Why Is There a Red Sheath on My Ficus Elastica? Do Rubber Trees Flower?

A close up horizontal image of a rubber tree showing a red sheath on the top.

In spring and summer, your healthy, actively growing Ficus elastica, or rubber tree, may send up a red sheath that appears to be a bud. While the rubber tree can produce a type of inflorescence, this is rare for plants grown indoors. So, if it’s not a bud, what other purpose could that sheath possibly serve?

How to Grow and Care for Rubber Trees

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of Ficus elastica aka rubber tree plant.

Rubber tree is often chosen as a houseplant, with its structured branches, colorful varieties, and big, glossy leaves lending interest to modern decor. This tropical tree can reach towering heights of over 100 feet in the wild, but with a little pruning and some mottled sunlight, these robust plants can thrive indoors.