Updated: July 2, 2023

The red rubber plant, also known as Ficus elastica, is a popular houseplant known for its shiny, leathery leaves and stunning red hues. As with any plant, the red rubber plant goes through various stages of growth, each with its own unique characteristics. In this article, we will explore the different stages of growth that the red rubber plant goes through and provide tips on how to care for it at each stage.

Stage 1: Seedling

The first stage of growth for the red rubber plant is the seedling stage. During this stage, the plant is just starting its journey and has only recently germinated from a seed. The seedling typically consists of a single stem with small, delicate leaves.

To care for a red rubber plant seedling, it is important to provide it with the right conditions. Place the seedling in a warm and humid environment, as this mimics its natural habitat. Ensure that the soil is kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. Provide indirect sunlight to promote healthy growth.

It is essential to be patient during this stage as the red rubber plant takes time to establish its roots and develop into a more mature plant.

Stage 2: Juvenile

Once the red rubber plant enters the juvenile stage, it starts to develop more leaves and branches. The leaves may still be small, but they begin to exhibit the characteristic glossy texture and deep green color of a mature red rubber plant. The growth rate during this stage is relatively fast compared to other stages.

At this stage, it is crucial to provide proper care to support the plant’s development. Bright, indirect light is essential for optimal growth. Be mindful of overwatering as excessive moisture can lead to root rot. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between watering sessions.

Regular fertilization can also help promote healthy growth during this stage. Use a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength and apply it every two to three weeks.

Stage 3: Mature

The mature stage is when the red rubber plant reaches its full potential. The leaves are larger, thicker, and more vibrant in color. The stems become woody and develop a sturdy structure. The plant takes on a bushy appearance, making it an eye-catching addition to any indoor space.

Caring for a mature red rubber plant involves maintaining its overall health and appearance. Provide bright but indirect light to keep the leaves vibrant and prevent scorching. Avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight as it can burn the leaves.

Water the plant thoroughly, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. It is crucial to maintain consistent moisture levels without overwatering. Fertilize the plant every four to six weeks using a balanced houseplant fertilizer.

Stage 4: Propagation

Propagation is an optional stage that allows you to create new red rubber plants from your existing one. This stage involves taking cuttings from a mature red rubber plant and encouraging them to root and grow into new plants.

To propagate a red rubber plant, select a healthy stem cutting with at least two sets of leaves. Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end in rooting hormone powder. Plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix and keep it moist until roots develop.

Place the cutting in a warm and humid environment with bright, indirect light. Mist the cutting regularly to maintain humidity levels. Once roots have formed, you can transfer the cutting to its own pot and treat it as a mature red rubber plant.


The red rubber plant goes through several stages of growth, each with its own unique characteristics and care requirements. From the delicate seedling stage to the mature stage with its vibrant leaves, understanding these growth stages can help you provide optimal care for your red rubber plants.

Remember to provide the right amount of light, water, and nutrients at each stage to ensure healthy growth. With proper care and attention, your red rubber plant can flourish and become a beautiful centerpiece in your home or office.