Ficus Tineke is a beautiful no fuss houseplant. It has gorgeous leaves with a variegated pattern consisting of cream and greens. It's a type of rubber plant. While it is more rare than some other varieties, it shouldn't be too difficult to find.
Appearance of Ficus Tineke
Ficus Tineke is a very sturdy rubber plant. It has thick and glossy leaves and a tough stem. You can tell it apart from other rubber plants by the coloration of the leaves.
The most notable part of a Ficus Tineke is the variegated pattern on the leaves. The outer border of the leaves are a beautiful pale cream color. Sometimes, the color can even border on a light yellow. The middle of the leaves is made up of various shades of green, ranging from muted to pastel.
A pink burgundy midrib runs through the center of each new leaf. The midrib starts out full of color, but as the leaves grow older, the pink fades to cream.
If you let this ficus grow naturally, it will grow a central stem straight up with leaves coming out of it. It gets very tall this way. You can cut the top off to promote a bushier growth pattern too.
If you chose to do so, it's likely that two branches will grow out from where you make the cut. As a side benefit, you can also propagate the cutting into another new stem.
Ficus Tineke Plant Care
- Light: Bright light, especially if you want it to have a lot of variegation
- Water: Water when the soil feels completely dry to the touch
- Soil: Chunky soil, but able to retain moisture
Ficus Tineke requires bright and mostly indirect light. This plant can handle some direct light too. But as with most houseplants, watch out that the leaves may get burnt spots if the sun is too strong.
I have my plant siting by a west facing window, and it enjoys its spot. It does get some direct sun every day.
Rubber plants require regular watering. I water mine about every 5 days, when the soil looks and feels dry to the touch. The water requirements of this plant is pretty lenient because they are not super picky.
I'm a big proponent of bottom watering plants. I bottom water my Ficus Tineke often, but not exclusively. It's happy either ways.
This plant is not super fussy, so a general tropical potting mix will do. I have mine in a a blend of two-thirds Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix and one-third coco coir. I find the Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix retains a bit too much water, so I always add in coco coir or lava rocks to it.
Don't forget to dust the leaves every so often. Because the leaves on a Ficus Tineke grow big, they tend to collect dust. I use a microfiber cloth or plant dusting gloves to wipe the leaves down every so often. Regular dusting makes the leaves shine, as well as helps them absorb more sunlight for healthier growth.
How to Style
The cream edging of the leaves makes it a good choice when you want a plant that isn't going to be the center of attention. The underside of the leaves are also a cream color. That makes this plant very neutral in appearance.
I have my Ficus Tineke in a gorgeous pale pink pot. I chose this color because I wanted the pot to highlight the pink shades in the plant. New leaves come out hot pink. The midrib of the leaves also stay hot pink for a little bit, before fading to burgundy and then into a cream color.
My Ficus Tineke has been in the same 4'' pot for 2 years now. Right now, it has one central stem. I haven't quite decided yet, but I might cut the top ⅓ off, and let it branch out more. I think it could stay in the same pot for another year.
That being said, while some say rubber plants are fast growers, I haven't found that to be the case with mine. My Ficus Tineke sits right inside a west facing window. It gets plenty of light. I haven't noticed roots growing out the bottom drainage hole, but I would think it must getting a bit root bound after 2 years.
Ficus Tineke can grow tall, so you'll want it in a location that isn't restricted in height. For example, place it on a sideboard or console. The vertical growth pattern of this plant makes it suited for a single shelf, as opposed to on a bookshelf.
Where to Buy
Rubber plants are pretty easy to buy from any local big box stores. This variety, the Ficus Tineke, is a bit more rare. It's a newer variety so it's not as common as, for example, the Ficus Burgandy.
I managed to buy mine on a lucky Costco trip, so it's not that rare though. However, I have only ever seen them at Costco that one time. While there were several pallets, everyone was rushing to grab the houseplants. I can't imagine a Ficus Tineke lasted too long on the Costco floor.
You can also buy Ficus Tineke on Amazon. Because this is a fairly hardy plant, it should be fine surviving the shipping.
Why You'll Love a Ficus Tineke
I love the Ficus Tineke for many reasons. It's a beautiful one of a kind plant. The leaves are very pretty with the cream edges. The various green shades on the leaves also make an interesting pattern. It's also special to see new leaves when they come out hot pink.
In addition, Ficus Tineke is easy to care for. I have mine sitting by a window, and I water it about once a week. I haven't needed to repot it, even after 2 years. It does totally fine without a humidifier, even in the winter with the heating on in the house.
Any questions? Please let me know below.