It can be rather disheartening to see your beautiful, bold-leafed, luscious green fiddle leaf fig turning brown on its leaves. And what’s worse, if you don’t know how to treat the brown spots on its leaves, it can become way more complicated and frustrating.
The Fiddle leaf fig (Ficus Lyrata) is among today’s most popular houseplants. However, these plants are also well known to be high maintenance and somewhat dramatic. If you see your plant showing a bit of sass, fret not.
Why is your fiddle leaf fig leaves turning brown? I’ve gone ahead and put together some pointers on how to troubleshoot some common problems such as watering stress, light exposure, and even bacterial infections.
Let’s take a look at some fiddle leaf fig problems with leaves that are turning brown, and how to fix them.
Identifying the Causes for Your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s Brown Leaves
To figure out what is going on with your fiddle leaf fig tree, you’ll need to examine your plant closely. Once you’ve taken a good look and reviewed its characteristics, it’s time to figure out the cause of these leaves turning brown.
Let’s take a look at some causes of brown spots and what to do after you’ve identified the cause of your fiddle leaf fig’s brown spots.
Fiddle Leaf Fig with Sunburn or Leaf Scorch
If your fiddle leaf fig leaves appear light brown or have bleached-looking spots near the top of its leaves, or the spots have a red or yellow colouring, your plant may have a sunburn…just like us!
This can be caused by your plant receiving too much direct sunlight. The plant enjoys bright places and thrives in sunlit rooms but prefers indirect light.
How to Fix It:
Prune away any damaged or crusty brown leaves with sharp shears or scissors, and move your fiddle leaf fig tree to a more secure location, in a bright room with indirect sunlight.
Brown Spots on Fiddle Fig Due to Under-Watered Fiddle Leaf Fig
If your fiddle leaf fig brown spots are light in colour or have dry, crispy edges around its leaves, this could be a sign that you’re under-watering your fiddle leaf fig and leaf drop. As some leaves may even drop.
Although fiddle leaf figs plant don’t like being drenched in water, they also won’t enjoy their soil being too dry.
How to Fix It:
The easiest way to tell is by checking the moisture of the soil 2 to 4 inches below the surface (you can also use a moisture meter for accuracy).
Stick to a consistent watering schedule. If you’ve noticed you’ve been under-watering your plant, and the soil feels a little dry, your first instinct may be to give your plant loads of water right away; however, this could be harmful.
Instead, introduce watering once-a-week to solve the problem of an under-watered fiddle leaf fig plant.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Turning Brown – Overwatering a Fiddle Leaf Fig
If you notice that your fiddle leaf fig tree leaves spots are darker brown and appear throughout the leaf – in the middle as well as around the edges – this could show that you’re overwatering your plant.
Your plant’s leaves could also start to turn yellow, and you’ll see fiddle leaf fig leaves falling off.
Psst…Overwatering your fiddle leaf can quickly lead to a fungal infection, also known as root rot, which is very harmful to your tree.
How to Fix It:
If you see the leaves falling off your fiddle leaf fig plant and you think you might have overwatered it, check the soil and change it out with good fiddle leaf potting soil, if necessary. Before watering, check the moisture in the soil. The easiest way is to dig your finger into the top two centimetres of the ground and see how moist it is.
Brown Spots on Fiddle Fig Due Dryness
If your fiddle plant is dry, it will appear to have brown or tanned areas, starting at the edges of the leaf and would cause your leaf to curl.
It will look overall wilted or dry at times, and the soil may have receded from the pot. This would cause water to run between the soil and the pot, without reaching the root of your Fiddle Leaf Fig.
How to Fix it:
If your plant is in a very dry environment, consider moving it to another location where the temperature may be less extreme.
You should also water your fiddle leaf fig regularly. Consider also misting your plant or add a humidifier in the room.
Caues Of Fiddle Leaf Fig Root Rot
If there are brown spots that are appearing on your fiddle leaf fig due to too much water or moisture, your plant may have a fungal infection. Overwatering or poor drainage can quickly cause root rot and can spread to the leaves of your plant.
How to Fix it:
If you suspect your plant may have root rot, you need to remove the pot and inspect its roots. If the roots are mushy and brown, then you’ve found your culprit.
If there are a few brown spots on the leaves, let your plant dry out a bit until the roots have had enough time to recover. You should also remove the affected leaves and put your plant in a bright room.
However, if there are multiple brown spots, you’ll need to cut away any brown mushy roots and brown leaves (using sharp shears to prune it) and take care not to overwater your plant.
Psst… If you’re going to re-pot your fiddle leaf fig plamt, keep in mind these plants can be demanding. Make sure you follow a step by step guide on how to re-pot and provide your fiddle plant with care so that it survives the change.
Causes Of Fiddle Leaf Fig Red-Brown Spots on New Leaves
The most common cause of these small, red-brown spots on your fiddle fig’s new leaves is oedema.
It’s a symptom of moisture stress and is often caused by irregular watering. This results in pressure build-up to the point that the leaves’ cells burst, leading to dead cells that form visible blisters.
Another cause could be spider mites that tend to target new growth. However, a quick, strong jet of water will easily dislodge the bugs and their eggs.
If it’s not oedema or spider mites that are the problems, it could be a fungal or bacterial infection, though this is the least common cause.
How to Fix it:
If you stick to the right watering regimen moving forward, in time, new leaves should grow bright green, smooth, and spotless.
Unfortunately, if the watering situation is not addressed, the new leaves – that show up after the small, red-brown spotted version – may appear worse. And soon, leaves may emerge dead on arrival. Alternatively, you could get a moisture meter to surefire the situation.
However, apart from using a well-draining soil system and maintaining a regular watering regimen, you can also use leaf armour to protect your fiddle leaf fig from an array of threats, as well as give it that shine on its leaves.
Causes Of Yellow Leaves on a Fiddle Leaf Fig
There are three probable causes for your fiddle leaf fig plants leaves turning yellow. The most likely cause is your plant receiving lack of sunlight, followed by poor nourishment or too much water. The third cause can be an insect problem; however, this is not as common.
How to Fix it:
Make sure your plant is getting enough sunlight, however, not directly. You can also check the moisture of the soil if it’s wet or very moist, you should let your plant dry out a bit before watering it again. If the problem persists, you can try to feed your plant some nutrients with a fiddle leaf fig tree fertilizer.
Fiddle Leaf Fig with a Lack of Light
These plants prefer a lot of bright and filtered sunlight. Too much, or too little, may cause some problematic symptoms. Here are some things to look out for if you think your plant is getting too little or too much light:
● Slow Growth – Fiddle leaf fig trees tend to stop growing when they are recovering from something, such as being relocated, or when you’re not giving them enough light.
● Dull Spots on Leaves – When your Ficus Lyrata lacks light, its leaves start to show greyish spots. They aren’t very noticeable, as they’re usually dull and often on the darker leaves.
● Leaning Toward the Window – You’ll know your plant is trying to communicate that it needs more sunshine if you see it leaning, or bending, toward the nearest window.
● Yellowing Lower Leaves – Besides the usual cause attributed to under-watering, another reason for yellowing lower leaves would be a lack of light.
How to Fix It:
Do the plant a favour, and give it what it’s asking for – some light. These plants are also known for throwing fits when they’re relocated. But with enough light exposure, it’ll be much happier and tolerate most changes.
Fiddle Leave Fig Frequently Ask Questions
Should I remove brown leaves from fiddle leaf fig?
The answer is Yes, you should remove dead leaves from your fiddle leaf fig plant. This will also aid in new leaf growth in the plant.
Removing brown leaves from your fiddle leaf fig is also great as dead leaves will attract insects and mold and eventually cause root rot. This is such a serious problem that the plant cannot recover from it.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Leaves Turning Brown – Fixed!
Brown spots, slow-growth, fiddle leaf fig dropping leaves? These are just a few common ailments that can ruin or even kill your prized fiddle leaf fig tree. The good news is that most of these problems are easily cured if you know what to look out for.
Fiddle leaf fig plants are known for their gorgeous broad and shiny dark green leaves and are among the most popular houseplants today.
What are your thoughts as to why your fiddle leaf fig is turning brown? How did you solve the problem with your fiddle leaf fig leaves browning or brown spots on the leaves?
Some of the links on this post are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase using these links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. By using these affiliate links, you’re helping to support Hues of Delahaye discover new cities, produce content to help you travel plan your next city break and with the running costs of this site. My cat and I really appreciate your support.