How to Transplant a Rubber Tree Plant

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Things You'll Need

  • Planting container

  • Potting soil

Rubber tree plant is one common name for Ficus elastica, a species of large tree native to parts of India and Indonesia. Small, immature specimens are often cultivated as houseplants for their attractive foliage, which features large, ovate leaves with a glossy texture and dark green coloring. Despite their small stature, rubber tree plants are still technically trees and will grow quite large indoors if provided with ample light and moisture, so they must be transplanted into larger pots every few years. Rubber tree plants bear transplanting with great resilience and will revive in just a few days.


Step 1

Water the rubber tree plant thoroughly the day before transplanting it. Pour 4 or 5 cups of water around the base of the plant to saturate the soil. Let the soil drain overnight.

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Step 2

Choose a new planting container for the rubber tree plant. Select one with a 1- to 2-inch increase in diameter. Avoid overly large planting containers.

Step 3

Remove the rubber tree plant from its current planting container. Tip the planting container on its side and shake it to loosen the root ball. Slide the root ball out.


Step 4

Remove approximately 1/4 of the soil from around the rubber tree plant's root ball. Run water over the roots to hydrate them and rinse off more of the old soil.

Step 5

Fill the bottom few inches of the new planting container with potting soil or a mix of equal parts soil, milled peat moss and medium-grit sand. Nestle the roots of the rubber tree plant onto the soil. Backfill around the plant with more potting soil until the roots are completely covered and the soil surface is even.


Step 6

Pour 3 to 5 cups of water over the soil to settle it. Spread additional soil around the base of the rubber tree plant if the soil settles too much and reveals the roots.

Step 7

Place the transplanted rubber tree plant in its original spot, or move it somewhere with very bright, indirect light and temperatures above 65 degrees F.