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9 Causes for White Spots on Rubber Plants

9 Causes for White Spots on Rubber Plants

Rubber trees, officially known as Ficus Elastica are popular as medium-sized house plants or as wonderful indoor trees.

They can expand to remarkable heights within a few years, particularly if you place the plants outside during the summer.

Putting this plant in small pots will limit their growth and create problems.

The development of random white spots on the foliage of your Rubber plant is one of them.


What Causes White Spots on Rubber Plants?

White spots on rubber plants are an unattractive sight for any plant enthusiast. Oedema and pest infestation are two major causes of white spots on the rubber plant. The white spots may emerge as a white powdery layer all over the leaves and shoots. Your rubber plant can also develop white spots due to fertilizer issues, sunburns, and frost damage.


How to Identify White Spots?

The foliage of rubber plants is dark green in color, so white spots on the leaves are easily detectable. You will find small spots on the underside of the leaves first.

It is essential to check your plant thoroughly for any indications of white spots. Examine for light gray to white powdery growth on the sides of the shoots or leaves, as these can be a signal that white spots are developing.

Meanwhile, if you notice brown or white-like corky lumps, the plant may be suffering from oedema.

Thick, cotton-type wax on plants, on the other hand, can suggest your rubber plants has been infected with mealybugs.


Causes of White Spots on Rubber Plants



Oedema is a disorder due to a physiological imbalance in the water of your plant.

Rubber plants cultivated in containers need regular watering, as well as perfect humidity levels and cool temperatures.

Oedema occurs when the roots take up water quicker than a plant can transpire out of its leaves.

Too much water produces pressure that triggers the cells in the leaves to increase and burst.

When this happens, water-soaked spots emerge as swollen areas on the epidermis of the leaves.

These blister-like areas then explode and cause tan, brown, or even white spots on the leaves.

What’s troubling is that if this illness persists, the leaves turn yellow and ultimately fall off the stem.


2.Excess Salt in Water

Excess salt in the water can generate root rot and can pollute the roots and soil. It will damage your plants in the long run.

Extra salts support the growth of fungus by offering them the atmosphere they love.

When the fungus develops, it leads to the formation of white spots on your beautiful rubber plants.



You will discover Lithocysts on your rubber plants appears at a certain point. It is similar to white spots on your leaves but it is not dangerous to the plant.

The white spots or the crystals you look at are calcium carbonate which is an extension of the cell wall of foliage. It is a natural process for rubber plants and you should not worry about it.



Rubber plants can flourish in areas of your house that receive bright indirect sunlight. The plant develops white spots on the leaves if it is placed in direct sunlight.

White spots can suddenly appear if you move your plant to an area where it will receive direct sunlight.


6.Lack of Nutrition

In rubber plants, the appearance of white spots is among the most significant signs of nutrient deficiency.

When plants do not have nutrients, they are not able to properly construct important molecules, such as chlorophyll, proteins, and lipids, including many others.

This can cause underdeveloped growth, vulnerability to different infections, and conditions called chlorosis or necrosis.


7.Pest Infestation

The rubber plant, like other houseplants, is prone to pests. Even if you properly care for your, Rubber plant, trouble can still emerge out of nowhere.

The pests extract the sap out of the plant, which weakens the plant, leading to white spots, stunted growth, and many other troubles.

A pest infection can even kill the plant if left untreated or overlooked.

The most common pests are mealy bugs and spider mites.


8.Fertilizer Problem

For rubber plants, a fertilizer problem is indicated by the growth of white spots on their leaves.

Overfertilizing your rubber plants, on the other hand, can damage the leaves. Overfertilization can lead to the accumulation of salts in the soil, which can scorch new plant roots.

When this occurs, the plants will not be able to soak up nutrients and water. The end result of this is burned or scorched leaves and impeded growth.


9.Frost Damage

Frost can cause shocking damage to your rubber plant. As the water in the plant freezes up, it enlarges and explodes the cells wide open.

Plants undergo additional destruction due to dehydration when the temperature warms up.

For rubber plants, frost or cold destruction is visible via white spots on their leaf surfaces.

Frost-damaged plants are vulnerable to insects and diseases, so if you want to restore your plant, you must do something fast.


Preventive Measures

Treating Oedema

  • Do not let oedema grow on your rubber plants by creating an atmosphere that does not support the situation.
  • Prevent overwatering your plant and always make sure the humidity levels remain below 70%.
  • Encourage great airflow and make sure that your plant gets sufficient sunlight.

Create an environment for your plant to recover from Oedema and you will notice the results much quicker.


Avoiding Sunburn

  • Place your rubber plant in a location that receives indirect light. You can put your plant near your windows, but be sure that you are filtering the sunlight.
  • You can filter light with the help of curtains or blinds.


Providing Proper Nutrients

  • Nutrient deficiencies occur when you ignore the soil of your rubber plants. You need to keep an eye on the pH levels of your soil often.
  • Combining organic matter and mulch can also improve the nutrients in your soil.


Pest Infestation

  • Examine your rubber plant for pests thoroughly before taking it inside your house.
  • Even if you think the rubber plant is pest-free, it will be a good idea to isolate it as pests may have laid eggs in the hidden parts of the plant.
  • Look at your plant frequently and observe for any symptoms of pests. Always keep an eye on the underside of leaves, the stems and also observe the soil conditions.


Fixing Fertilizer Problem

  • Avoid overfertilization by using fertilizer only during the developing period.
  • Rubber plants rest during winter, so avoid fertilizing them during this time.
  • Make use of water-soluble fertilizer for your rubber plant and add to the soil only once a month.


Protecting from Frost Damage

  • Safeguard your plant from freezing circumstances by wrapping them with plastic sheets, drop cloths, bed sheets, or even blankets.
  • Another way to stimulate warmth is via the usage of artificial lights. Position a 100-watt lamp near your rubber plant to protect it from frost damage.


Frequently Asked Question about White Spots on Rubber Plants


How do you treat white spots on the leaves of a rubber plant?

Mix half a teaspoon of non-detergent soap and one tablespoon baking soda in a gallon of water. Now use this blend and spray it on your rubber plant. You can also use mouthwash to treat the white spots caused due to powdery mildew.


What are the pests that develop white spots on rubber plants?

Mealybugs and spider mites are the two most frequent pests that cause white spots on rubber plants. Therefore, if you detect them, treat them right away. Use pesticides or neem oil to get rid of them.

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