Fiddle leaf fig brown spots can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:
- Inadequate water
- Pest attacks
- Bacterial/fungal infections
- Root rot
In this article we cover the most common causes, along with suggested solutions for each.
Kiersten lives in New Orleans, LA and graduated with her masters degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Tulane University in 2019.
She has conducted or assisted on research studies covering trees such as the bald cypress, swamp maple, and water tupelo, as well as important marsh grasses including Juncus, Spartina, and Phragmites.
Kiersten is a certified Louisiana Master Naturalist and regularly volunteers with local community gardens and nonprofits to help restore critical ecosystems along the Gulf Coast.
Ficus lyrata or Fiddle leaf figs are an African flowering tree, suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments. They’re known for their lush green leaves and can grow up to 50 feet in height when placed outdoors. 🌱🌱🌱
Although they’re quite sturdy and can withstand minor environmental changes, they are prone to getting brown spots on the plant’s leaves. Keep reading to discover how to treat and prevent this issue.
The fiddle leaf fig tree can live both indoors and outdoors, but they need to be in a shaded area away from direct sunlight. The plant requires a regular watering schedule and a well-drained soil to ensure it gets enough nutrition.
The ideal temperature conditions for a fiddle leaf fig is anywhere between 45 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Like most tropical plants, it also requires ample humidity and airflow to thrive.
Fiddle leaf brown spots can be of different sizes and caused by a number of issues. To treat the spots, the first thing you need to do is identify the cause. If the plant’s needs are not being met properly, that can have a negative effect on its health.
Fiddle leaf fig brown spots can be caused by things like:
Photo by Vanesa
Fiddle leaf fig watering is extremely important because if the fig tree isn’t getting enough water, it can result in a brown spot on the leaves. This isn’t limited to water in the potting soil either, but also the humidity of its environment.
Dehydrated fiddle leaf fig leaves will turn brown and wilted, curling inwards to reduce surface area. If the dryness is due to a lack of water in the soil, it can result in soil shrinkage, meaning the soil around the edges will shrink and water will not reach its roots.
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Although pest damage rarely results in brown spots on leaves, it’s still possible. Most of the time pest infestations affect the new growth of the indoor plant, instead of the already grown leaves.
However, if the leaves have brown spots along with holes and webs, you can bet it’s probably due to pest attacks. Use a magnifying glass to find out where the pests are latched onto the tropical plant.
If the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig plant turn small and stunted with brown spots on them, the problem may be a bacterial infection or fungal infection. Bacterial infections cause leaves to turn yellow while brown spots are developing.
Bacterial infections will also affect newly growing leaves. A bacterial leaf spot can appear anywhere on the fiddle leaf fig leaf whether it’s the margins, or near the stem.
Photo by Terence
Root rot in fiddle leaf figs is usually caused by overwatering the plant. If the plant leaves are dark green with brown spots on them, chances are it’s because of root rot. An overwatered fiddle leaf fig plant can have its roots turn squishy and black, which destroys them completely.
When a plant is unable to access water and nutrients through the roots, it becomes unhealthy and brown spots develop. If left untreated, root rot can spread from roots to leaves, causing the plant’s leaves to turn brown and fall off.
If you notice older leaves at the bottom of the main stem turning brown, that is a symptom of root root. If you suspect root rot, take the plant out of the pot and examine the roots; infected roots will look mushy and brown or black in color.
Fiddle leaf fig care can require a lot of work, but we’re here to guide you through each step of the process! Learn more about fiddle leaf figs in our latest blogs on fiddle leaf fig pruning and how to propagate fiddle leaf fig plants. 🌿