Brown spots on Fiddle Leaf Fig are caused by environmental factors such as low humidity and nutrient deficiency. Brown spots on the leaves of your Fiddle Leaf Fig will most likely not affect the health of your tree unless they get too extensive or numerous.
What is the cause of brown spots on Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves?
There are four main causes of brown spots on Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves. These are:
- Bacterial Infection
- Root Rot
- Lack of water
- Pests and insects.
There are several ways you can tell the difference between bacterial infection and root rot. To do this examine the plant in the following way:
- Are the brown spots on the leaves larger than the size of a water drop?
- Are there brown spots on the stalks of the plant?
- Is the browning localized to only one part of the plant? This means if you see a leaf that is browning you can see that other leaves on the same branch are still green.
- Are the leaves falling off that have been browning? If you notice this occurring then it is most likely bacterial infection.
For root rot the symptoms are as follows:
- The tree produces yellowish cracked leaves – this is usually preceded by the appearance of dark brown spots on the stems.
- Older leaves often turn yellow and fall off.
- Watering also creates problems with root decay, in which some roots in certain areas die and rot. If you see these symptoms then this could be what is happening to your plant at that moment.
Brown spots on fiddle leaf fig that are caused by root rot
If you have a Fiddle Leaf Fig that has extensive brown leaf spots and the leaves are falling off then this is probably what is causing the problem. If your tree does have root rot it can be treated by applying a root feed, but this will not reverse any damage already done to the plant.
Root rot is more common in Fiddle Leaf Fig trees that are located in a warm area with low humidity. This is because it is impossible for the tree to retain sufficient moisture and nutrients as we grow the tree indoors. In such cases, the plant will need additional watering. The best way to do this is to provide your tree with a humidity tray and misting facilities, to which you should attach a water source to e.g. a watering can just as you would in an outdoor location.
How to identify the signs of root rot in your plant
Signs of root rot in Fiddle Leaf Fig trees include:
- The brown spots on the leaves are larger than the size of a water drop.
- There are brown spots on the plant stalks.
- The browning is localized to only one part of the plant, which means that if you see one leaf with browning you can see that other leaves on the same branch are still green and healthy.
How to treat your plant if you have a case of root rot
If you see that symptoms of root rot are present then you should treat your plant by providing it with additional humidity. If the brown spots on the leaves have become severe then you can remove some of the affected leaves and give them more humid conditions in a tray e.g. in the bathroom, or plant them in damp paper towels. If this does not help then you should consult a local horticulturist about what can be done to reverse the damage and save your tree from extinction.
The other thing you can do is to provide your plant with a very compelling environment. This means that you should check the levels of light, temperature, and oxygen in the room. If these are at a suitable level then you can treat your tree with the following:
- Apply a fungicide.
- Feed your plant equal parts of Fiddle Leaf Fig meal and either groundnut seed meal or alfalfa meal (check your local nursery for this).
- Plant the tree in a dark (but not too dark) and moist environment.
- Do not feed the tree for at least a week or two after you have applied the above methods.
Brown spots on fiddle leaf fig that are caused by water shortage
In order to save your Fiddle Leaf Fig from browning, you should make sure that there is sufficient moisture around your plant. The best way to do this is to provide it with humidity and misting but also keep an eye out for rainwater.
If you notice that your plant has brown spots on its leaves and there is no rain in the area you live in then it is possible that the trees are getting water from other sources such as a hosepipe or a tap. This could be damaging to your plant. In order to prevent this any source of water from birdbaths outdoors to a birdbath indoors can become an issue if not controlled properly.
To treat this you should provide your plant with a humidity tray with the help of a damp paper towel. This will help significantly as it is not possible for your plant to retain sufficient moisture and nutrients in the warm area that it is grown in. Good sources of humidity include bathrooms, kitchens and greenhouses.
Do not mist your plant unless you have provided it with a humidity tray or unless you have removed any excess water from the environment i.e. from sprinklers or hoses etc.
Browns spots on your fiddle leaf fig caused by bacterial infection
If you notice brown spots on your Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves and a few of the leaves are turning yellow and falling off then there is a good chance that this could be a bacterial infection in the soil. This is the most common issue that people have with their Fiddle Leaf Fig trees. If you notice that your plant has brown spots on its leaves and you have not removed any excess water from the environment then this is likely to be one of the causes of infection.
If you would like to treat a bacterial infection without removing the plant from the environment then you can use the following methods:
- Cut out any dead or dying leaves that you see.
- Spray your tree with a copper extract, which will help reduce the spread of bacteria. This should be applied once a week for at least 2 months. You can purchase this at your local nursery and it will cost between $30-$40 in order to purchase enough for a bottle per month.
If you would like to treat your plant in this way then you should spray the following on all the leaves and branches for several weeks. If you do not have copper extract then you can use a solution of one teaspoon of distilled water, four drops of liquid soap, one teaspoon aloe vera gel, and two teaspoons of wormwood extract.
Note: Regardless of the treatment that you decide to apply make sure that your plant is in a well-lit area. Also, if your plant has fallen over then it is likely that the leaves below the top branches will brown and that can have nothing to do with infection. Finally, if you notice that your plant has brown spots and it is in a very damp area then you should move the plant to a drier environment in order to prevent infection as well.
If the brown spots are caused by pests and insects
If you have brown spots on your Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves that are caused by pests and insects this is likely to be because of caterpillars.
Caterpillars are very common in the United States and they feed on crops and other plants. The good news is that caterpillars are easy to get rid of but as you may imagine this can cause issues for your plant as it will attract the pests back unless you do something to kill them. The best way to do this is to use a natural pesticide for your plants.
The pesticide that you can use is called neem oil. You can purchase this at your local nursery and it will cost between $15-$20 per bottle for a demand response of 1 fluid ounce.
Note: You should spray the neem oil on every leaf and branch of the tree that you want to protect from caterpillars. Do not apply the toxin when it is windy and dry as this will cause more harm than good.
What should you do if the brown spots reappear?
The brown spots on your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree will reappear if you do not protect the plant from new insects and pests. If this happens, then go back to the above guidelines in order to prevent/kill the symptoms.
- For a constant supply of water, insert a pump in your reservoir and connect it to a timer. No more forgetting. One watering cycle per day should be sufficient.
- Mist your plant once per week, no more, no less. If your plant receives more misting than that, it can damage it.
- Be careful not to overwater your plant. The best watering method involves using a turkey baster to apply water directly to the roots of the plant. If you use a watering can or hose, make sure to use a fine mesh screen over the holes as there are lots of little creatures like spiders and ants living in the soil that will readily climb inside any container you place over your plant and drown.
How to keep your Fiddle Leaf Fig healthy in general
In order to keep your plant healthy, you should understand the ideal conditions for it. Your Fiddle leaf fig tree should be in a large pot and it should be kept in a sunny window. It is not recommended that they are placed in an area where they will receive too much sun, as this will cause severe damage to the leaves.
The other thing that you can do is to water your plant when you see them starting to shrivel up or if the soil gets dry. You should also make sure that you have mulched around the tree to prevent it from drying out.
You should also be aware that Fiddle Leaf Fig trees can attract pests and insects. This is why you should get a garden hose with a mist setting so that you can control where the water goes and therefore reduce the amount of water on leaves where it becomes an issue.
What about black dots on my fiddle leaf?
If you have a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree and you notice that the leaves are covered in black dots or black spots, then this could indicate an infestation of mealybugs.
Mealybugs are small sap-sucking insects that live on and around plants. They will feed on the leaves of your plant because they like the easy access to sap. The best way to get rid of them is to get a cotton swab dipped in alcohol and wipe it over the affected areas. After this, you should get a bowl of soapy water and dip the cotton swab in it. This will rid the plant of mealybugs.
Brown Spots on Fiffle Leaf Fig – Summary
The more you are able to learn about your plant, the easier you will be able to keep it healthy and ensure that it is thriving year after year. The information that we have provided above has been summarized from articles found on the internet.
If there is anything else that you would like to know more about then please send us a message and we will be happy to assist you further. If you enjoyed this article, then please share it on your favorite social media platform.
Good luck with the growing of your Fiddle Leaf Fig.