My rubber plant has lost its bounce!
I’ve had this houseplant for about seven months. It was great but now has gone all lifeless and droopy. What might be the problem?
James Couling, Portsmouth, Hampshire
I am sorry that your rubber plant (Ficus elastica decora) is looking sad and drooping. I fear that its root system is suffering. It may have been attacked by vine weevil larvae or you may have overwatered it.
Check to see what might be wrong by gently tapping the root ball from its pot and examining the roots. If they are black and appear to be dying and the compost is soggy, I’m afraid overwatering is to blame.
You can solve the problem by replacing the compost with fresh, adding a quarter part, by volume, of grit to ensure that water seeps away and that air freely circulates.
If tiny brown-headed curved white grubs are visible, then vine weevil has attacked. Overcome it by washing the compost from the roots to remove larvae and eggs. Then reset the plant in loambased John Innes No3.
Indoor plants can be attacked by vine weevil grubs