Ficus, Indian Rubber Fig, Rubber Tree, Variegated Rubber Plant 'Variegata'

Ficus elastica

Family: Moraceae (mor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ficus (FY-kus) (Info)
Species: elastica (ee-LASS-tih-kuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Variegata


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Bellflower, California

Hayward, California

Lompoc, California

Mission Viejo, California

Rowland Heights, California

San Anselmo, California

Denver, Colorado

Washington, District of Columbia

Olhão Municipality, Faro

Eustis, Florida

Groveland, Florida

Ruskin, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Venice, Florida

Lafayette, Louisiana

Plaquemine, Louisiana

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Baytown, Texas

Broaddus, Texas

Cedar Park, Texas

Greenville, Texas

Houston, Texas

Portland, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 5, 2010, yakmon from Portland, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

My plant was 15 feet tall before the freeze we had this Winter. I pruned it heavily, removing all dead branches and foliage. I am happy to say it is recovering nicely and looks as healthy as ever. I live in South Texas and look forward to this plant regaining its former height.


On Mar 25, 2010, murthyu from Austin, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Please Help:

I used to have this wonderful plant Ficus elastica 'Variegata'. It was definitely a focal point of my indoor plant collection, however, this winter, I accidentally left it outside in the frost/freeze in Austin TX for 2-3 days. All the leaves fell off and the tree was looking awful. I pruned this down to 2-3" (no leaves, just the trunk/bark) hoping that it will regrow back, but it does not seem like it is coming back. Anyone had any luck with a Ficus elastica 'Variegata' that was left outside and had the same experience i had, but the plant recovering?

Please let me know.


On Sep 4, 2009, SudieGoodman from Broaddus, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Zone 8b, Heat Zone 9 deep East, TX, Broaddus
I have a potted Ficus Elastica 'Variegata' sitting near west window.
I don't like to put my plants outside because of probability of insects, disease or fungi problems.
I do wash leaves with warm water weekly. (dust cloggs pores on leaf surface).
To control size of plant, cut back on fertilizer during growing season.
I am especially pleased with 'Variegata' as I live in Angelina National Forest (green everywhere).
I'm so glad God and I can grow beautiful plants! This is a great help since I became an "empty nester". LOL


On Sep 3, 2008, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

What started as a 6" pot plant on the front porch is now a 8' x 4' potted plant in a 15 gallon pot ..with roots that have now grown into the soil since being moved to the hot sunny side of the house. Like all F.elastica's no amount of heat is too much.Just be carefull in acclimating this variegated plant to full sun..the usual problem with burn from house or greenhouse to outdoors sun ,so take it slow.
Despite losing some major branches to the 07 freeze and some leaf burn in even lightest short frosts,it has recovered very fast. They do though seem to be more tender than the all regular Rubber plant.They do enjoy frequent feedings and abundant watering to grow fast. Maybe never a tree here in the bay area,it can be a large shrub able to to come back from frosts that set it back as ... read more


On Apr 21, 2005, TropicalLover21 from Santa Maria, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I really really love this plant, i currently have it in the house and it is doing very well.. I may plan to move it outside when it gets a little bigger, i have my other red leafed Rubber tree outside and its doing well too!! I cant wait for it to grow up and be a very nice varigated Rubber plant!