rubber Plant Leaves Falling
Rubber Plant Falling Leaves
At that time, I could not find the reasons of dropping of my rubber tree leaves and could not revive my rubber plant; sadly the plant died. But now I have figured out the causes of falling leaves in rubber tree plant.

What Makes the Bottom Leaves of Rubber Trees Fall Off?

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You should be concerned, if your rubber plant is dropping leaves. The causes of rubber plant leaves falling off include improper watering, tree ageing, improper lighting, lack of nutrition. If your rubber is losing leaves from the bottom up, it might be root related.

Light and Light Change

What causes rubber plant leaves drooping? A change in the light  could be the reason for a rubber plant losing leaves. The light change happens when you bring your rubber tree plant indoors from outdoors, drooping of the rubber tree leaves.

When you bring the plant indoors, increase the artificial light on the rubber tree, that may prevent the rubber plant from losing leaves.

Humidity For Rubber Plant

The common reason of an indoor rubber plant leaves falling off is the lack of humidity. In the winter when the indoors are heated, the inadequate humidity can cause leaves falling off rubber tree plant.

It is useful to mist the plant daily. To increase humidity, you can place your rubber plant on a tray of pebbles filled with water. When the plant is growing well, its leaves are firm with a waxy glow.

Improper Watering Can Cause Rubber Plant Leaves Drop

Both under watering and over watering can cause your rubber plant to shed leaves (how to water indoor plants). 

Video on Rubber Plant Leaf Problems

Under Watering

Bottom leaves turning yellow and dropping indicates a problem with bottom roots, either no water or cramped roots or lack of nutrients. The other sign of under-watered plant is all the leaves including the bottom leaves become softer or droopy.

You may be watering but the water is not reaching the bottom roots. Water your plant until it comes out from bottom hole into the tray. Leave the pot in water-filled try to soak up water for some time, then drain off all extra water. The rubber plant is drought tolerant plant and a short time under- watering will not kill the plant.

Over Watering

Too much water is worse than too little. When a rubber tree plant is over watered, it can shed its leaves. Prolonged over-watering can definitely kill any plant. The over-watering will cause the older leaves, the larges at the bottom becoming spongy or yellow or brown or the brown - yellow spots spreading from the inner part of the leaf to out.

Leave the plant to dry it fully on the top 1 inch of the soil before you water again. Water the plant only when the top of the soil is dry.

If your rubber plant is looking light green or wilted even though the soil is wet, the plant is over-watered and drowning.

Air Drafts

Rubber plants are very susceptible to changes in environment. The rubber plant needs stable temperatures, 70 to 85 °F ( 21 to 30°C) during day and 65 to 75°F (18 to 23°C) in night. Cold air drafts in your home hitting the plant may cause your rubber tree leaves to fall off. Keep the plant away from any windows or door that often open frequently. Also keep the plant away from heat sources.

Pest problem

Pests like scale bugs can cause for rubber tree plant leaves falling off until the plant is treated. You can get rid off the pests on your rubber plant by an insecticide spray like neem oil.

Crumpled Roots, Re-potting

As the rubber plant grows, its roots may get cramped in then pot. This can also
turn bottom leaves yellow and dropping them. It is essential to re-pot the plant periodically into the next size.

Over Fertilization

Rubber tree plants need very little feeding. Fertilize only once a while. Over fertilization can cause a rubber plant to lose leaves. You may give slow-release or half-strength liquid houseplant fertilizer when the plant is actively growing.
Rubber plants seldom bloom indoors, so nitrogen, which provides food for foliage growth, is the probable need; shortages of potash lead to necrotic leaf edges and leaf drop at the bottom of the plant.

Natural Aging

Bottom leaves of a rubber tree may drop as it grows older.

How do you revive a dying rubber plant?

Identify the problem of your plant as described above. If the plant is getting too much water,  stop watering immediately and allow the soil to dry. Then water only when the soil becomes dry to a depth of 1 inch.

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