Bringing the Outdoors Indoors: Rubber Tree

An old-fashioned classic, rubber tree gets its name from the sticky, milky sap it exudes if injured. It eventually grows into a large tree, but you can easily keep it shorter by pruning back long stems, causing it to branch into a multi-stemmed shrub.

Note: In frost-free areas, you may see rubber trees as a full-size shade trees outdoors.

Why We Love It: Its big, dark green shiny leaves definitely make a statement. The older plants get, the larger they become -- a good-sized rubber tree makes a big, dramatic accent in any room.

Name: Ficus elastica

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; 60-80 degrees F.; allow the soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: To 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide

Note: The milky white sap may cause irritation to people with sensitive skin.