Ficus lyrata, most commonly known as Fiddle leaf fig, is a beautiful houseplant that serves as a décor piece. The large glossy leaves of the plant enhance the aesthetic vibe of the room, making the space even more vibrant. However, white spots on the leaves of the fiddle leaf fig are not highly uncommon. These are an indication that you need to insect the plant more closely and eliminate the core problem.
There are various reasons that can explain the appearance of white spots on the fiddle leaf fig. Knowing the causes and identifying the factor is essential to apply the correct solution. That is the only way to ensure that the plant thrives in your home. In this article, we will discuss the causes of white spots on the fiddle leaf fig and the different solutions one can apply.
A wide range of causes can lead to white spots on fiddle leaf figs. These include pest infestation, too much sunlight, fungal infection, and hard water. However, eliminating these white spots is possible with different solutions. You can opt for filtered water and make sure that the plant is placed under bright yet indirect sunlight. Moreover, you must also look out for symptoms of pest attacks and apply necessary remedies.
Causes Of Fiddle Leaf Figs Having White Spots
It is vital to understand the reason that leads to the development of the spots. Once you have the cause, you can choose the right solution to get rid of it. Unfortunately, there isn’t one but several reasons that can lead to the appearance of white spots on the leaves of the fiddle leaf fig. Below mentioned are some of the causes behind white spots on fiddle leaf fig leaves.
In many areas, the water that you get in houses is hard water. In case you are wondering what that means, it is basically the water that contains a high level of minerals such as magnesium and calcium.
It has a plethora of side effects and is absolutely unsuitable for the fiddle leaf fig plant. When you use hard water to water your plant, it leads to the development of white spots. These occur when the water evaporates but leaves the dissolved minerals behind on the leaves. This makes the leaves dull and non-glossy. While this may not be fatal for the plant, it can still cause a considerable amount of distress.
The accumulation of these minerals forms a layer on the leaves. It prevents the absorption of nutrients and water, affecting the health of the plant. Apart from this, soluble fertilizers can also lead to the development of white spots on fiddle leaf fig leaves.
Too Much Sunlight
Direct sunlight is not an ideal environmental condition for every houseplant. One such plant is the fiddle leaf fig. These plants do not thrive under direct sunlight. In fact, exposure to too much direct sunlight can cause white spots on the leaves of the fiddle leaf fig.
It is vital to remember that sunlight is essential for Fiddle leaf fig. But, it must be indirect and bright for the plant to actually thrive. Other than white spots, you might also come across yellowing of the leaves. In some cases, the brown coloration of the leaves may also happen. It is an indication that the plant is unhealthy and needs treatment.
Another reason that can lead to the appearance of white spots in fiddle leaf fig leaves is a fungal infection. For instance, powdery mildew is a common fungal infection and is often seen in fiddle leaf figs. Here, you will see white powdery particles on the leaves of the plant. The primary cause of the infection is watering issues. It is essential to know the basics of watering the fiddle leaf fig. For instance, you need to maintain a schedule, and you must not overwater.
Keep in mind that if not treated, the fungal infection will continue to spread, causing more damage to the plant. The onset of powdery mildew induces weakness in the plant. It also creates the perfect environment for pests to attack. Moreover, they can also spread from one plant to another. In some extreme cases, the plant may even die. That is why you need to take active steps to combat the problem immediately.
Another crucial reason that explains the presence of white spots in fiddle leaf fig leaves is the attack of pests. For the Fiddle leaf fig, pests such as mealybugs pose a significant threat. These are hostile invaders that threaten the healthy functioning of the plant.
These appear as white, wax-type residue on the leaves of the houseplant. You may even see them underneath the leaves too. These pests multiply fast and cause extreme distress to the plant.
Mealybugs survive by consuming the plant spa. That means the nutrition of the plant is being consumed, causing the plant to weaken. After some time, the leaves will lose their original glossy texture and color. Ultimately, it can cause white spots in Fiddle leaf figs.
Related: How To Clean Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves?
How To Prevent White Spots On Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves?
A healthy fiddle leaf fig is unlikely to suffer from white spots. For that, you need to pay attention to the care of the plant. The factors that play a significant role include sunlight, water, fertilizers, humidity, temperature, etc. The plant is sensitive, and abrupt environmental changes can induce shock and distress, causing health issues. Below mentioned are some ways to prevent white spots on fiddle leaf fig leaves.
Use Filtered Water
One of the best solutions to deal with hard water is to change the water source. Instead of tap water, you can use filtered water. You can also use rainwater to water your Fiddle leaf figs. Make sure that the water you use does not leave mineral deposits behind.
Do you want to clean the white spots on the plant leaves? In that case, you will need to gather a natural soap, soft cloth, and distilled water.
Firstly, use a spray bottle to spray distilled water on the fiddle leaf fig leaves. You need to let it rest for some minutes. Now, make a solution of distilled water and soap. Use a soft microfiber cloth and soak it in the solution.
Now, wipe the white spots present on the leaves gently. Keep in mind that fiddle leaf figs cannot handle harsh treatments. The plant can undergo shock if you are not careful.
After the cleaning is complete, you must shower or hose the plant to remove the soapy solution. Moreover, you must also make sure that the solution doesn’t get mixed with the soil. Misbalancing the pH of the soil is not suitable for its health.
Keep The Plant Under Indirect Sunlight
Though bright light ensures the successful growth of the fiddle leaf figs, direct sunlight leads to sunburn. That is why it is pertinent to find a spot that offers bright yet indirect sunlight to your fiddle leaf fig. For this, you can opt for a window that is in the southern direction. In case, you want to keep the plant outside, choose a shade. That will offer protection against harsh and direct sunlight.
Treatment Of Fungal Infection
An excellent way to handle fungal infections on fiddle leaf figs is to keep the plant in a separate location. If you have other plants in your house, you need to make sure that the infected fiddle leaf fig is quarantined. That will prevent the spreading of the infection.
Another thing that you can do is keep the plant near a window or a place that allows air to come in. Keep in mind that a damp location is not suitable for dealing with fungal infections. In fact, dampness can encourage the growth of these infections.
If only a few leaves are affected, you can remove them. Use sterilized scissors to prune the plant leaves that contain the white spots.
Pest Infestation Treatment
In order to deal with the pest infestation causing distress to your fiddle leaf figs, you need to identify the pest. If you see a whitish residue on the leaves, it is mealybugs attacking your plant. The simplest way to remove these pests is to eliminate the leaves from the plant. For that, you can use sterilized scissors and prune the plant. That will make sure that the pest infestation doesn’t spread.
Apart from this, you can also use neem oil to remove these pests. Moreover, there are many organic products that you can apply to handle the mealybugs infestation. However, you must keep in mind that pesticides need to be toxic-free. Make sure that you read the ingredient list carefully before using it.
How To Remove White Spots From The Leaves Of Fiddle Leaf Figs?
Fortunately, there are multiple solutions that you can adopt to fix the white spots in the Fiddle leaf figs leaves. Check out some of them listed here –
Use A Baking Soda Solution
One of the most efficient ways to get rid of the white spots on fiddle leaf fig leaves is a baking soda solution. In fact, this is the most preferable method when the plant is attacked by powdery mildew. To make a solution for the fungal infection treatment, take a soap (it must be detergent-free) and dormant oil and mix it with the baking soda. After that, stir the mixture and apply it to the plant. It is vital to understand that using only baking soda is not highly effective for fungal infections. However, this mixture is one of the most effective fungicides.
Use An Alcohol And Dish Soap Solution
If your fiddle leaf figs are suffering from the onslaught of mealybugs, you can use a natural insecticidal solution. In this case, the mixture of dish soap and rubbing alcohol is a great solution. You can spray this mixture on the leaves to get rid of these pesky pests.
In order to prepare the mixture, you need to take a bowl. Add a few drops of dish soap and pour 70% rubbing alcohol into the water (it must be 32 ounces). After that, pour the solution into an effective spray bottle and apply it to the leaves. For the best results, you must use the solution at least two times a week.
Can Spider Mites Attack Fiddle Leaf Figs?
Yes, spider mites are another pest type that attacks Fiddle leaf figs. These are tiny bugs, often found underneath the leaf tops. As their size is extremely small, they are difficult to notice. However, if you see a white tint or layer on the leaves of your Fiddle leaf fig, you can suspect a spider mite infestation.
Fortunately, there are ways you can remove the infestation from your plant. Firstly, take the plant aside and was it down. You need to make sure that the leaves are properly washed. After that, make a solution of water and neem oil. Put it in a spray bottle and apply the mixture all over the plant leaves.
For effective results, do not wash the neem oil-water solution. Let it sit and work towards eliminating the pest. After some days (4-5), you can spray the solution again. Repeat the process after 4-5 days again. Soon, you will see that the plant is relieved from the spider mite infestation.
Fiddle leaf fig is one of the most preferred ornamental houseplants. Homeowners love the large glossy leaves that uplift the beauty of the room with ease. However, observing white spots on the leaves is a common occurrence. You need to investigate the problem, find the exact cause, and administer a viable solution. That way, your fiddle leaf fig will grow and look absolutely stunning. We would be delighted to know your suggestions and tips on white spots on Fiddle leaf figs and the solutions. Comment and let us know what you think!
From childhood, I have been extremely fascinated with plants and gardening. That has eventually led me to pursue BSc and then MSc in botany from the University of Calcutta. My deep love for plants has probably stemmed from the gorgeous terrace garden that I have seen my father nurture as long as I can remember.