Ficus elastika is native to the tropical rain forests of Malaysia, South America and India. In its native environment they can grow up to 100ft tall, but for the common house plant its range is usually around one to eight feet in height. A cultivar of Ficus elastica, Tineke is a variegated Rubber Plant. The Rubber Plant received its name from the white sap that oozes from its leaves and stems which has been used to produce rubber since the early 1900s. Tineke is the most common variegated cultivar of Ficus elastica; it has thick green and cream leaves and overtones of light burgundy, similar in style to army khaki.
Care For Your Tineke
The Tineke thrives in bright indirect light. Plants with variegated leaves like the Tineke tend to have less chlorophyll, a green pigment found in plants responsible for the absorption of light. We suggest avoiding places with lots of shade, or bright direct light as variegated leaves have a tendency to burn when exposed to the hot sun.
We suggest watering the Tineke once a week allowing soil to drain and dry. The Tineke can tolerate a few missed waterings however is less tolerant to over watering as it leads to potential root rot.
Similar to humans, plants including the Tineke prefer temperatures of 65⁰ to 85⁰.
Our plant experts have found fertilizer works miracles. Apply a balanced houseplant fertilizer at half strength once every 1 - 3 months and watch your plant grow.
- Not THE Rubber Tree: Although Ficus elastica is part of the rubber plant family, yielding an elastic white latex formerly used to make rubber, it should not be confused with the Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), the main natural source of latex for rubber making.
- Variegation, A Natural Camouflage: Variegated leaves are a rare occurrence in nature however it has been theorized that patterned leaves act as a form or camouflage and make plants less likely to be eaten by herbivores.
- Less Light, Larger Leaves: We have noticed that if the plant gets less light while the leaves are growing it may result in larger leaves!