Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ care guide

In this guide you'll learn: How to care for your Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ plant and
answers to FAQs to keep your plant happy

In this guide you'll learn: How & where to buy the Ficus elastica 'Tineke', how to care for your plant and answers to FAQs to keep your plant happy

About Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’

The Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ is a popular cultivar of the rubber tree, with large, highly variegated foliage, and watercolour patterns of green and cream to create a visually stunning show of leaves.

This cultivar of the famous tropical plant grows quickly and puts out new leaves each month during the main growing season. It can reach heights of 2-3m within just a few years, and adds colour and intrigue against a solid background or when grouped with more green plants.

While the Indian rubber tree (also known as rubber fig) can reach 30 metres in the wild forests of South and Southeast Asia, this variegated rubber plant cultivar is unlikely to eclipse 3 metres as an indoor plant, but will delight you with beautiful new red leaves that develop their own unique colour profile if provided with some relatively basic and easy-to-achieve growing conditions.

Rubber plants are some of the most popular houseplants because they are so easy to take care of. Overwatering is the most common problem, but it’s easy to fix by following a few simple guidelines. Your Tineke should adjust well to any indoor climate in the UK.

If you’re looking for your first plant, this is a good option that is long-lived with minimal maintenance and is very rewarding. If this is the plant for you, read our buyer’s guide below to get your plant delivered direct to you.

Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ in the House & Office

The Tineke rubber tree is a cultivar that adapts quickly to indoor environments and needs very little care. This makes it an easy house plant to grow, perfect for those who are new to indoor plants.

With its large leaves and glossy surface, this air purifying plant is perfect for trapping dust. Not to mention, its lush green leaves provide fresh and clean air for your workplace. Plus, it’s a great choice for environments with stuffy or stagnant air.

Studies from NASA show that the species is effective in reducing levels of toxic particles in the air, including formaldehyde, although it wasn’t particularly too high on their list of selected plants. While their study wasn’t on this cultivar, the Tineke should be roughly as effective.

Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ Size

As this tree can grow to a significant size in the wild, it can still become a very large plant when grown indoors. While it can reach up to 300cm indoors, it often doesn’t reach this size and can be controlled by providing it with less fertiliser and by reducing light.

Height: up to 300cm / 118in / 9.8ft
Spread: up to 180cm / 70in / 5.9ft

Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ Care

Light: This plant will thrive in bright indirect light but dislikes strong, direct light from south-facing windows. As this cultivar grows highly variegated leaves, it may need more light and for longer than with cultivars that have darker and more solid green leaves. To get the most out of your plant, keep it within a few feet of bright windows but at least five feet from south-facing windows to receive good indirect sunlight.

Soil: By adding a little extra grit to your potting mix, you can help to prevent root rot in your plant. Make sure that the pot has good drainage and doesn’t sit in water for too long to avoid any problems.

Watering: Water your Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ when the top one-inch of soil feels dry, about once per week. Do not water when the potting mix feels damp or the soil sticks to your finger, as this will drown the plant and cause its roots to rot.

Humidity: To help your rubber tree plant flourish, give it a humid environment of at least 50% humidity. If you can manage to keep your home near or above 60% humidity, your rubber tree will be in good health. Avoid environments with low humidity levels, as this can adversely affect the growth and development of your rubber tree. Provide occasional misting, a humidifier, or pair it with other leafy plants to increase humidity.

Feeding: Feed your plants according to the season. In summer, feed them with a standard houseplant fertilizer every two weeks. In spring and autumn, only feed them once per month. During winter, don’t feed them at all – their growth will slow down and they’ll need less food to stay healthy.

Temperature: Your plant will thrive in most indoor conditions, so temperatures of  18-24°C / 64-75°F will be ideal. The Tineke will be happy at temperatures above and below those levels, if not extreme, but do not allow the plant to reach near freezing temperatures.

Ailments: These plants can be prone to leaf drop, which can happen after transplanting, suddenly changing its environment, or if exposed to strong, direct sun for too long. 

Further care: Read our full care guide to help your plant thrive.

Where To Buy Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ Online

  • Ebay (UK) / (USA)
  • Etsy
  • Bloombox Club (UK) / (USA)
  • Local Facebook Groups

The Ficus ‘Tineke’ is a popular indoor tree that is easy to find in garden centres, plant stores, or online.
Buying online is the easiest way to ensure you get the plant you want without having to make multiple trips. We recommend buying from a well-rated, positively-reviewed retailer online which can often include a respectable return policy.
If you do buy online, be sure to inspect your plant after receiving the delivery and contact the retailer if it is not up to your standards.

FAQs

How do you care for a Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ plant?

Provide bright but indirect light within a few feet of any window that doesn’t face south. Water your plants like clockwork when the top inch of soil feels dry, and provide them with a humidity level above 50%. Feed them a basic fertiliser monthly throughout the growing seasons, and wipe their leaves monthly to remove dust. Keep your plant warm at typical room temperatures.

Where do you put Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’?

The Tineke is a happy plant that will thrive indoors in a warm, sunny spot near a window. It thrives in higher humidity levels, so an area with lots of water and natural light is ideal. Active and brightly-lit kitchens and bathrooms are ideal.

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About the Author

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Plant-lover with a life-goal to buy land across the UK to plant his own forest, James specialises in horticulture and botanical research, and has been growing and rewilding forests with trees, including endangered species, for over 15 years. He is an avid gardener, allotment owner, and aids in the running of a carbon neutral initiative in companies across the UK.


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