Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’

Why This Plant Works for Workspaces

The Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy,’ with its glossy, dark burgundy leaves, is an excellent choice for a commercial environment like an office due to its aesthetic appeal and low maintenance requirements. This plant thrives in indirect light and requires only occasional watering, making it ideal for settings where consistent care might be challenging. Additionally, it is known for its air-purifying qualities, helping to improve indoor air quality and create a healthier workspace. Its robust nature and ability to adapt to indoor environments make it a practical and visually appealing addition to any office setting.

Where to Place in Offices & Commercial Interiors

In commercial environments, the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ serves as a striking addition due to its glossy, dark burgundy leaves that can add a touch of sophistication and depth to interior spaces. Architecturally, these plants are best positioned in areas where they can become a focal point without being overshadowed by too much surrounding detail. Near windows that provide bright, indirect light will allow these plants to thrive and maintain their vibrant coloration, making spaces like lounges, spacious hallways, or reception areas with large glass facades ideal. However, it’s important that these windows do not let in too much direct sunlight, as that can harm the leaves, so north or east-facing windows would be optimal, enhancing the aesthetic appeal without compromising the plant’s health.

From an interior design perspective, the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ can also serve as a natural divider in open-plan offices or commercial spaces, offering a way to subtly segment areas without the need for walls or screens. Placing them in strategic locations can help manage the flow of space, guiding movement and creating intimate areas for seating or casual meetings. Their substantial size and the density of their foliage provide not only visual but also a slight acoustic barrier, which can be beneficial in bustling environments.

For darker office areas or spaces lacking in natural light, careful consideration must be given. While the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ prefers brighter conditions, it can adapt to lower light levels, albeit with slower growth and potentially less vibrant leaf coloration. In such scenarios, incorporating high-quality artificial lighting designed to mimic natural light can help maintain the plant’s aesthetic appeal. Placing them in well-lit corridors, near skylights, or in spaces augmented with architectural lighting fixtures ensures that these plants contribute positively to the interior design, adding life and color to potentially drab areas. Integrating them into spaces with reflective surfaces, like mirrors or polished metal finishes, can also help bounce light around, ensuring these architectural beauties receive the illumination they need to enhance commercial environments effectively.

Plant Layout Ideas for Workspaces

For the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’, due to its potential to grow into a large, statement piece, it offers versatile layout options in both interior and commercial design settings. Here are some of the best layout options for this plant:

1. Freestanding Floor Planters: Given its potential size, using freestanding floor planters is an excellent option. This allows the plant to become a focal point in a room or space. These planters can be placed in corners, beside furniture, or in areas that need a visual lift. Choose planters that complement the interior design theme for a cohesive look.

2. Integrated into Reception Areas: In commercial settings, a Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ can be integrated into reception or lobby areas. Its lush, dark leaves add sophistication and a welcoming vibe. Large, decorative pots can enhance the aesthetic appeal, making the space feel more upscale and inviting.

3. Grouped with Other Plants: Creating a green corner or a plant cluster in larger spaces can be visually striking. Grouping the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ with other plants of varying heights and leaf textures can create a dynamic and engaging display. This works well in open-plan offices, commercial atriums, or spacious living areas.

4. Divider or Screen: In larger spaces or open-plan designs, these plants can be used as natural dividers or screens. By placing several Rubber Trees in a row, you can create a green barrier that separates different areas while adding a touch of nature. This is particularly effective in office spaces where it can provide a sense of privacy without the need for walls or partitions.

5. Accent Pieces on Large Desks or Conference Tables: While younger or smaller Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ plants can be placed on desks or conference tables as accent pieces, it’s important to consider the mature size of the plant. Initially, small specimens can complement workspaces but may need to be relocated as they grow.

When integrating the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ into any design, consider the plant’s light and space requirements. It thrives in bright, indirect light and needs room to grow, both vertically and horizontally. Choosing the right location and planter will ensure the plant remains healthy and becomes an integral part of the design aesthetic.

Office Design Compatibility

This plant, with its rich, deep burgundy leaves, offers a striking aesthetic that can complement a variety of office styles. Its bold coloration and large, glossy leaves make it a statement piece, suitable for modern, minimalist, or even industrial office designs. The dark foliage pairs well with sleek, contemporary furniture, adding a touch of sophistication and a pop of color to neutral or monochrome color schemes.

For planter options, consider the following:

1. Concrete Planters: The natural, muted tones of concrete planters can beautifully contrast the plant’s dark, glossy leaves. This combination suits industrial or modern office styles, where the texture of the concrete juxtaposes the smoothness of the leaves. Opt for a simple, geometric-shaped planter to maintain a minimalist aesthetic.

2. Gloss Style Planters: A high-gloss planter in black, white, or even a metallic finish (like gold or brass) can enhance the plant’s luxurious appearance. This option is ideal for offices that aim for a sleek, polished look. The reflective surface of the planter can also help to brighten spaces and make the burgundy leaves stand out even more.

3. Earthenware or Ceramic Planters: For a more traditional or rustic office setting, consider an earthenware or ceramic planter in neutral tones like beige, terracotta, or soft gray. These materials add warmth and texture to the space, balancing the plant’s dramatic appearance. Choose a planter with a matte finish to complement the glossy leaves without overpowering them.

4. Wood Planters: Wooden planters can bring a natural, organic touch to the office, suitable for eco-friendly or Scandinavian design themes. Opt for planters made from light woods like bamboo or birch to contrast the dark foliage, or choose a dark wood for a more harmonious, monochromatic look.

In any setting, ensure the planter is appropriately sized for the plant’s growth, with adequate drainage to promote healthy root development. The choice of planter can significantly impact the overall aesthetic, so consider the office style and the visual effect you wish to achieve when selecting a planter for this plant.

Plant Size: What to Expect

The Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ can grow up to 10 feet tall indoors, which can significantly impact design choices for an office interior. Its size necessitates sufficient vertical space and consideration of placement so it doesn’t obstruct natural light for other plants or office areas. Additionally, its large leaves and striking color can become a focal point, influencing the aesthetic and color scheme of the office décor.

Complementary Plants

For the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’, which is known for its striking, dark burgundy leaves and robust nature, selecting complementary plants for an office environment involves considering factors such as ease of care, light requirements, and aesthetic appeal. Here are five plants that would complement the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ in an office setting:

1. Snake Plant (Viper’s Bowstring Hemp): The Snake Plant is an excellent complement due to its vertical growth pattern and contrasting, sword-like green leaves with yellow or white edging. It’s incredibly low-maintenance and can thrive in low light conditions, making it perfect for office environments. Its air-purifying qualities are a bonus, helping to improve indoor air quality alongside the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’.

2. ZZ Plant: With its waxy, dark green leaves, the ZZ Plant offers a contrasting texture to the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ while maintaining a cohesive color palette. It’s highly drought-tolerant and can survive with minimal light, making it another low-maintenance option for offices.

3. Pothos (Jade Pothos): The Pothos, especially the Jade Pothos with its solid green leaves, can introduce a cascading element when placed on a shelf or in a hanging basket, offering a nice contrast in form to the upright Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’. It’s also known for its air-purifying capabilities and is very forgiving when it comes to watering and light conditions.

4. Philodendron ‘Brasil’: The heart-shaped leaves of the Philodendron ‘Brasil’, with their striking green and yellow variegation, can add a splash of color and contrast in texture and form when paired with the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’. Like the others on this list, it’s easy to care for and can adapt to various light conditions, making it suitable for office life.

5. Peace Lily: Offering a different texture and form, the Peace Lily can complement the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ with its glossy, green leaves and white, sail-like flowers. It thrives in low light and has air-purifying qualities, making it not only a beautiful addition but also a functional one for improving office air quality.

These plants, when paired with the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’, can create a diverse yet cohesive indoor garden that is easy to maintain, purifies the air, and enhances the aesthetic appeal of an office environment.

Common and Botanical Names

Common Name: Burgundy Rubber Tree
Latin/Botanical Name: Ficus elastica ‘Burgundy’

Identifying the Plant Type

Ficus elastica ‘Burgundy’

Office Plant Care Tips

Caring for this plant in an office environment requires attention to a few key aspects to ensure its health and aesthetic appeal. Here are some care tips:

1. Lighting: This plant thrives in bright, indirect light. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, which can scorch its leaves. A spot near a window that receives filtered sunlight is ideal. For offices with limited natural light, consider using grow lights.

2. Watering: Water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Ensure the pot has good drainage to prevent waterlogging, as this can lead to root rot. Overwatering is a common mistake, so it’s better to err on the side of underwatering.

3. Humidity: This plant prefers a humid environment, which can be challenging in air-conditioned or heated offices. Using a pebble tray with water or a small humidifier can help increase humidity around the plant.

4. Temperature: Keep the plant in a warm environment, ideally between 60°F and 75°F. Avoid placing it near drafts, vents, or any source of cold air.

5. Feeding: Feed the plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every month during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce feeding in fall and winter.

6. Pruning: Prune the plant to maintain its shape and remove any dead or damaged leaves. This can also encourage bushier growth.

Considerations for a Commercial Interior Designer:

Placement: When incorporating this plant into commercial interiors, consider the space’s lighting conditions and choose locations with appropriate light levels.
Scale and Proportion: The plant can grow quite large, so ensure the space can accommodate its size as it matures. It should complement, not overwhelm, the space.
Containers: Select containers that not only match the aesthetic of the office but also provide adequate drainage. Consider self-watering pots for ease of maintenance.
Grouping: Grouping plants can create more visual impact and improve the overall aesthetic of the space. However, ensure each plant has enough space to grow without overcrowding.
Maintenance Plan: For commercial spaces, establish a regular maintenance plan to ensure the plant receives proper care, including watering, feeding, pruning, and pest management.

Incorporating these considerations will help ensure the plant not only survives but thrives in an office environment, contributing to a pleasing and healthy workspace.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answer: The Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’, with its attractive dark green leaves that can appear almost black, offers several benefits when placed in office or commercial settings. It acts as a natural air purifier by removing toxins from the air, thus improving indoor air quality. Additionally, its lush foliage can enhance the aesthetic appeal of any space, contributing to a more pleasant and stress-reducing environment. This can potentially increase employee productivity and well-being.

How often should I water the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ in an office setting?

Answer: The Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ thrives in bright, indirect light but can also adapt to lower light conditions, making it suitable for office environments where natural light may be limited. However, for optimal growth and to maintain its vibrant leaf color, placing it near a window that receives plenty of indirect sunlight is advisable. Direct sunlight should be avoided, as it can scorch the leaves.

Answer: No, the Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ is not considered safe for pets. It contains a sap that can be irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. If ingested, it can cause vomiting, drooling, or diarrhea in pets. In office or commercial settings where pets may be present, it’s important to place the plant out of reach or consider a pet-safe alternative.

Answer: Propagating a Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’ is relatively straightforward and can be a cost-effective way to add more greenery to your office. The most common method is stem cutting. Use a sharp, clean knife or pair of scissors to cut a 6-inch stem from a healthy plant, just below a leaf node. Remove the bottom leaves, and allow the cutting to dry for a few hours to form a callus over the cut surface. Then, place the cutting in water or directly into potting soil, ensuring the nodes are covered. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and place the cutting in bright, indirect light. Roots should begin to form within a few weeks, after which the new plant can be transferred to a larger pot and cared for like a mature Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’.

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Rubber Tree ‘Burgundy’