Burgundy Rubber Plant Care: A Beginner’s Guide

Introduction to the Burgundy Rubber Plant

The Burgundy Rubber Plant, scientifically known as Ficus elastica ‘Burgundy’, is a popular and striking houseplant known for its rich, dark burgundy leaves and impressive growth. This variety of rubber plant is a resilient and relatively easy-to-care-for houseplant, making it an ideal choice for beginners. The following guide will provide essential tips on watering, light requirements, temperature and humidity, fertilization, and common issues to ensure your Burgundy Rubber Plant thrives indoors.

Optimal Lighting for Burgundy Rubber Plants

Light is a crucial factor for the health of a Burgundy Rubber Plant. These plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Place your Ficus elastica ‘Burgundy’ near a window where it will receive plenty of light but is shielded from the harsh, direct rays of the sun, which may scorch its leaves. If the leaves start losing their rich burgundy color and turn more green, it might be an indicator that the plant requires more light.

Natural Light Vs. Artificial Light

While Burgundy Rubber Plants thrive best in natural sunlight, they can also adapt to bright artificial lighting. If you don’t have an area in your home with sufficient natural light, consider using a grow light to supplement the plant’s light requirements.

Watering Your Burgundy Rubber Plant

Watering is a delicate balance for your Burgundy Rubber Plant. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the leaves to dry out and droop. Wait until the top inch or so of the soil is dry before watering thoroughly. This typically means watering your plant every 1–2 weeks, but this can vary based on the humidity and temperature of your home. Always check the soil first, as environmental conditions can change the plant’s watering needs.

Maintaining Proper Humidity and Temperature

Burgundy Rubber Plants are native to tropical environments, so they appreciate a humid atmosphere. If your home is dry, especially in the winter months, consider using a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air around your plant. Additionally, make sure to keep it away from drafts, air conditioners, and heaters, as sudden temperature changes can stress the plant. The ideal temperature range for the Burgundy Rubber Plant is between 60-75°F (15-24°C).

Fertilizing Your Plant for Growth

Feeding your Burgundy Rubber Plant is essential to support its growth. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, diluted to half the recommended strength, once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). It is not necessary to fertilize during the fall and winter when the plant’s growth typically slows down.

Potting and Repotting

The roots of a Burgundy Rubber Plant enjoy room to grow, so repotting every couple of years can be beneficial. Choose a pot that is one size larger in diameter than the current one and has good drainage holes. When changing pots, also consider using fresh potting soil that is well-draining to prevent water from pooling at the bottom and causing root rot.

Pruning and Cleaning Your Plant

Pruning can help maintain the size and shape of your Burgundy Rubber Plant, as well as encourage more robust growth. Use clean, sharp scissors to remove any dead or damaged leaves, and trim the plant to your desired shape. Additionally, keep the leaves clean from dust and dirt by wiping them gently with a soft, damp cloth. This not only makes your plant look better but also enables the leaves to absorb more light.

Dealing with Pests and Diseases

The Burgundy Rubber Plant can fall prey to common pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Inspect the leaves regularly for signs of infestation and treat promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Diseases like root rot can arise from overwatering, so ensure your watering routine is consistent with the plant’s needs.


Caring for a Burgundy Rubber Plant is a rewarding experience, particularly for beginners keen on delving into the world of indoor gardening. By following the guidelines for light, water, temperature, humidity, and fertilization, your Ficus elastica ‘Burgundy’ can grow to be a striking feature in your home. Monitor the plant closely for any signs of distress and adapt your care routine accordingly to enjoy the beauty and benefits of your Burgundy Rubber Plant for years to come.

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