Brown Spots On Fig Leaves: 6 Causes & Solutions

Growing fiddle-leaf fig trees is a great experience. They grow into big trees with glossy leaves that make any indoor room feel like a rainforest. However, you may encounter some headache problems when planting these trees, like brown spots. It’s not always easy to figure out why there are brown spots on fig leaves.

Don’t get stressed out! Check the location, maintenance regimen, and color to figure out what’s causing this issue. So, coming up with a solution becomes much more straightforward. Let’s peek at this article if you are curious about in-depth explanations and practical treatments.

Why Are Brown Spots On Fig Leaves?

If you notice dark brown spots on your leaves, ensure they do not develop or worsen.

Once you’ve figured out what’s causing the patches, you should remove any harm and get the tree back to good health.

The common causes of brown patches on your fiddle leaf figs are the following.


Indirect bright sunshine will help your tree thrive. Leaf burn is caused by exposure to the sun’s harsh beams during the day.

This phenomenon is most probable to occur on the fiddle leaf figs’ very topmost leaves. Sunburn can appear on the leaves in a variety of ways, including:

  • Color loss or bleaching may happen.
  • Sunburned leaves might be yellow, white, or light brown.
  • Brown areas on your tree may seem crispy, with a yellow circle ringing the brown area’s margin.
  • The whole leaf is covered with uneven light brown spots.

Sunburn - Brown Spots On Fig Leaves

Sunburn on fiddle leaf figs – Too much direct sunlight

Insect Infestation

Brown stains on your fiddle leaf fig tree may indicate that your plant is infested with bugs. They eat the liquids from the plant to stay alive. Sadly, the severe infestation may be somewhat troublesome.

Plant pests come in a variety of types. Among the most common suspects are:

  • Aphids: They are tiny insects that are black or green. These are incredibly prevalent if your tree spends the summer outdoors.
  • Mealybugs: They are the most detested of all as they’re so obstinate! They have the appearance of fuzzy small white patches. They like the area of the plants where the leaves meet the stems.
  • Spider mites: They’re so tiny that they appear to be moving little dots. They dislike moisture. Therefore it’s wise to increase the humidity to keep them away.
  • Fungus gnats: Their larvae enjoy eating plant roots, making it difficult for your tree to keep its leaves.


Overwatering or root rot is the most prevalent problem with houseplants, and your fiddle leaf fig is no exception.

Once the compost is damp over an extended period, it can develop a fungal illness.

This scenario will progressively deplete at the roots of the tree. If not detected in time enough, it could be catastrophic.

Discolored leaves or extremely black or dark brown patches that progressively grow and radiate over the foliage are signs of root rot.

It usually starts with the older, lower leaves, so they’ll be the most impacted.

These patches will commence at the bottom of the leaves, where it connects the stems and spread outwards when overwatering is growing deeper inside the tree.

Root rot can cause brown blotches to extend inside the tree’s outer parts. If you don’t treat the problem, the leaves will drop off.


Your plant’s leaves may be getting brown and crackling, beginning at the margins and advancing to the point where the fiddle leaf fig leaves simply drop off.

This condition could be a symptom of underwatering, mainly if localized to the plant’s bottom.

If the watering routine was working correctly, assess what occurred and make the necessary adjustments.

Plants require different amounts of water throughout the year. The amount of water of it does not remain constant throughout the year.

Watering your tree once a week seems reasonable, but it depends heavily on your housing situation.

Underwatering - Brown Spots On Fig Leaves

Underwatering fiddle leaf figs

Read more:

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infections are among the most challenging and annoying issues to overcome.

This problem could be to culprit if your tree exhibits a few of the signs of rot disease but does not respond well to therapy.

One distinguishing feature of bacterial patches and they’re less black and browner in appearance.

What are the symptoms of a bacterial infection in your tree? To detect this issue, pay attention to the following traits on the fiddle leaf fig leaves:

  • Bacteria will generate several brown patches on the leaf rather than a single substantial brown region.
  • Bacterial patches have wavy edges and may appear anywhere on any leaf.
  • A bacterial infection can also cause yellow marks beside the brown patches on the leaf.
  • The leaf will finally fall off as a result of bacterial infection.

Physical Trauma

Physical trauma on your plant sometimes causes brown patches with tears and breaks.

This problem can emerge if the plant has recently been relocated and has some bruising. Gradually, the bruising generally transforms into brown blotches.

Luckily, these patches caused by physical trauma don’t require treatment, and your tree will continue to thrive.

Physical trauma - Brown Spots On Fig Leaves

Physical trauma

How To Treat Brown Spots On Fig Leaves?

Once you detect your fiddle leaf fig leaves have brown spots, it’s best to treat them immediately. Consider the following solution for the best results:

Address Drainage

Dark brown spots are the result of root rot. So, you need to solve this problem to save your plant.

Because a lack of drainage usually causes root rot, you will need to take care of it right away.

Make sure you’re using a well-draining pot and quick-draining gardening soil and that you’re not overwatering.

If you are unsure whether your tree’s roots get wet, you can check by using a moisture meter.

The next step is to determine the extent of the damage. You don’t have to change the pot for your tree when there are only some brown patches on the leaf.

If you are unsure how to repot your tree, you can watch this video:

You’ll need to undertake root treatment and change the container if the infection is severe or spreading quickly.

Address drainage - Brown Spots On Fig Leaves

Address drainage

Treat Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infection is the most challenging problem to treat in plants.

The therapy is identical to that of fixing root rot. Ensure your tree’s roots are dry after watering and that it gets enough sunlight.

If the infection is minor, remove all brown-spotted leaves and replace the old pot with excellent drainage and new, hygienic soil. Provide it with good lighting and moisture sparingly till it recovers.

Depending on the environment, another helpful option to treat this issue is to place your plant outdoors in the shadow to recover.

Plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and mild temperatures can all aid in the recovery of your Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Get Rid Of Insects

When it comes to pest removal, neem oil may be highly effective. If this oil is unavailable in your home, a solution of dish soap and water will work.

Other methods, such as bug traps or lint rollers, can also be helpful. Check in about once a week to observe whether the bug infestation has back.

Get rid of insects - Brown Spots On Fig Leaves

Get rid of insects

Other Common Fig Leaves Problems

Apart from brown patches on fig leaves, your plant may encounter other potential problems, as shown below:

Black Spots

If you notice black marks on the leaf of the fiddle leaf figs, you may have overwatered the tree.

Black spots - Brown Spots On Fig Leaves

Black spots

Red Spots

Edema, which can affect any houseplant, is perhaps the most likely reason.

The leaf cells burst when the tree’s root systems absorb more moisture than they can take. Red patches appear as a result of this issue.

Besides, spider mites may be the culprits.

Drooping Leaves

If the leaves on your tree are drooping and becoming yellow or brown, you’re probably watering it too excessively for the light intensity it receives.

Curling Leaves

The potential causes are typical suspects, including underwatering, overwatering, repotting, or low humidity.

More to read: Fiddle Leaf Fig Curling Leaves

Yellow Leaves

Do you overwater your tree? When root rot has established, moist soil and poor drainage may lead to yellowing.

Moreover, this indoor plant may become a miserable husk with the dull yellow leaf when it doesn’t get enough life-giving sunshine.

Yellow leaves - Brown Spots On Fig Leaves

Yellow leaves

Wrapping Up

This article has eventually explained why there are brown spots on fig leaves. The causes may be sunburn, overwatering, underwatering, bacterial infection, insect infestation, or physical trauma.

Don’t panic! There are several ways to treat this issue. All you need to do is address drainage, treat a bacterial infection, or remove thrips to save your tree.

Hopefully, this article of Swipe Garden will be helpful for you. Thanks for reading!

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