Information On What Causes Rubber Tree Plant Leaves Falling Off

rubber plant in a plant pot being sprayed with water
(Image credit: Alamy)

If your rubber plant is losing leaves, it can be alarming. It can leave a plant owner wondering, “Why do leaves drop off rubber plants?” There are many reasons for leaves falling off rubber tree plant.

Causes of Rubber Tree Plant Leaves Falling Off

Light Change

A common reason for a rubber plant losing leaves is a change in the light. Many times, this will happen when you bring your rubber tree plant in from outdoors, and this change can cause a total drop of the rubber tree leaves. A few rubber tree leaves may fall off the plant with the change from summer to fall, when light levels change. Acclimating the plant slowly when you bring it indoors and shining a few plant lights on the rubber tree will help keep the light levels up and keep the rubber plant from losing leaves. 


Pests are another common reason for rubber tree plant leaves falling off. In particular, rubber tree plants are susceptible to being infested with scale bugs, and these pests will cause the leaves to drop off until the plant is treated. Treat scale or other pests with an insecticide like neem oil


Rubber tree plants need higher humidity. Houses can be dry, especially in the winter when the heat is on. This lack of humidity can cause leaves falling off rubber tree plant. To correct this problem, mist the rubber tree plant daily or set the plant on a tray of pebbles filled with water to increase humidity

Air Drafts

Rubber tree plants are susceptible to cold air and, while your home may be the right temperature for rubber tree plant, cold drafts from windows or doors in your home may be hitting the plant and causing the rubber tree leaves to fall off. Move the plant away from any draft windows or doors that may be letting a draft in when it opens. 

Over Fertilization

Rubber tree plants are frequently killed with kindness from their owners. One way this happens is that a rubber tree owner will fertilize the plant too often, and this causes a rubber plant to lose leaves. Rubber tree plants only need to be fertilized once in awhile. They need very little feeding. 

Over Watering

Another way that rubber tree owners can over care for their plant is by over watering the plant. When a rubber tree plant is over watered, it can shed its leaves. Only water the plant when the top of the soil is dry.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.