The Rubber plant, also known as Ficus elastica, is quite popular for its long and shiny leaves.
But it can lose all its leaves due to several issues.
Has your Rubber plant lost all leaves?
Although it doesn't happen too often, it's a common problem in this type of plant.
And thankfully, you can get back those leaves if you follow certain methods and practices.
So, let's see how you can revive such a Rubber plant indoors.
Why Is My Rubber Plant Losing All Its Leaves?
As I said earlier, there could be several reasons for this issue.
However, if you have to pinpoint one thing, it's mostly related to the overwatering problem.
Overwatering is one of those things that can affect the plant in many ways.
Sometimes, it makes the leaves turn yellow and droopy.
And in other cases, you will simply experience the leaf drop issue on your plant.
So, why such a difference?
It depends on the level of overwatering in the pot.
If the soil has been wet for a really long time, the plant will lose all its leaves in a matter of a few days or weeks.
Just like overwatering, it might shed all its leaves due to other secondary factors, including direct sunlight/extreme heat, over-fertilizing, underwatering, hard pruning, and completion of the life cycle.
All these factors can also lead to this problem!
But don't worry!
There is always hope to get those lost leaves back on the plant.
You can check out the following section to know more about it.
Has Your Rubber Plant Lost All Leaves? Here's How You Can Revive It -
Want to revive your Rubber plant?
Have a look at the tips below.
1. Change Your Watering Schedule
Since overwatering is the main cause of this problem, you should consider changing the watering frequency for your plant.
Generally, the recommended watering frequency is 5-6 days for a growing Rubber plant, and you can reduce it even further if the plant is relatively small.
But if there are no or few leaves on the plant, it doesn't make sense to follow the same strategy.
You will have to make some changes according to the condition of the plant.
So, don't water a lot when it starts dropping the leaves.
If the Rubber plant has already lost all leaves, you can cut back the watering frequency even further.
In such cases, you should only water your plant twice a month or so.
2. Check The Moisture In The Soil
This is the next step you need to do before watering the plant.
Since there are no leaves on the plant, there will be an imbalance in the whole internal system.
It won't require a lot of water as the requirement will go down significantly.
So, check for the moisture levels in the soil.
If the soil is damp and wet, do not water the plant.
3. Perform Light Pruning To Get Back All Lost Leaves On Your Rubber Plant
Pruning is probably the last option to force the plant to produce more leaves and branches.
So, you must choose it carefully.
Do use some of the techniques suggested in this guide before you think of pruning the plant.
As for the pruning method, you should cut the branches a couple of inches away from the nodes.
This will help in encouraging the plant to grow new branches from such nodes.
Having said that, do perform light pruning only.
There is no need to go for the hard pruning method at this stage.
4. Check For The Drainage Holes In Your Plant Container
If you want to avoid overwatering, you need to have drainage holes in the pot.
The drainage holes help in removing excess water from the soil, which further benefits in drying out the soil quickly.
Another important aspect of it is it doesn't allow the water to sit in the soil.
Often, we don't water a lot to our plants, but the water present in the soil causes the overall damage.
So, it's important to have a couple of drainage holes at the bottom of your Rubber plant container.
5. Repot Or Transplant Your Rubber Plant
This is the one thing that you should do before pruning the plant.
Repotting or transplanting the plant helps in solving the damp soil issue in your existing pot.
If there is too much water in the pot, you shouldn't waste time adding dry content to the soil.
It won't help much!
Instead, remove the plant from the existing pot and move it to a new one.
Or you can just remove the soil from the pot and replace it with a fresh potting mix.
Both these methods are helpful for getting rid of the overwatering problem.
And eventually, it will help in reviving the plant from the lost leaves issue.
6. Move The Plant Container Near A Window
Unlike the standard advice, the Rubber plant actually does well in sunlight.
It needs sunlight to produce food for the entire system.
So, move the plant to a place where it can receive full daylight.
If you have been keeping your plant in a shady place, it could also be the reason for dropping leaves.
When the plant can't produce enough food, it does affect the growth.
And in turn, it may shed some leaves in the process.
7. Do Not Move Your Rubber Plant Too Often
The other thing you need to remember here is not to move the plant too often.
It should settle in one place!
If you keep moving it from one place to another, it will find it difficult to get used to the new place.
And sometimes, it may not like the new environment at all.
Hence, you should refrain from such activities.
8. Add Fertilizer When You See New Shoots On The Plant
The plant will need nutrients in the fresh soil.
Without them, you won't see robust growth in the later stages.
So, wait for the plant to recover from the leaf drop or leaf loss issue.
And once you see some fresh ones on the branches, you can add fertilizer to it.
Regarding the fertilizer, you can either use homemade compost or vermicompost at this stage of the plant.
Later, you may opt for plant-specific fertilizers if there is a need.
9. Avoid Repotting And Pruning During Unfavorable Weather Conditions
The last thing you want to do is repotting or transplanting the plant during not-so-favorable conditions!
These methods do work in starting afresh for the plant.
But you need to do it at the right time!
Otherwise, the already stressed roots will not thrive in the new soil mix.
So, be patient and take it slowly.
However, if the soil is absolutely wet, you shouldn't wait for too long either.
How To Avoid Leaf Dropping Issue In Rubber Plant
The only effective way to avoid leaf dropping issue is to stop overwatering your plant.
There is nothing else that can help solve this problem for you.
Once you get the watering frequency right, the plant will start growing at its standard rate.
And the leaf drop issue will also subside in the process.
Note: If there is an existing issue like fungal attack or root rot, you need to address it as well.
Sometimes, there may be a combination of issues that may lead to the loss of leaves on your Rubber plant.
Alright, let's look at the FAQs now.
If the plant loses all the leaves, it won't survive for too long.
But there are plants that shed a few leaves in particular seasons.
So, you don't need to think a lot about it.
The leaves will come back once the plant gets favorable conditions.
Yes, if the plant has lost all its leaves, they can grow back.
You just have to take care of the plant.
It depends on the root cause of the problem.
But in general, you should work on the basics of gardening.
If you can provide decent light, soil mix, water, and some fertilizers to the plant, it should help in reviving it entirely.
As mentioned in the guide, the overwatering issue is the main reason for the leaf drop issue in your Ficus Rubber plant.
No, the plant can't grow without leaves for too long.
It needs leaves so that it can receive sunlight and CO2 from the environment.
If the leaves are not present, the entire mechanism will collapse, and the plant will just not make it.
Over To You
When the plants start to lose all their leaves suddenly, it can be a nightmare for the gardeners.
But the good thing is you can still revive the plant, provided you work on some of the suggestions shared in the above guide.
So, go ahead and implement those suggestions.
I'm sure you will have a happy Rubber plant in your home again!
In the meantime, you can share this guide with your family and friends if you really liked it.
Have any questions?
You can ask them in the comments below.