There are several reasons why a Rubber Plant might drop its leaves. However, the most common causes are underwatering and overwatering.
When you see that your plant has droopy leaves, the first thing you should do is check the soil.
Let it dry out almost completely if it’s soggy before watering again. If it’s dry, give the plant a good, deep watering.
Avoid over watering or underwatering in the future by using the soak and dry method of watering.
Monitor your plants’ soil and only water when the top couple of inches are dry.
Then, water thoroughly with distilled, filtered, or rain water. Approximately once a week is a good schedule, but you’ll need to keep tabs on your plant in your setting to determine what watering schedule will work for you.
11 Causes & Solutions For Droopy Rubber Plant Leaves:
If your drooping Rubber Plant leaves are not caused by incorrect watering, there may be another cause.
Here are some of the top reasons and treatments for drooping leaves on Rubber Plants.
1. Poor Communication
If you are not the only person watering your plants, you risk droopy leaves caused by erratic watering. Establish and post a schedule.
Rubber Trees like a light monthly feeding with a half-strength houseplant fertilizer throughout the spring and summer growing season.
Be careful not to overdo it because too much fertilizer can damage the roots, thus causing droopy leaves.
Just add a half dose of liquid fertilizer to the plant’s water once a month. Don’t fertilize at all in the autumn and the winter.
3. Wrong Light
Rubber Tree plants naturally grow in tropical rainforests where they receive lots of filtered sunlight. This translates to a bright indirect sunlight setting in your home.
Your plant should not sit right next to a window where it gets harsh, direct light. It also should not sit in a dark area of your home.
Place it in an area that gets about six hours a day of natural light that does not shine directly on its leaves. Supplement with artificial lighting as needed.
Temperatures below 50° degrees Fahrenheit will cause your Rubber Plant’s leaves to droop.
Therefore, keep your plant at temperatures between 60° and 75° degrees Fahrenheit.
Be aware that the room’s ambient temperature may be warmer than the temperature of the soil in your plant’s container if the plant is sitting on a cold floor.
Likewise, the air around the plant may be cooler than the air in the room if the plant is sitting near a window or a door.
For these reasons, it’s wise to set your plant on a stand in an area that is protected from cold drafts or cold seeping in through or around windows.
In addition, keep a thermometer very near the plant to keep close tabs on its temperature.
5. Sudden Changes
The temperature rising and falling suddenly and erratically can cause droopy Rubber Tree plant leaves.
In addition, blasts of heat or cold are damaging, so keep your plant out of drafts in winter and summer.
The plant should not sit near a door or in front of a heater or air conditioner.
The best setting for Rubber Tree plants (and plants in general) is one that provides consistently warm temperatures and gently moving air.
6. Dry Air
Tropical Rubber Tree plants need high humidity (40% to 50% percent).
If your plant’s soil has dried out because of dry air (e.g., centrally heated indoor air in winter), move the plant to an area away from the heat source and give it a deep watering.
Keep the air surrounding your Rubber Tree humidified adequately through a humidifier or a pebble tray. Mist the leaves and wipe them with a clean, damp cloth weekly.
7. Wet Air
Be aware that excessive humidity can also cause droopy leaves.
Set a small fan in the corner of the room (facing into the corner) and keep it running on a low setting just to keep the air in the room moving a bit.
This will help prevent fungal growth that is sometimes caused by high humidity.
8. Compacted Soil
If you have been overwatering, the plant’s soil may not be allowing enough oxygen to get to the roots even after it has dried out a bit.
In this case, you’ll need to repot your plant into entirely fresh, light, airy, well-draining potting soil.
Be careful not to use a pot that is too big because this can often cause you to give the plant more water than it needs as you attempt to soak the soil.
If it has been a long time since you last repotted your plant (or if you have never repotted it), the problem may be a lack of air circulation to the roots and lack of nutrients because the plant roots have consumed all the nutrients in the soil and displaced the soil.
Check to see if the interior of your plant’s container is full of roots with very little soil.
If this is the case, you’ll need to repot. But, again, be careful not to over-pot. Just go up to the next size.
When you repot a pot-bound plant, do the following:
- Rinse the roots and examine them carefully.
- Trim away dead or damaged roots.
- Give the roots a gentle massage to separate them to make good contact with the fresh soil in their new home.
After you repot your Rubber Tree, it may suffer droopy leaves due to transplant shock.
It may also lose a few leaves. Don’t worry too much about this.
Just place your plant in an area that provides consistent warmth and humidity and bright, indirect sunlight, and gentle air circulation.
Be patient. Your plant will rally and thrive in good time.
Note that Rubber Trees recently relocated (even without repotting) may also suffer shock.
But, again, just be patient and provide consistent care, and your plant will pull through.
Incorrect care will make your plant susceptible to houseplant pests, such as:
- Spider mites
- Mealy bugs
- Scale insects
A heavy infestation will cause droopy leaves, but the good news is that you can avoid infestation altogether by following the tips given above and providing your plant with correct care.
Examine your plant’s leaves (top and bottom) frequently.
The moment you see any signs of pest infestation, do the following steps:
- Mist your plant heavily with a neem oil solution.
- Wipe the stems and leaves with a clean, damp cloth to physically remove the intruders.
- Repeat this treatment every few days until you no longer see any signs of the pests.
- Misting and wiping with neem oil solution can be done on a weekly basis as a preventative treatment.
This also helps keep the leaves clean, healthy, and a bit shiny.