Fiddle leaf fig brown spots: How to diagnose and treat brown spots

Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown Spots

Fiddle Leaf Figs make a great household plant. They can grow tall and bushy very quickly and have gorgeous big leaves. When it comes to detecting a problem with these beautiful indoor plants, the leaves are the first to show signs. If the leaves droop, develop strange speckles, yellowing, or your Fiddle Leaf Fig has brown spots then that’s a good indication that somethings not quite right.

Fiddle Leaf Fig are very resilient trees, but they do have a reputation as fussy trees, meaning that if something is off, they are excellent at showing it. Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots unfortunately are very common for these popular indoor plants, but if you diagnose the problem early and identify the reason why you plant is getting brown spots, then they can be managed with the right care.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown Spots

What are Fiddle Leaf Figs


fiddle-leaf fig is very popular as an indoor plant. They love and grow exceptionally well in indoor conditions and are the perfect addition to add a bit of style to your home. The Fiddle Leaf Fig is aesthetically pleasing due to the lush foliage provided by the leaves of this plant, the Fiddle Leaf Fig is a perfect choice for an indoor plant, as it works well with pretty much any decor and if the conditions are optimal, the plant is happy to be left to grow.

The Fiddle Leaf Fig requires very little care and maintenance, which is another reason why it’s so popular. In addition to being a perfect indoor plant, Fiddle Leaf Fig also act as air purifiers. They help to improve the quality of air in the room by eliminating toxins and allergens through the production of high oxygen levels. It is, therefore, not just a pretty plant, but also a helpful one.

What causes Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots?

Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots can be caused by a number of reasons. These spots can be as a result of insect damage, bacterial infection, rotting of the root, or if the plant becomes too dry. They colour, location and type of brown spot can indicate what they likely problem is.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown Spts
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Bacterial Infection
When there is a bacterial infection on your Fiddle Leaf Fig, the leaves develop yellowish brown spots on top of the leaf. The leaves continue to darken, and eventually the yellowing spreads throughout the leaf. This causes the leaves to fall off the Fiddle Leaf Fig.

The condition of the newer leaves compared to the older leaves can tell if the Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots are a result of a bacterial infection or not. Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots caused by bacterial infection tend to be of a lighter shade, and they range from tan to dark brown. These spots affect all the leaves in a plant at an equal pace, and the damage is severe as it spreads very quickly.


Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown SpotsDryness of the Plant
Brown spots caused as a result of dryness of the plant can easily be diagnosed by the presence of a dry tan or brown areas around the edges of the leaf. Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots caused by dryness of the plant make the leaf to curl and shrink and, at times, the plant wilts.

If you forget to water your plant regularly, the leaves will begin to curl and go brown at the edge. Lack of sufficient water is one of the main causes of brown spots on Fiddle Leaf Figs. The result of this is a lack of water at the root ball as the water does not run well from the pot to the soil, which leads to soil shrinkage. The brown spots caused by dryness of the plant dry out the leaf completely, especially when the temperatures are extreme. Before the leaves even start to curl and go brown, the leaves will first wilt. If you see this and can get some water to your plant, then chances are you have saved it in time and won’t develop brown spots.


Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spotInsect Damage

The presence of insects on your plant can cause Fiddle Leaf Figs to develop brown spots. These insects cause infections which damage the plant, and although the infections are rare, their effect on Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves is grave. To determine if the brown spots are a result of insect damage, you can use a magnifying glass to search for insects or webs on your plants. The presence of small marks on the leaves that later become holes indicates that the Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots are caused by insect damage.


Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown SpotsRoot Rot
Root rot is another common reason for brown spots on your Fiddle Leaf Figs. And it’s caused by over watering. When the roots of the plant are exposed to too much moisture, they can get a fungal infection, which is what causes brown spots on the leaves.

Watering the plant excessively hinders the plant from draining the excess water, and as a result of poor drainage and over watering, the roots begin to rot. This rotting then spreads to the leaves, and ultimately the leaves become dark green with brown spots. Spots caused by rotting of the root tend to be a very dark brown color, and the brown or black spots are usually followed by the leaf dropping off. If you have diagnosed root rot, you may be able to save the plant by letting the soil dry out completely and adjusting your watering schedule.

How to treat Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots

As a result of bacterial infection
The damage caused by a bacterial infection on leaves is among the most severe damage and very hard to contain or reverse. However, if the damage is not very serious, you can cut off all the affected leaves and then re-pot the plant with fresh soil. After re-potting the plant, ensure that it gets enough light and be careful with how you water the plant during its recuperation time. You can also put the plant outside in the shade, depending on the climate and give it ample time to recover. However, make sure that your plant is safe from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures of less than 50 degrees or more than 95 degrees.

As a result of the dryness of the plant
Brown spots on leaves can be caused by the environment in which the plant is. If the Fiddle Leaf Fig is planted in a dry environment or near a heater, you can contain the brown spots by relocating the plant to a location with less extreme temperatures. Then commit to regularly watering the plant and keep an eye on it to ensure that it gets adequate moisture. Fiddle Leafs like to have the root ball completely wet and moist soil, but they don’t like to sit in water. If you see water in the drainage tray then remove it and let your plant dry out before watering again.

Fiddle Leaf Fig plants also love to have their leaves misted. This helps to provide the right amount of water as well as keeping the leaves free of dust.

Brown spots caused by insect damage
Brown spots are very easy to treat when they are caused by insect damage. All you need is to treat the insect infestation with a Neem Oil product for houseplants or a homemade remedy of baking soda and mineral oil to make a spray solution. Use this to spray on the affected areas and alienate the infected plants from the rest to avoid spreading.

It is advisable to take the plants outside as much as possible, especially because the smell of the neem oil can be very strong. When spraying, ensure you are thorough by turning the leaves of the Fiddle Fig to ensure the spray covers both the up and underside. After a fortnight, inspect the plants again and if the spots are still there, spray again and pay attention to the area where the stem and the leaf meet.

Brown spots caused by rotting of the root
If the Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots are not very severe, you can treat them by allowing the plant to dry out for a couple of days to give the roots enough time to recover. If the rotting of the root has affected the Fiddle Leaf Fig immensely, eliminate the affected roots and leaves completely by cutting away the spotted leaves and the brown, mushy roots. You can then re-pot the plant in a fresh potting mix and ensure you don’t over water it excessively.

fast growing indoor plants

How to prevent Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots in the first place

Prevention of brown spots on Fiddle Leaf Figs is easier than managing them once they affect your plant. To prevent brown spots on your Fiddle Leaf Fig, it is advisable to adjust and pay attention to your watering schedule and frequency. This ensures that the plant does not get overly dry or overly moist, which is the main cause of brown spots.

Adjusting the temperature of your home can also help prevent brown spots on your Fiddle Leaf Fig. As too much sun or too much cold can cause the brown spots on the leaves, it is advisable to keep the temperature of your home at room temperature. You can also add curtains to the room where the plant is to ensure that the plant is not affected by direct rays of light.

Fiddle Leaf Figs are generally a low maintenance plant but as mentioned previously, they are quite a fussy plant and like their indoor conditions just right. Not to much water, not to little, lots of indirect sunlight and moderate temperatures. Get all these just right and you won’t have to deal with Fiddle Leaf Fig brown spots. And you have a glorious plant that will give you lots of enjoyment for a long time.

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