Rubber plants (Ficus elastica) have beautiful, bold, dark-green leaves that can get rather large. They are a favorite among houseplants because rubber plants are so easy to grow and maintain. The oval-shaped leaves can get quite large, reaching up to a foot in length.
Another characteristic of these indoor plants is the thickness of the leaves. One of the things that you might notice for the potted plant is how often it attracts and gathers dust from the room. For this reason, it is important to learn proper leaf care of these live plants.
One way to clean the rubber plant leaves is with a simple, household feather duster. Swish the feather duster back and forth across the leaves gently. Start with the top leaves so the dust will settle on the lower leaves. Starting top to bottom makes cleaning the leaves of live plants easier and faster than just dusting the entire indoor plants.
Another good technique for cleaning the rubber plant leaves is to use a cloth. Starting from the top plant leaves, place your palm under the bottom of the leaf. Wipe the leaf with a clean cloth from where the leaf stem attaches to the plant toward your body. You may have to repeat several times, depending on how long it is since you dusted the rubber plants in your home or office.
One popular method for cleaning the thick leaves is the use of a banana peel. The oils from the peel bring out a nice shine on the houseplants. First, use the cloth technique as described above. Next, break a section of banana peel off that is comfortable for you to hold. Place a leaf on the palm of your hand. Rub the peeling back and forth across the rubber plant leaf. Repeat with each of the leaves. The live plants should take on a glossy appearance.
Rubber plants require a moderate amount of surrounding humidity in order to thrive and look their best. Never use cold water or acidic well water on these potted plants. Fill a sterile spray bottle with warm tap-water, bottled water or distilled water.
Weekly, mist the tops of the plant leaves with the water. This will help them maintain their dark colors and glossy appearance. If the live plants become spotted from water evaporation, use the cloth cleaning technique to remove the watermarks.
One of the best ways to avoid watermarks is to make certain the houseplants have clean leaves prior to misting. Spraying water on dirty houseplants will certainly leave an untidy appearance on the plants. Use one of the techniques described above to clean the potted plants prior to misting them.
One of the characteristics of rubber plants is their huge, gorgeous oval-shaped leaves. Properly caring for the leaves makes this houseplant a showcase item for home decorating. Taking care of rubber plants and their leaves is relatively simple and doesn’t require much time.