I have a rubber plant, it’s a good 4/5ft tall & up until August it was thriving! It was my grandmas, & she passed away. From August-January the house was empty, we would visit maybe once a month and water it whilst we were there.

We moved into the house in January, at which point the plant looked very sad. Leaves are drooping & floppy. We water once a week, and new leaves have started to shoot in the past month or so - we have a section of 4 new leaves right up at the top, and 3 leaves right down at the bottom - but all the old leaves in between are still droopy.

What can we do to try to revive the entire plant to it’s usual perky self?

  • A picture would help...
    – kevinskio
    May 19, 2021 at 19:27

1 Answer 1


The leaves of the Ficus elastica are part of the water storage mechanism of the plant. If we look at the leaves closely they are shiny and thick with juice; the shiny layer is designed to not lose much water at all so it is like a balloon, able to expand and collapse as needed. The plant has a good drink when water is available and then can endure a period of dryness as it slowly deflates the leaves, eventually looking for more water. All leaves have a limited life span and tire of their activity, becoming replaced by new, vigorous leaves in healthy plants. It sounds as if in your plant the old leaves are about to be replaced by new. It is an indication that maybe the old leaves dried out a little too much and could be discarded as the new leaves expand to replace them. This might leave the plant a bit more bare than would be attractive; fortunately you can prune the main growth back a bit and it should force new growth to appear at the places you need. Now that the plant is getting regular attention it won't be long before it is back to a healthy condition.

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