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Why Is My Rubber Plant Not Growing? 5 Explanations!

Rubber plants make a striking indoor plant and can instantly uplift the look of your home. This plant is a native of South Asia and belongs to the Ficus genus, the figs we eat.

They are one of the fastest-growing houseplants and can survive stringent conditions, and will reach a height of over 10 feet in a short time. But even with their adaptability, your rubber plants could stop growing and leave you wondering – why is my rubber plant not growing?

Even plants that can grow in restrictive environments can experience frozen growth if suitable conditions are not provided. It would be best if you were apt with the amount of water, sunlight, soil, and other conditions necessary for the growth of rubber plants. If you have been facing this issue, we have got the answer to your query – why is my rubber plant not growing. Keep reading.

Why Is My Rubber Plant Not Growing
Does anyone know why my Rubber plant won’t grow? – via Reddit

Why Is My Rubber Plant Not Growing?

The stunted growth of your rubber plant could be for several different reasons. The most common one is a lack of light for your plants. Since these are indoor plants and due to the wrong reading of the label, people tend to shove them in a corner where light does not reach easily. This can become a major reason for your rubber plants not growing.

Let’s look at more answers to your question – why is my rubber plant not growing?

1. Season of Dormancy

Before you invest your energy and resources in any other solution, it is important to consider the time of the year. If your plants are not growing and it is currently winter season, the rubber plants have gone into dormancy. All plants have a natural lifecycle according to which they grow in certain seasons and need to be planted in other ones.

In winter, there is a low level of light, and the temperature is colder, too, due to which the plants stop growing to preserve what little resources they have to work on their internal structures.

Even if you planted rubber plants in the growing season, they would not grow noticeably in the dormant season. The dormant season begins in late fall and extends for the winters for rubber plants. They will wake up and start growing again in the spring and summer seasons. So, before anything else, wait for the weather to turn warm and see what happens.  

2. Not Enough Light

Given that the label on rubber plant says, “low light,” some people might be tempted to keep them as far away from a source of light as possible. This can cause the plant to become leggy and droopy due to low light levels.

Rubber plants emerged from the rainforests of South Asia, and they adapted to grow very tall very fast to fetch light from between the shade of other tall trees. So, they are built to grow in bright sunlight. A few hours of direct sunlight will do them no bad as well.

The ideal place to keep them is near a big window that gets bright, indirect sunlight for at least 6-8 hours a day without obstruction from other sources. If the sunlight is direct for most of the day, you can add a thin, sheer curtain to block some of the rays. Don’t keep them away from light or in a dark corner.    

Why Is My Rubber Plant Not Growing 2
Rubber tree hasn’t grown a leaf since I bought it – via Reddit

3. Inadequate Amount of Water

Underwatering can halt the growth of your rubber plants because if the plants are not getting enough water, they will not be able to get the required amount of nutrients from the soil. They will go into survival mode to save nutrients and stop growing. It doesn’t matter whether it is the winter or summer season. You need to keep up with the watering routine.

Don’t just pour a few spurts of water into the soil. Add water thoroughly until you see the excess water draining out from the draining holes. Make sure the soil is fully damp. Overwatering is not an issue with rubber plants as they are used to growing in damp soil. But sometimes, you may leave in too much water, especially in the colder season, leading to root rot or stunted growth.

A telltale sign of underwatering is pale leaves and crisp leaves. If you notice the soil is dry and the plant is not growing, water thoroughly and regularly. It should solve the issue of underwatering. For overwatering, let them dry out before watering again. Dip a finger in the soil. If the top few inches are dry, you can water the plants.

4. Fertilizer

Rubber plants do not need too much fertilizer, especially when you have just planted them in new soil. People may start taking this for granted and not feed any fertilizer to the plant at all.

You must remember that nutrients start depleting from the soil over time, making it unsuitable for growth. At this point, you need to add fertilizer to support the plant’s growth. Don’t overdo the fertilizer. Test with small amounts to see how the plant reacts and then continue.

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5. Pot Size

Rubber plants increase in size fast. You will soon need to have a bigger pot for the plants. If there is not enough space left in the pot for the rubber plants to grow and expand, their growth will become stunted. Since rubber plants grow rapidly, some people might use smaller pots as a strategy to tame the size of the plants. But this doesn’t work in the long term.  

If you notice the roots bending in one direction or wrapped up, it could be due to insufficient space in the pot. You can also inspect the plant by taking it out of the pot. Make sure to buy pots at least 2 inches bigger in size from all sides of the plant’s roots. And make sure to put in well-drained soil.  

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I hope this answers your query of “why is my rubber plant not growing,” and now you can start taking steps to solve the issue. You should remember that even the most low-maintenance plants need care and keep everything in moderation. Your plants will be just fine.