Is My Rubber Plant Dying?

Because of its leathery leaves and air-cleaning properties Rubber plants are known to be considered houseplants. But, they are also recognized for their sensitivity to their surroundings, which usually causes the death of the plant.

Although this is not a common occurrence but you shouldn’t be concerned as there are a few options to check the rubber plant to find potential reasons and , at the same time, you can take the necessary preventative measures.

The main reason for the cause of your Rubber Plant dying is due to root decay. This can be treated by taking out the affected roots of the plant and then applying fungicides to healthy ones. But, there are some instances where the repotting or propagation process is needed.

If you wish to prevent your rubber plant from completely dying, you must determine the first indicators and signs it is communicating to you prior to making any suggestions There are instances when your plant isn’t at the edge of dying.

How to Know If a Rubber Plant is Dying

If you are observant You can quickly determine the signs that your rubber plant is suffering from a decline. Here are some obvious indicators and signs that could be a good idea to look for the health of your plant.

Brown and Mushy Roots

Healthy roots will have an almost yellow or white color and a strong control.

If you noticed that your roots were turning brown and soft or mushy look, the chances are that it’s decaying.

Unhealthy Leaves

Leaves are the most captivating component of your plant. This is the reason you can easily discern if your plant is unhealthy by taking a look at its leaves.

A dying plant usually displays a discoloration of the leaves that turn to brown or turning yellow.

There are also leaves dropping or wilting in particular areas located on the lower part of the plant. Another thing to look out for is patches of brown or black in leaf leaves.

Growth Problem

Although your plant may experience other stresses, but not on an alarming level, you should take the possibility of a slowing in growth because the majority of plants thrive in the summer.

rubber plant in front of white wall

Causes of Your Rubber Plant Dying

If you are able to examine the condition of your plant and believe that it is showing indications of death, the next thing you must do is to determine the cause.

Being able to identify it could be a great chance of restoring the rubber plant.


The overwatering can cause excessive water in the roots, allowing bacteria to destroy the root system, which in turn can block the water and nutrient systems that your plants need.

The dropping of leaves and the yellowing of the leaves are the most obvious indications that your rubber plant is not getting enough water.


  1. Make sure to check the drainage of water Make sure you don’t flush out too much water from the saucer otherwise the roots of your plant may get wet and eventually result in a more difficult situation.
  1. A proper watering schedule is essential because your rubber plant doesn’t want to drink too much water. In general, you’ll know that your plant is already in need of water when you rub your soil with dry. However, you need to take into consideration other aspects when the process of watering. It is possible to look at this table.


Although overwatering is the most common reason for the rubber plant dying, nevertheless, there are some instances where your plant isn’t getting enough water.

This is also not an ideal situation since your plant requires enough water to support its normal physiological process.

Like overwatering, the under-watered plants can also exhibit leaves dropping and discoloration.

The most effective way to determine is to determine whether the soil is dry by touching it , or looking at its hue. The soil of your plant will most likely change in color from lighter to darker. (Source: Clemson University)


  1. The most effective way to deal with this issue is to give your plant the required water it requires to flourish. In general, if you notice dryness, you can water it until it drains through the bottom in the container. This will remove the salt that is left and give sure that the water will get to the root.
  1. Remove the water from the saucer of the pot to prevent the root from decay.

Poor Drainage

Infusing your plant with water is not an gesture of kindness, particularly for your rubber plant. it is a way of clogging up your plant which isn’t good for the system of your plant.

The most obvious sign that this could be the excess water you observe on the saucer or inside the pot. Whichever pot you choose to use be aware that it must be able to have enough holes for drainage of the liquid correctly.


  1. The first thing you should do is checking the pot. If your rubber plant is large, then the holes in the pot must be larger and deeper.
  1. If the pot you are using is fitted with a saucer it, ensure that you drain it after watering your plants. It is also possible to drain the water before putting it back onto the saucer.
  1. If you need to, make additional holes in your pot to allow for sufficient drainage of water.

Not Enough Sunlight

The rubber plant you have, regardless of how durable it appears will require plenty of sunlight to support its development.

Insufficient sunlight can result in a deficiency of chlorophyll, which is essential for photosynthesis.

If your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight that it requires, it will cease to grow, which causes the leaves dropping, and then dying.


  1. If you have noticed that your plant was not getting enough sunlight, you should move it to a location that is more sun-friendly. It is best to place it in the west or south-facing window.
  1. It is possible that you are exhausted of this, but make sure you check the drainage of your plants. Insufficient sunlight can slow down the process of drying the soil , allowing water to accumulate within the roots.

Pathogenic Infection

Plant pathogens are parasites that cause problems within your plant. This could include fungi, viruses, bacteria, or protozoa.

The rubber plant you have will be susceptible to fungi if it is exposed to excessive water and moisture within its roots.

In addition to overwatering, repotting could be the reason there’s an disease within your plant.

If the soil that is being used comes from an old pot, then it’s likely that it was infested prior to.

If you have a rubber plants, the most common pathogen that is present in the soil may be related to root rot, also known as Phytophthora.

The most obvious signs for the problem are that leaves turn yellow, and then dropping off its stem. If you look at the roots, you’ll notice that they are soft and limp. (Source: The Pennsylvania State University)


  1. If you suspect that your rubber plant is infected by pathogens that cause root rot, the first step is checking its roots. Remove the plant carefully from the soil and then thoroughly check the appearance of the roots.
  1. If you’ve already got an infection, the best method to get rid of it is replacing the rubber plant. It is recommended to choose a different container and soil as it could be already infected. If you’re using the previous one, be sure you dispose of the soil into your garbage bin. You can also clean your pot with a mixture of bleach and hot water.
  1. Get rid of dead and infected root systems to prevent further infection. You may want to trim the leaves to ensure the proper growth.
  1. It is also possible to apply a fungicide solution on the roots prior to placing them again.

Bacterial Soft Rot

  • The disease Bacterial Softrot is destructive and that is commonly present in plants that have fleshy vegetables, fruits, and some ornamentals around the world. Its wacky attacks on the protein which connects plant cells creates an impact that causes your plant to break apart.
  • Although it is most often a target for vegetables and crops, your rubber plant isn’t immune to the attack of soft rot. The bacteria can infiltrate the widest range of temperatures and ranges from 70degF to 80degF (22degC between 26 and 26 degC) as the most severe decay.
  • The most obvious indication that indicates soft rot its distinct unpleasant odor you can detect in the leaves of your plants. Additionally there are the appearance of water-soaked spots, which will grow periodically in the absence of treatment. In addition, you will notice the color change of its leaves changing from green to yellow , and then to black. (Source: Wisconsin Horticulture)


  1. There is currently no solution that can be found if the rubber plant’s tissues have been affected by the bacteria that cause soft rot. The only option you have is to reproduce the plant by using its healthy stalks.
  1. Get rid of the plant infected immediately and clean the surrounding area.
  1. Do not use the dead infected plant for compost.

Pest Infestation

A different and more likely reason the rubber plant you have is dying is because it is hosting bugs within its structure.

The majority of the pests are present on your plant from the moment you purchased it from the retailer. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to check your plant thoroughly before purchasing it.

Usually, scales and Thrips are among the unwanted residents in your plant. Thrips are tiny black winged insects that sometimes leap or fly when they are they are alerted.

However, Scales are armored insects that love to attach themselves to the leaves and joints in your plants.

They eat the plant’s nutrients which causes damage to the system, affecting the appearance and development that your plant’s rubber.

Furthermore, there’s an even more dire scenario when a pest is able to spread viruses into the plant’s internal systems and cause an entirely different degree of destruction.

The discoloration of leaves, the visible dark brown patches, as well as dying leaves are just a few signs that your plant is being affected by a pest.

The most reliable method of ensuring it is to look for a apparent appearance of the perpetrator.


  1. One of the most effective treatments you can try is gently rub alcohol with cotton or cloth the leaves of your plant to get rid of the thrips as well as other soft-skin insect
  1. The best oils for gardening are those that fight insect pests that are a rubber plant because they can kill them to death. When applying this oil, be sure to read and comprehend the directions.
  1. Use chemical insecticides as a last option if you’re gardening at your home. It is not a good idea to play in the wellbeing of your beloved pets or your loved ones at home.

Incorrect Soil pH

The pH of the soil affects the availability of nutrients for your rubber plant through altering the nutrients in the soil.

A lower pH level can reduce the concentration of macronutrients, while on the contrary the higher pH can reduce the amount of micronutrients within the soil.

The majority of the time, your rubber plant is thriving in the pH range of 4 to pH 6.5. It is not recommended to lower than pH 4 as it could dilute vital nutrients such as Magnesium because of acidity.

The leaves on your plant could fall off or change color in a sign of nutritional deficiency caused by a lack of nutrients.


  1. If you suspect that your rubber plant is suffering from an issue in its pH, then you must confirm this by buying an soil testing kit.
  1. You should consider testing 4 to 5 inches lower than that since plants’ roots typically go that deep. Don’t test soil on the surface because it usually results in an unnatural pH.
  1. If the test results are above the pH of 6.5 you may want to add the sulfur, or even aluminum sulfate in order to adjust the pH.
  1. If the pH is below 4, you might want to add lime or any other soluble fertilizer rich in magnesium.
  1. Test the soil again after having made the required pH adjustment.
  1. If your plant’s rubber shows signs of dying then repot it in the appropriate soil.

Low Temperature

The plant you are using for rubber prefers an environment with a moderate to high temperature that is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18degC).

A colder climate can expose your plant to bacterial and pest infestations because it will slow the process of draining its soil.

Common signs of visualisation are leaves turning yellow because of the lack of water due to an infestation on the root system.


  1. Conduct a temperature check in your indoor garden.
  1. If the plant isn’t meeting the temperature requirements for your plant, you might want to consider moving it to a more suitable place in your home.
  1. Do not place your plant in an open space during the winter to avoid problems.
  1. If you can, try to avoid moving the rubber plant around from time to time since it is a sensitive plant and would prefer to maintain a constant temperature level.

Low Humidity

The plant that you are using for your rubber originates from tropical regions so it is a fan of humid air.

Therefore the placement of your plant in a place with low humidity can cause it to be dry.

If the leaves of your rubber plant begin to dry and begin to curl, it is likely that it isn’t getting the humidity it requires it, which is a sign that your garden is at an insufficient level of humidity.


  1. The most efficient method is to relocate your plant to a more humid area, preferably near your window, where there is sufficient humidity. Be aware the fact that your plant will not like too much moisture particularly within its soil.
  1. If moving the plant isn’t an option, a different way to solve the issue is to mist your rubber plant with an humidifier or spray.
  1. It is also possible to use Pebbles. Set your plant in a shallow dish that is filled with small stones and water. The purpose for pebbles are to stop the soil from getting soaked by water, thereby generating only enough water for the leaves of the plant.

Watering in Dormant Period

Most of the plants are into dormancy almost every winter, including the rubber plants.

This means that there’s not enough light to allow photosynthesis, resulting in a slower rate of its reproduction , and increasing capabilities.

This is crucial because your plant must withstand the harsh winter weather and grow following the storm.

Because of the high humidity and low evaporation levels the plant doesn’t require watering. This could cause a fatality for its recuperation.

Common signs are slow growth, some shed leaves, and branches falling.

The signs could be similar to other causes, but the main distinction is that it has healthy roots beneath.


  1. If you can, put the rubber plant inside a warm space during winter.
  1. Do not water your plant since it already has plenty of moisture due to the time of year.
  1. Also, you should be careful not to fertilize your rubber plant, and keep it waiting until winter comes to an come to an end.
  1. It is the ideal moment to repot your plant, if you can and repot it in fresh, clean soil to ensure that it thrives in the springtime, especially during the first week of spring.

Root Bound

Also called the pot-bound, this is a typical scenario where the plant’s roots can grow beyond the pot, moving out through the drainage hole below.

This could cause major problems because the roots block the drainage system, which in turn prolongs the drying process of the soil in your plant.

The signs of root-bound plants are evident since you can notice some roots growing over the container from beneath.


  1. There’s no better method to solve pot-bound issues than repotting your plant right away.
  1. Be sure you are knowledgeable about how to properly repot your rubber plant. If you don’t, learn more about the proper and safe guidelines for the process of repotting.

How to Fix Your Dying Rubber Plant

In this moment you should be able to determine what caused the plant to die, and likely have used some of the suggestions above.

Even though you’ve already dealt with the root cause, occasionally your rubber plant is unable to simply take the harm it suffers and continue to send out a dying signal.

If that’s the case you should either change the pots of your rubber plant in an all-new soil mix or propagate the plant to create new offspring.


Repotting your pot is necessary if the soil in the pot is infested or root-bounding is happening or the rubber plant has grown too large for the pot.

  1. The first step in repotting is to gently remove plants from soil by gently rooting it. Clean the roots and determine whether there are any indications of decay.
  1. With a shears or scissor to cut off all decaying and dead roots in order to prevent any future infection.
  1. If your plant’s rubber has large volumes, you should think about trimming it off first. It should be cut so that there are enough leaves the plant’s root is able to support.
  1. The next step is to apply an antifungal treatment on the roots making sure that your plant will not be susceptible to infection at any time in the future.
  1. Make your soil mix. It is recommended to use at least 3/4 organic potting soil, and mix it with 1/4 pumice or perlite. This mix aids in the drainage processes of the soil, thereby preventing it from suffering from root rot. It is also possible to check the pH of your soil to ensure that it is at the level recommended by experts.
  1. In relation to the pot, ensure that it’s only one size larger than the one before it so that you have enough soil to allow the roots to spread. In other words, larger pots will mean more soil, which can lead to slower drainage of water, allowing the soil to get wet for a prolonged time.
  1. Examine the drainage system in your plant. Check to see if there are enough holes in the system to drain the excess water.
  1. Sprinkle the plant with water and then stop watering it for one week, to allow time for damaged roots to heal properly.
  1. It is also recommended to not use fertilizers for approximately 4 to 6 weeks following replotting because the majority of potting soils contain fertilizer and, of course you shouldn’t over-fertilize your rubber plant.


In some circumstances it is not recommended to repot your rubber plant particularly if your rubber plant is suffering from extreme pest or root rot.

Thus propagation is the only method to keep your plant from dying completely. If you’re new to this procedure Follow this easy procedure:

  1. Cut off 2-3 healthy stems or stalks with leaves. Be sure to cut just at the node, or below where the leaves begin to grow.
  1. The plant that produces rubber sap, so be sure you wash it thoroughly and make sure that the sap doesn’t get on your skin.
  1. The stem or stalk should be placed in a container that is small enough to hold water, making sure your node remains completely covered.
  1. Keep an eye on the cuttings each day to see if there’s visible growth of the root. Also, look for water and change it when required.
  1. If you notice roots growing in your plant, it’s the perfect moment to plant the roots in your pot. Be sure to follow the recommended soil mix we’ve discussed when the repotting process.

You May Also Enjoy: Why Does My Rubber Plant Have White Spots? (And How to Fix It)

How can you stop Rubber Plant from dying

If you’ve read about the reasons for the dying of your rubber plant and you will see immediately that stopping it is easier than dealing with it when it is in the worst circumstances. Here are some easy tips on how you can prevent the plant’s death.

  1. Be sure to inspect your plant before buying it so that you don’t bring unwanted pests to your garden.
  1. Make sure you apply enough water to your plant. Be aware the fact that your rubber plant isn’t a fan of excessive moisture within its soil.
  1. Make sure you have enough sunlight at the area of your plant. The rubber plant is a lover of sunshine and therefore, a location with a high temperatures are essential.
  1. Check the humidity levels in your garden to ensure that your rubber plant is getting the water it requires for its leaf.
  1. Make sure that your drainage system is functioning. Be sure that nothing is blocking the holes in the dish. Also, take out any excess liquid from your dish following the watering of your rubber plant.
  1. Keep your area clean and dispose of garbage properly within your space to prevent inviting destructive forces.
  1. Be sure to follow the proper procedures when the plant has reached its dormant phase particularly during winter months.
  1. A thorough understanding of how to care for your plant is essential. It is possible to learn more about your plant’s characteristics and the essentials to understand your plant’s requirements for the future.

Final Words

If you’re looking for plants for indoors that doesn’t need any effort from you and will flourish within a few years the Rubber plant could be the ideal choice for you. With its smooth texture and shiny leaves, this plant that cleans the air will bring life to your home within a short amount of time.

Although it is simple to care for however, the plants made of rubber are susceptible to root decay due to excessive watering as well as low humidity and inadequate drainage. Also, you must look out for other issues that can harm the plant, such as pest and bacterial infestations.

If you have discovered the rubber plant has died, carefully examine the symptoms prior to deciding on a solution. If repotting or propagation is required, be sure you follow the proper procedure and refrain from speeding up the process. Remember that your plant needs time to grow.



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