How To Treat Sunburn On Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Fiddle leaf fig sunburn

It is not new to the fiddle leaf fig owners that the houseplant loves to stay in warm and moist weather. But too much exposure to direct sunlight can leave a negative impact on your plant, leading to sunburn. In fact, even if the plant remains inside your house and gets light just through the window, the chances of it getting a sunburn are still there.

Primarily, sunburns in your beloved plant inside the room occur when the plant is young or not accustomed to such light. And once the leaves start becoming crispy with brown tips on them, restoring their glossy green color is pretty challenging. That is why you should take early action to retain the glaze of the leaves.

However, sunburn is not a final sentence for your green baby. There are different ways that can help recover sunburn in your plant. But if left untreated, it will slowly make your plant unappealing. But, it will affect its growth. Don’t you want to learn the tricks and tips which can treat your fiddle leaf fig’s sunburn and reinstate its appearance? In this post, we will talk more about sunburn and the potential solutions to rescue the plant from it.


If the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig plant turn pale, yellow, or reddish-brown, it means that the plant has got a sunburn. Also, if you notice brown spots on it or the leaves have become crispy, direct sunlight is to blame. You need to move its position immediately, where it cannot come across direct sunlight. Make sure your gorgeous indoor plant only gets filtered light. Moreover, keep the room’s temperature and moisture level under check. Fiddle leaf figs grow smoothly when the temperature is around 65 to 75 degrees F. And don’t forget to place a humidifier if it’s too dry inside. 

Signs That Your Plant Has Got Sunburn

Sometimes, fiddle leaf fig plant owners mistake dry leaves for sunburn. But there is a fine line between the both. So, before you try out any solution, you first need to know signs that tell your plant has got a sunburn. Here are the most common indicators that specify sunburn in your fig plant. Take a look at them!

  • Brown Patches Or Spots On The Leaves: The first and foremost sign that your beautiful houseplant shows you if it gets a sunburn is reddish-brown patches on the leaves. It actually means your houseplant is dehydrated. Sometimes the spots can also appear more of a darker brown shade, depending on the severity of the damage.
  • Brown Dusting On The Leaf Surface: If the sunburn is too intense, you can notice a brown or tan-hued dusting covering a gigantic section of the leaves. It often looks somewhat like a discoloration. The condition is often referred to as bleached leaves. It occurs when the intense sunlight destroys the plant’s pigmentation.
  • Dry & Compact Soil: Overexposure to heat and sunlight can dry out the soil completely, which is another sign that proves your plant has got a sunburn. Dry, compact, crumbling soil indicates that your houseplant desperately needs help.
  • White Spots: White spots on your fiddle leaf fig appear in the primary stage of sunburn. Gradually, these white spots turn light to dark brown.
  • Shedding Of Leaves: Sunburn leaves are irreversible. You cannot really expect to restore damaged leaves to turn back green again. After a few days, those leaves tend to shed. Don’t start panicking when you see leaves shedding!
  • Crispy & Cracked: Observing the texture of the leaves is another great way of finding whether the leaves have obtained sun damage. If the leaves are crispy and start getting cracked over time, it’s a clear sign of sunburn.

Ways To Treat Sunburn In A Fiddle Leaf Fig

As it is said, the sooner the better! Similarly, the moment you diagnose sunburn in your fiddle leaf fig plant, you must immediately change its position. Your plant should not get direct sunlight by any means. Native to African rainforests, fiddle leaf fig plants can endure warm and intense light outside. But the whole scenario changes when you decide to keep the plant inside your home. Here are the best possible ways you can help combat sunburn in a fig plant.

1. Keep The Pot Away From Direct Sunlight

Half of the problems will be solved on their own if you keep your plant away from direct sunlight. Simply find a shady location inside your home and place your plant there, allowing it to rest a while. Use curtains to refine the brightness and intensity of the sunlight.

2. Quench The Thirst Of Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

The next step involves satisfying the thirst of your plant. Your primary goal should be keeping the roots moist. So, start watering your plant from the root zone. Rainwater works the best when it comes to rehydrating your fig plant.

If you fail to arrange rainwater, distilled water can be a fantastic alternative option. Also, to soothe your overheated plant, you can sprinkle water on its leaves and upper part. Additionally, make sure to run a frequent assessment of the moisture level in the soil, and keep adding water accordingly. And within a few days, you can see your beloved indoor plant healing slowly.

3. Use A Humidifier

Your sunburned fiddle leaf fig can really heal fast if there is enough moisture in the air. Usually, fiddle leaf figs enjoy when there is 65% moisture in the environment. However, it is not always possible to maintain such a moisture level naturally inside your home.

Using a humidifier, in this case, can work excellently. If you do not have a humidifier, you can use a pebble tray to put your plant. You can also place it in your shower room, where it can get enough moisture to recover itself.

Tips To Prevent Sunburn In Your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Sunburn on fiddle leaf fig

There are different ways you can prevent sunburn in your fiddle leaf fig. Here, we will share some handy tips that can help you out. Check some of these tips listed below-

  • Acclimatize Your Plant

Generally, fiddle leaf figs take time to get accustomed to the environment. If you use this particular attribute skillfully, you can train your plant how to adjust to sunlight. Well, this process would take time, but it has worked fruitfully in most cases. To start with, place your houseplant in front of a window so that it can get enough sunlight. And when your tree adapts to the temperature, change its position, and keep it in a warmer area.

This way, keep setting new temperature goals every two weeks and let your tree learn how to adjust. However, the process needs utmost attention. If you notice any negative changes in your plant, do not continue the acclimatization program.

  • Keep Your Plant Under The Shade

During the hottest part of the day, keep your plant under a cool shade. You can also consider closing the curtains or drapes to prevent your plant from touching the intense sunlight. And make sure not to keep your plant near the fireplace, or it might burn the leaves.

  • Fertilize And Water Your Plant Routinely

When your plant is well-hydrated and receives adequate nutrients, it can easily combat sunburn. And during the hotter months, the water requirement of your fiddle leaf fig plant increases two times more. Also, summers are the ideal time for your fig plant’s growth, so make sure you manure it with compost or liquid fertilizer.

Read: Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Need Fertilizer? (How Often And Which Ones To Buy)

FAQs About How To Treat Sunburn On A Fiddle Leaf Fig?

Should I trim the sunburned leaves of my fiddle leaf fig?

Trimming down the severely burnt leaves can be helpful. Generally, burnt leaves cannot use any resources or nutrients to heal themselves. Rather, they tend to affect the overall health of the plant. So, it’s better to eliminate the burnt leaves, because they will die eventually.

Can a sunburned fiddle leaf fig plant recover completely?

The saddest part is that a sunburned leaf cannot be recovered. You might have to cut the leaf to halt it from affecting the rest of the parts. But if the damage is not too severe, you can easily recover it by keeping your plant away from direct sunlight for a couple of weeks until it is healed completely.

Can a fiddle leaf fig survive with sunburned leaves?

There is nothing to worry much about if your fig plant has got a sunburn. It’s common and can be treated easily by restricting the plant from getting direct sunlight. Also, sunburn is not deadly. As long as the roots and stem are healthy, your plant is safe.

Final Words

Fiddle leaf figs are very attractive and can increase the elegance of your home instantly. However, a sunburn can snatch away its beauty and glaze in the blink of an eye. Remember, your houseplant will grow the way you nurture it. So, always keep your eye on its care routine. Filtering the light with a curtain, setting the ideal temperature and moisture level inside the room, etc., can keep your plant safe from sunburn threats, ensuring its uninterrupted growth.

Have you ever noticed sunburn on your fiddle leaf fig? How did you treat it? Share your experience with us in the comment section below.


Ficus lyrata from CABI.ORG

New York Botanical garden

University of Florida.

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