Why are Leaves Turning Brown on My Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Last Updated on November 20, 2022 by Stephanie

Brown spots, slow growth, fiddle leaf figs dropping leaves? These are only some of the common problems that could ruin or cause the death of your precious fiddle leaf fig tree. The positive side is that the majority of these issues can be treated if you know what to look for.

Fiddle leaf figs are renowned for their stunning wide and shiny dark green leaves. They are one of the most sought-after house plants in the present.

Causes of Brown Leaves on Fiddle Leaf Fig and How to Fix It   

To determine whats happening in the condition of your Fiddle Leaf Fig, it is necessary to look at your plant in detail. After youve had a thorough look at the plant and reviewed its features and characteristics, youll need to determine the reason for the leaves becoming brown.

Sunburn and Leaf Scorch on Fiddle Leaf Fig 

If your fiddle leaf leaves look pale brown or appear to have bleached spots on the leafs top or spots that have an orange or red color, the plant could be suffering from a sunburn.

It could be due to the plant being exposed to excessive direct sunlight. Plants love bright light and thrive in sunny rooms but prefer indirect sunlight.

How to Fix Sunburn and Leaf Scorch

Remove any brown or damaged leaves using sharp shears or scissors. Then, relocate the fig tree with fiddle leaves to a safer location in a space with indirect sunlight.

Underwatering Can Cause Brown Spots

If your fiddle leaf figs brown spots appear pale in color and have dry, crisp edges around the leaves, it could indicate that youre not watering your fig fiddle leaf and the leaf fall. Some leaves could fall.

While figs with fiddle leaves do not like being submerged in water. They also dont like their soil to be too dry.

How to Fix Brown Spots from Underwatering

The most straightforward method to determine is to check the soils moisture about 2 to 4 inches beneath the soils surface (you could also use an accurate moisture meter).

Follow a regular timetable for watering. If youve noticed that youve not been enough watering your plants and your soil is feeling a little dry, your initial reaction might be to offer your plant plenty of water immediately, but this could cause harm to your plant.

Instead, you should introduce watering every week to address the issue of an unwatered fiddle leaf in the plant.

Fiddle Leaf Fig in Blue Spot Pot

Overwatering Can Cause Brown Spots

If you find that your fiddle leaf spots on fig trees appear darker in color and are visible all over the leaf - in the middle and around the edges, it could indicate that your plant is overwatering.

The leaves of your plant could begin to yellow, and youll notice fiddle leaf leaves of figs falling off.

Overwatering your Fiddle Leaf Fig could quickly cause an infection caused by fungal bacteria, which is also known as root rot. This can be very damaging to the tree.

Related: Why Are My Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Drooping?

How to Fix Brown Spots From Overwatering

If you notice leaf tips falling from your fiddle leaf fig plant and you suspect that you have overwatered it, then check the soil and swap it with good fiddle leaf soil If necessary. Before you water, make sure to check the soils moisture. The most effective method is to poke your fingers into the top 2 centimeters of the ground to check the moisture level.

Dryness Can Cause Brown Spots on Fiddle Leaf Fig

When your plants fiddle is not moist, it may appear to be tanned or brown in spots beginning near the edges of the leaf. This could cause the leaf to curl.

It may appear dry or wilted at times The soil could be receding away from the container. This could result in water running through the clay and into the container but not reaching the roots of the Fiddle Leaf Fig.

How to Fix Brown Spots From Dryness 

In the event that your facility is located in an extremely dry area, you might want to consider moving it to an area where temperatures might be lower.

It is also important to keep your figs in water frequently. You could also consider misting your plant or installing an air humidifier within the room.

Root Rot in Fiddle Leaf Fig

If you notice brown spots appearing on the figs fiddle leaf because of excessive moisture or water, the plant could be suffering from an infection caused by fungal bacteria. Insufficient drainage or overwatering can quickly lead to root rot that may spread to the leaves of the plant.

How to Fix Root Rot Issues

If you think your plant is suffering from root rot, it is necessary to take it out of the pot and examine the roots. If the roots appear brown and mushy, then youve identified the culprit.

If you notice a few brown spots on your leaves, allow the plant to dry up a bit till the root has had enough time to heal. It is also recommended to remove the affected leaves and place the plant in a sunny space.

If there are numerous brown spots, youll have to remove the brown mushy roots as well as the leaves that are brown (using sharp shears to trim it) and be careful not to overwater your plant.

It is possible to make use of a root treatment for rot to aid the fig with the fiddle leaf to get rid of the decay completely. You can also purchase a high-quality planter pot that has an appropriate drainage system.

When youre planning to repot your fig plant with fiddle leaves, be aware that the plants are a bit demanding. Be sure to follow the step-by-step guide for repotting and treat your plant with proper care to ensure it can withstand the changes.

Light Deficiency Can Cause Brown Spots on Fiddle Leaf Fig 

They prefer lots of light and brightness. Insufficient or even too little light can cause certain symptoms that are not pleasant. Here are some signs of being aware of when you suspect your plant is receiving too little light:

  • Slow Growth: Fiddle Leaf Figs tend to slow down their growth after recovering from some kind of event, like being moved or if youre not providing them with enough light.
  • Dull Spots on Leaves: If your plant isnt getting enough light, the leaves begin to show grayish spots. Theyre not noticeable because theyre generally dull and usually appear on dark leaves.
  • Leaning Towards the Window: Youll be able to tell that the plant is trying to signal that it requires more sunlight if you notice it leaning or bent towards the window closest to it.
  • Lower Leaves are Yellowing: Apart from the typical cause that is attributed to water shortage, a different reason for lower leaves to yellow could be due to a lack of sunlight.

How to Fix Lighting 

Give the plant a favor and offer it the things its asking for: some light. They are also known to throw fury when theyre moved. However, if theyre exposed to enough light, theyll be happier and will tolerate all changes.

What Causes Red or Brown Spots on New Leaves?

The most frequent cause of the tiny red-brown spots that appear on the fiddle figs newly-opened leaves is the condition known as oedema.

Its a sign of moisture stress and is usually caused by irregularly watering. The result is pressure build-up until the cells of leaves explode and die, causing dead cells which create visible blisters.

Another reason could be the presence of spider mites, which tend to attack new growth. But a swift, powerful jet of water can quickly dislodge bugs and their eggs.

If its not oedema, or spider mites that cause issues, it may be a fungal or bacteria-related infection, even though it is not the most common reason.

How to Fix Red or Brown Spots

If you adhere to the correct watering schedule going forward, eventually, the new leaves will emerge shiny, bright, and clean.

If the watering issue isnt taken care of and the leaves that are sprouting up which appear after the red-brown, small versions spotted earlier - could appear to be worse. Sooner or later, the leaves could appear dead upon arrival. You can also purchase a moisture gauge to ensure the condition.

In addition to using an efficient drainage system for your soil and a consistent schedule for watering, you could make use of leaf armor to shield your figs fiddle leaf from various threats and also give the appearance of shining leaves.

Should I Remove Brown Leaves From a Fiddle Leaf Fig? 

The answer is yes, it is important to take away dead leaves from the fig trees fiddle leaf. This can also help in the growth of new leaves in the plant.

The removal of brown leaves from the fiddle leaf fig is beneficial as dead leaves draw in insects and mold and ultimately cause root rot. This is a major issue that your plant will not overcome it.

What Causes Yellow Leaves on a Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Three possible causes could be the reason for the plant leaves becoming yellow. Most likely, it is due to the plant not getting enough sunlight, which is followed by inadequate nutrition or excessive water. The third reason could be an insect issue; however, it isnt as prevalent.

Related: Fiddle Leaf Fig Diseases and Treatment

How to Fix Yellowing Leaves 

Check to see if your plant gets sufficient sunlight, but not directly. It is also possible to examine the moisture level of the soil. If its very wet or moist and let the plant dry out before watering it once more. If the issue persists, then you should give your plant some nutrients using the help of a fiddle leaf fig tree fertilizer.



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 :)