I live in Kentucky and want to plant a rubber tree plant I got at my mom’s funeral outside and leave it there. Can I do that?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Kelly: I am sorry for your loss. The rubber tree you received is considered a tropical for us here in Kentucky. It is hardy to zone 10, which is much more tropical than we are. So it is best to keep your rubber tree (Ficus elastica) as a houseplant. It can be put outdoors during the warmer months and then brought back in for the winter. If you want to do this, wait until the middle of May when we are free of possible frost. This plant prefers filtered sunlight so keep it in a bright window or outdoors under a canopy tree. During the growing season, keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet. They do not want to completely dry out at this time of the year. During the winter months when the light levels are lower, you can cut back on your watering. Once every 10-12 days should be sufficient.