Fiddle Leaf Fig Diseases and Treatment

Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by Stephanie

Common problems for Fiddle Leaf Figs include brown spots on the leaf and other minor signs like yellowing leaves or dry soil. Sunburn, fungal disease, bacterial disease, and root rot can also affect the health of your Fiddle Leaf Fig. Insects can also cause problems with your Fig.

Once you establish the problem, it is possible to begin to tackle the issue. You will be able to see if a Fiddle Leaf Fig is not healthy and should be able to bring it back to health with the right steps.

Common Problems for Fiddle Leaf Fig 

Are you seeing leaves fall off the fig of your fiddle leaf? Are you noticing brown spots appearing and eventually causing the leaf to curl, become black, and fall? This may seem quite sinister, but these are typical signs of unhappiness in the fiddle leaf fig. Find out what could be the cause of it below.

Root Rot in Fiddle Leaf Fig

A fig that has a fiddle leaf that has brown marks on the leaves, as well as the loss of older leaves, could be a sign of root decay. This occurs when a fungal infection is developed due to excessive moisture in the root. The cause? Poor soil or overwatering. drainage.

First, determine whether its root rot by gently taking the fiddle fig from the pot and observing whether the roots are brown and soft.

Related: Root Rot in Fiddle Leaf Fig

How to Fix Root Rot in Fiddle Leaf Fig

The most crucial thing you can do to treat root rot is immediately beginning withholding moisture until the soil becomes dry. This could take anywhere from two to three weeks. When repotting your plant, it is recommended to apply a layer of clay on the bottom of the pot to help improve drainage.

Take away the leaves with brown spots. Be aware of not overwatering, and keep providing adequate water every 7 to 10 days.

In the majority of cases, given the time needed to dry out and heal, the Fiddle Leaf Fig will fully recover.

Bacterial Infection in Fiddle Leaf Fig

Another possible cause for the brown marks on Fiddle Leaf Fig is an infection caused by bacteria. It is also possible to notice the leaves turning yellow and turning brown, which is a recognizable sign. Xanthomonas Campestris can be described as the disorder of leaf spot bacteria that attacks leaves that are younger in particular.

Be on the lookout for leaves that are yellowing or spots that are multiple on one leaf and affected leaves across the tree. If your newly planted leaves are showing signs of trouble from an infection caused by bacteria.

Bacterial infections are caused by poor hygiene, like dirt-contaminated hands or equipment. This is a rare affliction but could be fatal, not just to your fiddle fig, but to other plants in the house too, when it is spread.

Its difficult to beat. However, there is hope in the event that its not too serious and hasnt completely engulfed all the leaves.

Related: Why Are Leaves Turning Brown on Fiddle Leaf Fig?

pot plants held by a person in a row - snake plant, fiddle leaf, palm

How to Treat Bacterial Infection in Fiddle Leaf Fig

Its going to be a pain. However, if its the only method for your plants to survive, then its time to get rid of all affected leaves. It can be a disaster when half your leaves are suffering However, effective pruning is the best way to treat it and can prevent the spread to the remaining part of your plant.

The next step would be to pot the plant with new soil and a brand new, clean pot. Make sure to remove the soil that was previously in the root system prior to planting it again.

In the period of recovery, the fiddle fig requires lots of light, therefore, try to locate an area that is bright and has indirect sunlight. In the coming weeks, you should water your plant with care as bacteria can be spread through water. Also, ensure that you dont spray your leaves with mist.

If more than half the leaves are affected by the plant, its probably an end-of-life situation. The removal of too many leaves could cause the plant to die in shock. Therefore, its likely time to put it down and start over with a different plant.

Related: How to Repot a Fiddle Leaf Fig

Insect Damage Causes Problems

Insects are the gardeners most frequent foe, however, fortunately for home gardeners. Generally, they arent any problems. Therefore, even though damage from insects is not common however if you spot brown spots on your leaves and the fiddle leaf fig is losing leaves, you could be facing some unwanted guests.

The intruders are usually small and hard to spot by your naked eyes. Take a magnifying lens and look over your fig for tiny spiderwebs or even insects.

When you observe that areas in the upper leaf fig becoming holes, it is a sign of an insect infestation. The insects are creating food out of the leaves and can eventually cause the leaf to die.

Mites are nearly invisible however you can see their webs. Mealybugs can be seen in tiny puffs of white which tend to hang on the leaves or on the stems.

How to Treat Insect Disease

This is among the most straightforward fiddle leaf fig issues to address. You can decide if youd prefer to use insecticidal soap or a natural or homemade remedy. Neem oil is a great way to eliminate insects. You are able to find a home-grown neem oil for your houseplant.

To make a DIY solution, mix two tablespoons of baking soda with some drops of soap liquid. Spray all over the plant, making sure you reach under the leaves as well as in every nook and crevice.

Remove the fiddle fig from other plants in the house as you dont want to remove the pests from one plant so they can hide within the next. In two weeks time, check your plant and, if you see insects or webs, repeat the spraying procedure.

Signs of an Underwatered Fiddle Leaf Fig

The signs of underwatering are evident and easy to spot. Brown spots appear on the edges of leaves that will start to curl and eventually result in the fiddle leaf fig leaves dropping off.

Put your finger in the soil, and observe whether its dry and hard and is shrinking from the sides of the pot. This could be a sign of the insufficient amount of water.

Related: Why Are My Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Curling?

How to Fix Underwatering 

The first step is to evaluate the surroundings where your Fig is located within. Are you near a heating source like a fireplace? This could result in an uninviting and warm environment that could affect the plants water needs.

Fiddle fig trees must be regularly watered, at least once each 7-10 days. An organized watering schedule is essential for the health of a fiddle fig. It is possible to work from the dimensions of the plant to decide the quantity of water required.

The general rule is one cup for plants smaller than 2 feet and two cups for plants that are over 2 feet, and three cups if the plants are between three and 6 feet.

Examine the moisture level of the soil, and make sure that the soils top layer remains damp. If you water the plant, make sure to observe that the water is flowing out of at the base of your pot since this indicates that the drainage is good and makes sure that the root ball is receiving sufficient moisture. It is possible to mist the leaves every couple of days to ensure that it is well-hydrated or place an air humidifier close to the plant.

Fungal Disorders Affect Fiddle Leaf Figs

Root rot is a kind of fungal disease that is found in figs with fiddle leaves. There is a different fungal condition known as the anthracnose leaf spot. What are the signs? Its obvious - leaves with brown spots. However, in the case of this fungal disease, there is also the appearance of black dots that represent fungal colonies.

Leaf spot is quickly spread in the case of leaves that are damp or when the weather is humid. The leaves will start to turn yellow, and then spots will begin to appear. The spots will turn brown and are likely to grow.

How to Treat Leaf Spot

Take the affected leaves off and make sure there is no debris in the pot, which will help to reduce the spread. If you water your fig, make sure there isnt any water or spray onto the leaves as it is recuperating.

How to Avoid Sunburn in Fiddle Leaf Fig

Are you seeing the light bleached or brown spots, particularly near those on the edges of your fig leaves? The spots could even be slightly red or yellow tinge. These are indications of sunburn that is caused by excessive exposure to direct sunlight.  

Yes, your fiddle leaf fig tree is happy in the sunny spot that receives lots of sunlight. However, it blooms best in indirect light and shouldnt be exposed to direct sunlight.

The treatment for sunburn is easy. Make use of the sharp pruning shears to cut off sunburned leaves. Find out the amount of light a fiddle is in need of and then remove the plant from the direct sunlight where it can benefit from lots of sunlight, but not direct sunlight.

Related: How Much Light Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Needs



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)