What’s the difference bewteen Ficus Elastica Tineke and Ruby?

The two Ficus Elastica Tineke and Ficus Elastica Ruby are gorgeous different varieties from Ficus Elastica or rubber trees.

They’re both low-maintenance house plants that have a striking tropical appearance, and often mistaken for one and mislabeled by sellers due to their similarity.

If you’re trying to figure out what plant to purchase or trying to figure out the plant you bought there are some distinctions between the two types, provided you are aware of where to search.

In this post I’ll go over the major differences and similarities between Ficus Elastica Tineke Vs. Ficus Elastica Ruby.

The primary distinction in Ficus Elastica Tineke as well as Ficus Elastica Ruby lies in the hue of the leaves. Tineke has beautiful leaves that are variegated with cream and green, while the leaves from Ruby are bright red with a vibrant flush. There are additional differences between the two varieties. Read further to learn more!

Differences between Ficus Elastica Tineke Vs. Ficus Elastica Ruby


The sheaths of different Ficus Elastica varieties are often confused with flowers, but in reality the sheath is actually the part of the plant that protects the new leaf as it grows.

In each species the sheath extends straight from the stalk’s main or branches that are secondary, in the same direction as the stalk or branch.

The sheath in Ficus Elastica Tineke is greenishand sometimes with a slight pinkish flush. Its sheath Ficus Elastica Ruby is a darker and more vivid shade of red or pink and is the reason for the name.

  • Ficus Elastica Tineke has green sheaths with pink hue.
  • Ficus Elastica Ruby produces bright red/pink sheaths.

Ficus Elastica Tineke

Foliage Color

The most effective way to determine the distinction in Ficus Elastica Tineke as well as Ficus Elastica Ruby can be determined through the hue that the leaves have.

The leaves from the Tineke variety are varied dark and light green, with cream and veins of pink. The new growth is pink with a tint that fades with time.

Ficus Elastica Ruby is a variety of leaves that are variegated with green as well as cream and vivid red or pink color. The new growth is particularly vivid and is the most attractive feature of this particular variety.

Due to the pinkish hue of the new development in Ficus Elastica Tineke It is often confused with Ficus Elastica Ruby.

Be aware the fact that Ficus Elastica Ruby will have extremely bright pink or red sheaths. Also, the latest development of the majority of Ficus Elastica varieties has a pinkish tint.

If they are grown in less levels of light, the pattern and color in both types will diminish and the leaves will turn more solid greenand less luminous in extremely low levels of light.

If you observe this happening to the area of your Ficus Elastica Tineke Ruby, relocate your plant into a more bright space as soon as you can! Another option is installing LED lights to the plants.

  • Ficus Elastica Tineke is a variety of leaves that are cream and green.
  • Ficus Elastica Ruby is a variety of leaves that are cream, pink, and green.
    • Both varieties lose color and variegation under poor lighting conditions.

Price and Availability

The two Ficus Elastica Tineke as well as Ficus Elastica Ruby have been gaining popularity and are readily accessible. Tineke is for a little longer than the other varieties and is a bit more popular.

Ruby is a more recent version and is sometimes harder to locate, even though the prices of both kinds are often comparable, Ruby is often slightly more costly.

Expect to pay between $20 and 40 dollars for an average or mid-sized plant of either kind.

  • Tineke is easier to access than Ruby.
  • Ruby is usually more expensive.

The similarities between Ficus Elastica Tineke as well as Ficus Elastica Ruby

Growing Requirements


The two Ficus Elastica Tineke and Ficus Elastica Ruby are able to handle the ambient temperature range between 65degF and 80degF (18 to 27 degC).

They are able to withstand short durations that go down to 32 degrees (0degC) however they cannot endure temperatures below freezing, or any substantial period of time lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10degC).

Ficus Elastica is sensitive to fluctuations in temperature, so it is essential to ensure that the plant is in a safe environment, far from drafts, A/C units as well as heat sources like radiators.


One of the most damaging myths about the rubber plant of any types is that they’re happy at low levels of light. It’s not true! Although the Ficus Elastica plant may be able to survive if it is kept in a dark, unlit corner but it won’t be content.

In their natural environment The plants get plenty of sunlight and thrive in a house if they receive the same care.

This is particularly true for different varieties like Ficus Elastica Tineke as well as Ficus Elastica Ruby.

Since the non-green portions of their leaves aren’t able to photosynthesis, they can’t produce food as readily as their non-variegated counterparts.

Variegated varieties require lots of indirect, bright light in order to produce enough food.

If they are kept in a dark environment, The leaves on Ficus Elastica Tineke as well as Ficus Elastica Ruby are likely to fade away and become more green.

The red color of Ruby will fade and growing of the two varieties may slow down or stop altogether. If you observe this happening to your Ficus elastica Tineke or Ruby Move the plant to a more bright location as soon as you can!

A minimum of six hours per day of indirect, bright light can keep a variegated Ficus elastica healthy. Another option is to install LED grow lights to the plants.

Be aware that sunlight can cause burns to plants, particularly when it is the light is filtered by the glass (your windows!) Be aware of long periods of time when the sunlight’s rays strike plants’ leaves.


Ficus Elastica Tineke and Ruby both prefer an energizing humid, warm environment and their medium for potting that is consistently wet but draining well but never damp.

The amount of water required varies based on the size of pot and plant and the temperature of the air around and the location.

If you are planting a tiny plant in a pot that is 6 inches or less in a temperature of 70degF, a thorough regular watering each seven to 10 days will suffice.

Larger pots for larger plants need more water to grow however less frequently as pots of larger size tend to hold water.

Be aware that water evaporates faster from smaller pots and may remain in the bottom of larger pots, so it is essential to monitor your plants frequently instead of using a schedule of watering.

Like most houseplants, excessive watering poses more danger for Ficus Elastica Tineke as well as Ruby than submerging. Overwatering can cause problems like root rot, and ultimately lead to the plant to die.

Be careful not to overwater the Ficus Elastica Tineke or Ruby by examining the first few inches in the potting medium prior to you water. It is possible to use your fingers to do this, or even a cocktail stick made of wood.

If the two inches of compost that are in the top are completely dry, you may water the compost. If you have large pots, you must look at least an inch.

Another way to determine whether your plant requires water, at the very least when it’s small or medium-sized, is to pick up the pot and then weighing it with your hands. If it is like it is light, your plant requires watering.

If you regularly do this, you’ll soon become acquainted with the weight or how light the pot is at different times during your watering routine.

Potting and Feeding

All kinds that come from Ficus Elastica like a rich and well-draining potting medium which is kept moist , but not damp. A proper drainage is essential to avoid root decay.

In comparison to other houseplants, Ficus Elastica is very content being somewhat in a pot. If you don’t want to stimulate the plant to expand more quickly, you just have to pot your Ficus Elastica every 2 to 3 years.

Do not increase the size of the pot by more than one inch or two every time, since fungal diseases like those that cause root rot may be triggered by the un-used pots.

Ficus Plants of all types require feeding using a general purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer for houseplants once a month throughout this growing time.

Reduce your intake of food when temperatures drop, and then stop feeding completely in winter.

To Summarise
  • Maintain each of Tineke and Ruby between 65degF and 80degF. (18 27 degC).
  • Both require at least six hours of indirect, bright lighting per day.
  • Make sure to use a potting medium that is well-drained and ensure it is kept moist, not wet.
  • Apply 20-20-20 fertilizer to your houseplants every month during the growing season.
  • Re-pot every 2 to 3 years.

Growth Habit

Ficus Elastica originates from India, Sumatra, Java, and Malaysia and is a fan of a warm humid, humid environment that is flooded with plenty of sunshine.

In these regions in these areas, the two species Ficus Elastica Tineke and Ficus Elastica Ruby can grow very quickly, adding as much as 24 inches in height during one season of growth. It is a tall, multi-stemmed trees that can reach up to 100 feet tall.

In other places, particularly when placed in pots inside These plants are slow to grow. The growth rate increases with higher temperatures and more sunlight.

If it is kept as a plant for the house, Ficus Elastica tends to be a single-stemmed, upright growth pattern unless it is pruned which is when it forms new branches at the site of pruning or perhaps at its base.

Pruning is the most effective way to stimulate the plant to grow Many people like the “beanstalk” effect of one-stemmed Ficus elastica.

  • It can grow up to 2 feet each year in its natural habitat.
  • It grows more slowly when it is an indoor plant.
  • Upright, single-stemmed habit.
  • Prune so that you encourage branches.

Height and Structure

Ficus Elastica plants of all kinds can grow very massive and quickly – reaching between 50 and 100 feet within thirteen years within their native habitat.

Houseplants grown in pots tend to be a bit smaller. Keeping them in containers limits the growth to more manageable levels.

Ficus Elastica Tineke as well as Ficus Elastica Ruby kept indoors can grow to 9 feet in height and between 2 and 3 feet in width after fifteen years, based on the climate. In warmer regions, growth can be much quicker!

Each variety has a strong design and architectural look that is quite dramatic, particularly when the plant gets larger.

  • It can grow to as high as 100 feet in the natural habitat.
  • The plant can reach 9 feet when used in a house plant.

Leaf Shape and Texture

Leaves of Ficus Elastica Tineke and Ficus Elastica Ruby are identical, minus the color. They are huge oval and rounded, reaching an end point with a thick, waxy texture to the feel.

The leaves grow within a protective sheath appearing in a single clump and then unfurling into sparkling new growth.

Both varieties of leaves can be up to 12 inches in length and are the main attraction, as is the vibrant sheath. In the stems and leaves that grow from the plants, a chemical known as latex is created.

This is distinct from the sap of the plant, as well. Ficus species, it is believed to be used for recovering any injuries the plant suffers. (Source: University of Oxford)

If the plant suffers injuries to its stem or leaf, whether because of eating animals, insects, or powerful winds, latex heals the wound quickly it has healed, forming a hardened layer to stop any further injury, infection and loss of moisture.

  • Large oval, waxy leaves can be up to 12 inches in length.
  • Leaves are encased in a vibrant sheath.
  • Leaves create latex, which is harmful and irritating to skin.


The majority of species belonging to the genus Ficus depend on specific varieties of the fig wasp to provide pollination. They don’t produce spectacular or flowering flowers that smell.

In their natural habitat Ficus Elastica grows small green fruits that need to have wasps pollinate them in order to grow to maturity. The flowers are within the fruit and are not visible.

The plants that are kept indoors in colder climates seldom flower or bear fruit however it can happen in warmer climates.

Ficus Elastica is not grown to produce flowers. The most attractive aspects of all kinds of Ficus Elastica are the gorgeous leaves and the sheaths.

Don’t fall for the trap to think that vibrant sheaths that cover the new growth on Ficus Elastica are not flowers, regardless of how gorgeous they look!

  • Ficus Elastica Tineke as well as Ruby are not typical flowers, particularly as houseplants.
  • The vibrant sheath that covers newly sprouted growth can be mistaken for flowers.


Let’s look at some of the names for Ficus Elastica Tineke, and Ruby. The “Ficus” part refers to the genus name – these plants belong to the same genus as commercially grown figs, the well-known houseplant Ficus Lyrata, or fiddle-leaf fig, as well as over 800 different species.

Ficus Elastica is also known as the Rubber Tree or Rubber Bush. Why? because it creates a substance known as latex. It was previously used to create rubber for commercial use.

That’s where the popular name Rubber Tree is derived and also the ‘Elastica’ portion in the Latin name.

Plant species can be named after any thing however, they are usually given human names or names that define their traits.

This is what happens for Ficus Elastica. Tineke and Ruby Tineke – the name is a very uncommon girl’s name, and is most frequently seen within Holland as well as Belgium. Ruby is of course referring to the plant’s vibrant red leaves.

  • Genus Ficus’
  • “Elastica” refers to the latex that is produced from the tree, just as is the name used to describe it. Rubber Tree.
  • “Tineke” is a European feminine name for a female in Europe.
  • “Ruby” refers to the bright red sheath of this variety and leaves.


The similarities and differences of Ficus Elastica Tineke and. Ficus Elastica Ruby are summarized in the following paragraphs:

I hope that you are now more confident in discerning the distinction between the two types of Ficus elastica. Tell us your experiences with these stunning flowers in your comments!



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)