Growing Ficus Tineke: How To Care For The Tineke Rubber Plant

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What is a Ficus Elastica Tineke? The Tineke is a select variety of Ficus elastica and a “new” highly variegated rubber plant on the market.

The variegated Tineke rubber plant features striking reddish-pink tones on the outside of the green. The cream foliage and the sheath at the top of the stem are also a deep burgundy-red color.

Variegated foliage of ficus elastica var. "Tineke" houseplant.Pin
Variegated Ficus “Tineke” houseplant | Maritxu22-DepositPhotos

In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about proper ficus tineke care.

Ficus Tineke Quick Care Tips

  • Botanical Tips: Botanical Name: Ficus elastica Tineke
  • Common Name(s): Rubber Plant Tineke, Variegated rubber Tree, Tineke rubber plant
  • Synonyms: Ficus Tineke, Ficus elastica variegata
  • Family & Origin: Moraceae family, native to Southeast Asia
  • Growability: Easy to grow
  • Grow Zone: 10-12
  • Size: Indoors can grow up to 2′-10′ feet tall
  • Flowering: Rarely flowers indoors
  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Humidity: Prefers high humidity
  • Temperature: 60-75° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Soil: Well-draining soil
  • Water: Water when the top inch of soil is dry
  • Fertilizer: Diluted liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season
  • Pests & Diseases: Mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects, root rot
  • Propagation: Stem cuttings and air-layers
  • Plant Uses: Decorative floor plant

Ficus Tineke Plant Care

Size and Growth

Ficus Tineke grows indoors as a small houseplant reaching 2′ – 10′ feet tall tree or bush. Growing outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10b to 11, trees can reach 50′ feet tall and more.

Ficus Tineke grows indoors as a small houseplant reaching 2′ – 10′ feet tall tree or bush. Growing outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10b to 11, trees can reach 50′ feet tall and more.

Tineke rubber tree displays striking variegated cream to almost white and green leaves. The mature glossy variegated Tineke leaves reach up to 12″ inches long and 5″ inches wide. Some suggest the leaf color looks almost like watercolor.

The burgundy rubber tree is a fast-growing Ficus. Variegated Ficus has less chlorophyll and grows at a slower pace.

Flowering and Fragrance Of Tineke Rubber Tree

Varieties of Ficus do flower. But only flower when grown outdoors in their native home of Malaysia, Java, or the Himalayas. Flowering indoors is a rare occurrence. When Ficus elastica tineke does flower, they are simple white blooms.

Its minimal fragrance only attracts fig wasps and no other kinds of pollinators.

Ficus Tineke Light Requirements and Temperature

Ficus elastica Tineke does best indoors with bright, indirect light. In lower light conditions, new leaves produce less creamy variegation. Plants also are less likely to produce new growth.

  • If the leaves are losing their variegation, move your Tineke plant to a location with a brighter light source.
  • Indoors maintain average room temperatures above 55° degrees Fahrenheit with medium humidity levels. Consider adding a humidifier to increase humidity.
  • Remember, too much light can scorch the foliage of Tineke Rubber plants. In contrast, too little light may mean duller colors and less variation.
  • Ficus Tineke can be finicky to temperature. It does not tolerate inconsistent temperatures. Sudden temperature drops, cold drafts, and dry conditions will affect your plant.
  • On the flip side, if your leaves are crispy and have brown spots, your plant may be too dry or get too much sun exposure.

Ficus Tineke Watering and Feeding

The Ficus tineke is a relatively low-maintenance house plant. Do not overwater rubber plants.

If the roots sit in water, they can suffer from root rot, and fungus gnats can become an issue. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering it again.

The indoor Ficus will still seek watering according to the natural growing season. Water your plant more during the summer months and scale back during the winter months.

Feed your new Ficus plant monthly during warmer months. The best fertilizer to use is a half-strength balanced liquid fertilizer.

Soil and Transplanting

The tineke variegated rubber tree plant thrives in light, well-draining, moist soil. It can tolerate heavy clay, sandy, or loamy soils. Always use a pot with drainage holes.

When transplanting, pick a pot that’s only a few inches larger in diameter than the original one. Selecting a pot too big can cause common problems with excessive moisture retention. Remember, excessive moisture can lead to soggy roots. Moreover, these plants like being slightly potbound.

It does well in either acidic or alkaline soil. Regardless of the Ficus variety, these plants will grow indoors. Do not overpot. Your Tineke Rubber plant should be fine in the pot you purchased it for a year.

If your plant gets top-heavy, use a cachepot to keep the top heavy rubber tree from falling over.

Repotting is important to allow the roots to grow continually. Plus, fresh soil rejuvenates the plant. When repotting, repot during the early spring to not shock your plant. Ficus shows shock by dropping leaves.

You can repot ts, leaving the ball of moss in place, into a new and small pot.

Remove the leaves at the bottom of the cutting, leaving one leaf at the top. That way, energy will be directed to the new root growth rather than existing foliage.

Tineke Rubber Tree Grooming and Maintenance

As a houseplant, the tineke rubber tree will not need much pruning. Mature plants may need pruning to maintain their shape or remove unwanted branches.

To achieve a bushier, fuller shape, prune the primary branches of your Rubber plant tineke.

For a more slender tree-like appearance, do not prune. Using a clean, sharp blade, cut off a six-inch portion of a healthy branch just above a leaf node.

Large rubber plant leaves collect dust. From time to time, clean the thick, waxy leaves with a damp cloth.

Your Rubber tree tineke may grow aerial roots that grow above ground when it gets larger.

These roots help stabilize the tree but aren’t necessary. Removing these aerial roots will not damage your plant. It starts with picking a healthy-looking stem and then making a clean, sharp cut.

As your plant grows, foliage lower on the plant will drop off to focus energy on newer growth. Although some leaf loss is natural, letting your plant get too dry can kill off the plant.

How to Propagate Ficus Rubber Tree Plants

Ficus elastica Tineke is easy to propagate. You can create a new Ficus tineke by air layering. But, this propagation method is intricate and needs some skill to get it right.

The process is easy but can get messy due to the milky sap it oozes when cut. But propagating from stem cuttings makes rooting new variegated rubber plants easy.

  • Choose a branch to propagate and take a cutting about 12″ inches long.
  • Remove the lower leaves.
  • Apply a rooting hormone to the base of the tip-cutting.
  • Place into a new pot filled with well-draining soil.
  • Water and place a plastic bag over the pot to create an artificial greenhouse. A soda bottle works well, too.
  • Place your new cutting in a warm, sunny location. No direct sunlight.
  • New roots should form in 30-60 days.
  • Once your new Ficus is well established, repot into a larger 6″ pot.

NOTE: The sap of Tineke Ficus can cause skin irritation

Ficus Tineke Pests or Diseases

Variegated plants like Tineke are prone to pests. Examples of pests are leaf and root mealybugs, aphids, plant scales, bugs, and spider mites.

Like other rubber plants, Ficus Tineke is sometimes prone to fungal diseases such as Anthracnose.

All variegated Ficus varieties seem to suffer from some form of brown spots on the leaves. What causes brown spots?

  • Too much direct light can burn leaves.
  • Low humidity can dry the leaves.
  • Over-fertilizing can result in burns from salt buildup.

Ficus Rubber Trees do not like changes. They like:

Consistent Temperatures – When exposed to drops in temperature, they respond by dropping leaves.

Moist Not Wet Soil – If the soil stays too dry and then stays wet. Roots become mushy and start to die. Leaves turn yellow and fall off.

Bright indirect light – Ficus produces leaves based on the light they receive. When the leaves do not “fit” the lighting conditions. They drop leaves.

To keep your Tineke ficus plant looking its best, don’t forget to dust the leaves with a microfiber cloth. Don’t forget to turn it periodically.

Provide your Ficus Tineke with consistent care for the best results.

Ficus Facts

Where Does Ficus Elastica Originate?

Elastica originates in Southeast Asia, India, and Indonesia.

Where Does Ficus Elastica Originate?

Ficus belongs to the Moraceae family. The plant’s genus name means “edible fig.”

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