Why Are Leaves On My Old, Large Rubber Tree Houseplant Sagging?

by Deborah
(Washington, DC)

Question:

Plant continues to grow new leaves, looks healthy (no sign of disease) other than that all the leaves are sagging.


Answer:

Without seeing a photo of the Rubber Tree and going by what you stated concerning new growth, I would suspect a problem with watering.

If the tree is old, it undoubtedly has a great root system. The bottom portion of the root system can sometimes fail to receive an adequate supply of water. Even though you think that you're watering enough, in reality, there is a requirement of a large amount of water to reach the bottom roots.
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It's very easy to allow "dry pockets" in several lower portions of the soil. So, what could be happening, is that water is reaching the plant, but just not enough.

One thing that I would try is this: Water from the top until you see water flowing out the bottom of the container. Allow the plant to sit in the excess water for around thirty minutes. Hopefully, it will soak up all the excess water. If it doesn't, you could choose to drain of the amount that is left. Doing this will allow the soil to soak up more water than a "regular" watering.

A few more things to ask yourself: Does the Rubber Tree need to be potted up? If it has outgrown it's pot, you may be seeing stress from over-crowding.

What about relocation? Has the houseplant been moved to a new location? Sometimes the stress of relocating a plant doesn't show immediately. Several days to several weeks can pass before signs occur.

Lastly, think about feeding the tree. Does it receive the proper amount of nutrients through fertilizing?

Good Luck and all the best to you!
Brad





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