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The leaves on my rubber tree plant started to loose its color, turn golden and then it fell off. Why? What can I do to prevent it from dieing.

Hi Phyllis,

A limited amount of lower leaf discoloration and drop is normal. However, if your Rubber Tree is losing more older leaves that it it is adding new ones on top, then there is a problem. The most common causes of excessive leaf drop are inadequate light, improper watering and unnecessary repotting.

Rubber Trees must be located within a few feet of a window that is completely uncovered throughout the daylight hours. If you have yours in a corner or across the room from the window, then that explains the leaf drop.

When properly potted, Rubber Trees should be watered as soon as the top half-inch of soil feels dry.

If you repotted your tree, that was a mistake and may be the cause of its problems. Rubber Trees like to be kept quite potbound. If you repotted, you may have damaged some of the roots and root hairs and you probably used a pot that is too big. A repotted plant is very easy to inadvertently over water. If you repotted in the past several months, then undo the repotting and move it back to the original or same-sized pot.

I have written detailed articles on repotting and on Rubber Tree care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

If this information has been helpful, please click the Rate Volunteer bar below and enter a rating and NOMINATION for me. I am a volunteer on this site so Ratings are the only compensation I receive for answering plant questions.

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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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