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What is Ficus Elastica Plant Commonly Used For?

Updated: May 2, 2022

Ficus elastica, commonly known as the rubber plant, is a popular houseplant that belongs to the fig family. The plant is grown for its beautiful foliage and ease of care. In addition to being a decorative plant, Ficus elastica is also used for various purposes. In this article, we will explore the different uses of the Ficus elastica plant.

Ornamental Purposes

One of the primary uses of Ficus elastica is for ornamental purposes. The plant has large, glossy leaves that come in shades of green, burgundy, and variegated patterns. It can grow up to 100 feet tall in its natural habitat but is usually kept smaller as a houseplant. The plant’s striking appearance makes it a popular choice for indoor decoration.

Air Purification

Ficus elastica is also known for its air-purifying qualities. Like other plants, it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during photosynthesis. However, the rubber plant is particularly effective at removing harmful indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. These toxins are commonly found in household items such as furniture, carpets, and cleaning products. By having a Ficus elastica plant in your home or office, you can improve the air quality and reduce your exposure to these harmful chemicals.

Medicinal Purposes

In traditional medicine, Ficus elastica has been used to treat various ailments. The plant’s latex contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It has been used to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. However, it should be noted that the latex can also cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Industrial Uses

Ficus elastica is also used for industrial purposes. The latex extracted from the plant is commonly used to produce rubber. The plant’s scientific name, elastica, comes from its ability to produce an elastic latex. The latex is used to make a variety of products such as tires, gloves, and even adhesives.


Is Ficus elastica toxic to pets?

Yes, the plant is toxic to cats and dogs if ingested. The sap contains compounds that can cause gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is best to keep the plant out of reach of pets.

How often should I water my Ficus elastica plant?

The plant prefers well-draining soil and should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the leaves to wilt and drop.

Can I propagate my Ficus elastica plant?

Yes, the plant can be propagated through stem cuttings. Cut a section of stem with at least two leaves and place it in a pot with moist soil. Keep the soil moist and in a warm, bright location until roots start to form.

In conclusion, Ficus elastica is a versatile plant with many uses. It is primarily grown for its ornamental value but also has air-purifying and medicinal properties. The plant’s latex is used to produce rubber for industrial purposes. If you are looking for a beautiful and beneficial indoor plant, consider adding a Ficus elastica to your collection.