If you have noticed that your rubber plant’s leaves have started to droop, then it means there is something wrong.
Usually, if not paired with any other warning signs, it means you have caught the problem early, and bringing your rubber plant (Peperomia obtusifolia) back to full health shouldn’t be too difficult!
Luckily we know exactly why rubber tree plants get droopy leaves so read on below for all the info you need!
Rubber Plant leaves frequently droop as a result of insufficient watering.
One of the most common reasons rubber plants have droopy leaves is because they are dehydrated.
This means that you need to water them more frequently, especially if the weather has been hot and dry. Be sure to give your rubber plant plenty of water, but don’t overwater it – this can also lead to drooping leaves.
Rubber plants can survive even if you forget to water them on occasion, but if the problem persists for several months, you will begin to notice problems. You should make sure that the potting mix has time to dry out before watering again after 7-10 days (and 2-3 weeks during the winter).
How can I tell whether my plants are succumbing to underwatering?
There are a few telltale signs that your Rubber Plant’s leaves are drooping as a result of underwatering.
The leaves are brittle and dry
If the leaves on your Rubber Plant are dry, crispy, or break easily if you touch them and the plant is also underwatering, it’s most likely due to overwatering. The leaves may start showing brown spots if the problem is not addressed immediately.
The potting mix is dry
Take the plant out of its pot and examine the potting mix to see if underwatering is causing the drooping leaves. If the soil feels almost like dust and does not stick to your fingertips, it’s time for more water.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you may try using your finger/chopstick or lifting methods to check moisture levels.
The soil is pulling away from the sides of the pot
This is an excellent approach to be able to tell if your plant is being underwatered just by looking at it. If you notice that the soil is compacting and falling away from the sides of your container, this might be due to a lack of water.
Your plant is rejuvenated after being watered
If you don’t think the problem is due to insufficient fertilizer, try this. It’s mostly a waste of time if your plant isn’t in danger of dying. If your plant begins to perk up and the leaves are no longer droopy after watering, it’s probably because you gave it too much water.
If you notice that your Rubber Tree Plant starts to perk up a little after one watering and the leaves begin to appear less droopy around five hours later, this is likely the cause. However, sometimes when the problem has advanced significantly far past this stage, you won’t realize until many days later.
Use a moisture meter to check the humidity levels
If you want to avoid making any more watering mistakes, we strongly suggest investing in a moisture meter. They simply go into the ground and tell you how much water is in the soil, allowing you to be certain that you’re giving your plants enough of it. They are ideal for every budding plant parent.
What should I do if my Rubber Plant has an underwatered problem?
To prevent your Rubber Plant’s leaves from drooping, you may want to try submerging it in water. If the circumstances of your Rubber Plant’s environment change considerably, however, it can induce stress in the plant.
Instead, you should try to gradually reintroduce watering by offering it a little twice a day for one week. This will wet the soil gradually, and your plant should begin to recover fully. Make sure to establish a better watering schedule in the future so you don’t overwater your plant and cause drooping leaves again.
If you want to prevent problems, you may invest in a self-watering device. We use these all the time because they make watering so simple, and we don’t have to worry if we’re away from home for a little while!
Overwatering can cause Rubber Plant leaves to droop
Too much water can cause your Rubber Plant’s leaves to droop and be a considerably more serious problem, just as it does with underwatering.
Waterlogged soil damages the root system on your Rubber Plant, preventing it from obtaining the nutrients it requires. The leaves on your Rubber Plant will droop, become dark brown, soft, and begin to fall off as a result of this.
When you’re ready to water your Rubber Plant, examine it carefully for any sign of damp soil. If the potting mix is still wet, wait an additional 24 hours before watering again.
Succulents are plants that retain water in order to survive dry spells. As a result of excessive moisture, they will become soft, floppy, and droopy.
How can I determine if overwatering is to blame for the drooping of my Rubber Plant?
Fortunately, many of the warning signs for overwatering are quite distinct from those for underwatering, so all you have to do is be aware of what to watch out for.
Leaves are soft and mushy to the touch
If your Rubber Plant’s leaves are soft and mushy, as well as drooping, it’s most likely due to over-watering. If the condition has advanced far enough, the leaves may also begin to darken considerably.
The potting mixture is soggy
If you see that the potting mix is wet and clumpy, overwatering is probably to blame for your Rubber Plant’s drooping leaves.
The potting mix will have an unpleasant odor
If you detect an issue with overwatering, get up close to your plant and sniff the dirt. Waterlogged soil has an unpleasant musty and damp odor that is difficult to miss.
Try using a moisture meter
You may also utilize a moisture meter to confirm that overwatering is the problem. These low-cost gadgets can tell you how damp or dry the soil is with relative accuracy.
How do I reverse the effects of overwatering a Rubber Plant?
If you believe that your Rubber Plant’s drooping leaves are caused by overwatering, you must act immediately to avoid additional harm. Remove the Rubber Plant from its container to see whether the potting mix is waterlogged. Examine the root system for any rotten or damaged roots and trim them away if necessary.
If the potting mix is wet, replace it with fresh high-quality mix to begin your plant’s recovery. Don’t wait for the potting mix to dry naturally since this will only harm the roots/plant. Remove any soft/mushy leaves so that your plant can concentrate on new growth instead of healing itself.
When the potting mix has fully dried out, water your Rubber Plant only then. This will avoid the problem recurring and ensure that your plant is happy, healthy, and not drooping!
A self-watering container may also assist you in keeping track of how much water your plant gets. They aid in the prevention of both under and overwatering, and they’re certainly worth it if you want to save your drooping Rubber Plant leaves from becoming worse. Also great for forgetful plant guardians that frequently travel.
Drainage problems can also cause drooping leaves
It might not be your watering schedule that’s causing your Rubber Plant to droop its leaves; instead, it’s possible that the soil and container have poor drainage. There are a few simple methods you can use to improve drainage and deal with drooping leaves on your Rubber Plant.
Perlite may be used to improve the quality of the soil.
By adding a little bit of perlite to your Rubber Plant’s potting soil, you can significantly improve the amount of drainage. This will make it much simpler for water to flow through and out of the drainage holes in your pots. Perlite is a lightweight white substance that not only aids drainage but also improves the aeration of the soil, giving your plant the oxygen it needs. You may purchase excellent pre-mixed potting mixes containing perlite, such as this one, which is really handy!
Make sure your plant has drain holes in the bottom.
It’s critical that your Rubber Plant’s pot has drainage holes so any extra water can flow out of the container into the planter or saucer. If there are no drainage holes, it’ll be easier to overwater inadvertently and your Rubber Plant will be sitting in wet soil.
Another easy method to ensure that the drainage holes are never clogged is to put a few tiny stones or pebbles in the bottoms of your pots. This keeps soil and any loose debris from accumulating in the drain holes.
Pots made of clay or terracotta are ideal.
Ceramic pots are also more costly and breakable, yet their benefits far exceed their drawbacks. The clay they’re made of is permeable, which means that some of the water in your soil can evaporate through the sides of the container. Plastic pots, on the other hand, retain all of the moisture because of their porous nature. As a result, it’s sometimes worthwhile investing a little extra to ensure that your Rubber Plant’s roots aren’t sitting in too much moisture since this will help prevent drooping leaves.
Leaves that droop might indicate a lack of sunshine
Another reason rubber plants might droop is that they are not getting enough light. If you notice your rubber plant leaves starting to droop, try moving it closer to a window or increasing the amount of time it spends in direct sunlight.
Rubber plants require a lot of bright, indirect light in order to flourish. Anything less and you risk seeing problems develop with your plant. One of the first indicators is drooping leaves, but if the problem gets worse, you’ll see discoloration on the leaves, stunted growth, and plant shedding.
If you think your Rubber Plant’s drooping leaves are due to a lack of sunshine, it’s a good idea to move it to a sunnier location in your house. Keep it away from direct sunlight (especially in the summer) since this can scorch the leaves.
Because the atmosphere of your home is a single entity, it can be difficult to determine what’s causing the spectral shifts. To get a quicker result, we recommend that you purchase two of these lights and place them on either side of your plants in bloom.
Alternatively, if you’re growing plants with lower light needs, like cacti or aloe vera, then an LED grow light like this one is a fantastic way of supplementing healthy light levels!
Overfertilization can cause drooping leaves
If none of the other causes are to blame for your Rubber Plant’s drooping leaves, then over-saturation of salts might be the problem. It’s less common than the others listed here, but it’s still something you should think about.
Overfertilization or over-feeding can cause salt to build up in your Rubber Plant’s soil, causing its leaves to droop. Because the condition is not always obvious, determining whether overfertilization caused the drooping leaves on your Rubber Plant might be slightly more difficult, but white bits might accumulate on top of the potting mix as a result of over-fertilization. This may be an indication of salt buildup.
Only feed your Rubber Plant during the spring and summer development period. To minimize the risk of burning, we always advise feeding at a lower strength than outlined in the instructions.
Because each plant is so unique, we can’t assume one method will work for all. It depends on the maturity of your plant, as well as the season and your plant’s particular environment, to determine how much fertilizer to apply. To minimize salt accumulation in the soil, hold off feeding your Rubber Plant and wash it through or replace the potting mix.
The most common reasons rubber plants droop are due to a lack of water, light, or fertilizer. If you’re unsure what’s causing the problem, try checking all three of these factors.
Remember to keep your rubber plant in a pot with drainage holes and use a well-draining, fresh soil mix. And be sure to only fertilize your rubber plant during the spring and summer!