MELANY THE FICUS ELASTICA
Melany will thrive in a bright room. Place her nearby a south facing window or in a sunny conservatory. Make sure she does not receive any direct sunlight as this will dry out and burn her foliage. Lighting wise Melany matches perfectly with Fiona and Eraser (her variegated brother).
Melany prefers her soil on the drier side and will react very badly to wet soil. Check her soil weekly and only water when the first few inches of soil are bone dry. In the summer months a weekly water should be sufficient and this can be significantly reduced in the winter months.
Melany will benefit from a humid environment. To increase humidity place Melany in a bathroom or by a humidifier. Place her near other humidity loving plants like Hamish and Daniel for a boost of humidity. Find out how you can increase your humidity here.
Melany should be placed in a warm room. She is a tropical plant that prefers temperatures between 19ºC-25ºC. The warmer the temperature of the room the more often you will have to water her.
Melany will push out plenty of new leaves in the spring and summer months. Use a diluted houseplant fertiliser once a month in the spring and summer months. Do not fertilise in the winter months as this will send Melany into shock.
Melany can stay in her pot for 2-3 years at a time. Only re-pot Melany when you notice plenty of large roots sticking out of her nursery pot. This is a sign that she has outgrown her current home and is ready for a bigger size. Do not re-pot in the winter months as this could send Melany into shock during her dormancy period.
TROUBLESHOOTING YOUR RUBBER PLANT
Brown leaves - This could happen for a few reasons:
- Melany might be reacting badly to the chemicals found in tap water. Use filtered or rain water if possible. (This is not very common in rubber plants but still a possible factor.)
- Melany has been overwatered. Check to make sure the soil is dry before you water again.
Drooping foliage - Drooping foliage is a sign that Melany is thirsty. Allow her soil to dry out in between waterings and only water when the first few inches of soil are bone dry.
Lower leaf loss - Lower leaf loss is very common especially towards the end of the summer months. If the problem continues it would be best to reduce your watering schedule.
OUR TOP 3 CARE TIPS
Top tip 1: Clean Melany’s leaves for dust every week so she can absorb as much light as possible.
Top tip 2: Less is more! She will thrive with a little neglect and is happy to go a few weeks at a time without water.
Top tip 3: Keep Melany away from any curious pets or young children. She is mildly toxic if ingested.