Blog Fiddle Leaf Fig Treat Brown Spots

How to Treat fiddle Leaf Fig Brown Spots

Wondering how to treat fiddle leaf fig brown spots? Look no further. Read on to discover how to treat and prevent this issue.

@Kiersten avatar
Dec 12, 2021

How to Treat Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown Spots

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. 

Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown Spots: Why and How?

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

Inadequate Water 

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. 

  • To treat inadequate watering, trim off and discard the damaged and infected leaves. Repot the plant and moisten the soil with water.
  • To prevent the fiddle leaf fig plant from browning due to lack of moisture or water, make sure to water the soil slowly to allow it to saturate instead of just sitting on top. You can also fill the pot with water and let the soil absorb as much as it needs. If you’re living in an area with low humidity levels, use an indoor humidifier to make sure your fiddle leaf fig doesn’t suffer.

Looking for detailed, step-by-step instructions on watering fiddle leaf figs? By using physics and machine learning to predict the water needs of any plant in any environment, the Greg plant care app will help you grow healthy plants with confidence. Download the app today! 🌿🍃🌿

Pest Attack

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. 

  • To treat pest infestation, use a pesticide spray, neem oil, or DIY spray containing baking soda and mineral oil. 
  • To prevent a pest infestation from happening, keep an eye on your plants and use a pesticide spray of your choice regularly. 

Bacterial / Fungal Infection 

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. 

  • To treat infected leaves, trim the damaged areas. Repotting the indoor plant in a sterile pot, with a fresh potting mixture will help with the spots. Moving the plant to an outdoor, shaded area may also help the tropical plant recover from a bacterial infection. 

Photo by Terence

Root Rot 

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. 

  • To treat root rot, you will need to remove all infected roots and repot the plant. If the older leaves have turned brown too, remove them to ensure the plant doesn’t waste nutrients trying to save them. 
  • To ensure the houseplant doesn’t get root rot again, allow the roots enough time to dry between watering sessions. Use a moisture meter to gauge wetness levels of the soil. This will help you prevent root rot. 

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. 🌿