Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Turning Brown? (Causes+ What To Do)

Fiddle leaf fig brown leaves

Are you stressed seeing brown spots on your gorgeous Fiddle leaf fig? Ficus lyrata, better known as Fiddle leaf fig, is a popular houseplant. Due to its sensitive nature, it becomes essential to focus on the maintenance of this plant. That is why observing brown spots on those glossy green leaves can be daunting. Moreover, it can become even more frustrating when you don’t know the reason behind the sudden development.

With the occurrence of the brown spots on the leaves of the fiddle leaf fig, it becomes crucial to investigate the matter. You ought to find out the reason so that you can apply the right solution. There are multiple reasons that can lead to the development of brown spots. In this post, we will talk about the browning of the fiddle leaf fig leaves and the different applicable solutions.


There are numerous causes that can lead to the brown spots developing on the leaves of Fiddle leaf figs. It may be due to root rot, insect invasion, dryness, direct sunlight, or water stress. However, with the application of the best solutions, it is possible to ensure that the plant is healthy once again. For that, you can ensure adequate bright yet indirect sunlight, a better watering schedule, and proper drainage for the potted plant.

What Causes The Browning Of The Fiddle Leaf Figs?

There are different reasons that can cause the brown spots on Fiddle leaf fig. Take a look at the causes listed below –

  1. Bacterial Infection

Unfortunately, bacterial infection is one of the hardest things to deal with when it comes to Fiddle leaf figs. While the symptoms are similar to root rot, there are some differences too. For instance, you will find brown spots on all plant leaves, especially the new and young ones. Another way you can identify bacterial infection is by seeing if the spots exhibit irregular margins and occur anywhere. Apart from brown spots, you will also see the yellowish coloration of the leaves. Eventually, the leaf will fall off.

  1. Root Rot

One of the most prevalent causes that have led to the development of brown spots on Fiddle leaf figs is root rot. Lack of proper drainage and too much watering leads to root rot. Combined with a fungal infection, the leaves turn brown and eventually drop. An excellent symptom to identify root rot is to check the condition of the roots. If they are mushy and brownish in coloration, you can be sure that the cause is root rot. Here, the older leaves are affected first.

  1. Damages Done By Insects

Even if this cause is not very common, insect damage can still lead to brown spots on the Fiddle leaf fig leaves. The reason is easy to diagnose. You will only have to see if there are any small brown spots that eventually turn into holes. Also, you can check the plant to see if there are any insects present or their webs. That will aid you in determining if insects are the reason for the brown spots on the plant.

  1. Water Stress

Proper watering is highly essential for Fiddle leaf figs. For instance, underwatering can lead to the development of dry and crispy leaf edges. Moreover, brown spots also occur, which can lead to leaf droppings. Similarly, the houseplant also cannot handle overwatering. The symptoms include dark brown spots spread across the entire leaf. You will also find yellowish coloration with eventually the leaves shedding.

  1. Sunburn

Does your Fiddle leaf fig have light brownish spots? What about bleached areas near the top-most part of the leaves? In that case, sunburn or too much exposure to sunlight may be the cause. While the plant does require bright sunlight, it cannot thrive under too much or direct exposure to it.

  1. Edema

If you see red-brownish spots on the leaves of Fiddle leaf fig, it could be due to edema. It is a water retention problem that occurs when the roots take up more water, but the leaves fail to transpire the amount. The presence of the excess water leads to cells rupturing and water-soaked brown patches.

  1. Dryness

Similar to overwatering, dryness can also cause massive distress to Fiddle leaf figs. However, this cause is easy to identify. Brown spots occurring due to dryness have a unique characteristic of having light brown spots that mainly occur at the edge or the end of the leaf. Moreover, it also leads to leaf curling. The plant appears wilted, and that usually indicates that water has failed to reach the roots. Lack of humidity or lower than the preferred 30-65% can also lead to brown spots.

Also Read: How To Clean Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves? How Often And What To Use?

List Of Solutions To Treat Brown Spots On Fiddle Leaf Figs

In order to deal with potential causes that lead to the browning of the Fiddle leaf fig leaves, you need to apply the correct fixes. For that, check out these solutions –

  1. Bacterial Infection Treatment

Treating bacterial infection in Fiddle leaf figs is not an easy feat. The trick is to identify the cause as soon as possible so that you can start the treatment immediately. You need to ensure that the roots of the plants are dry and that there are no issues with drainage. Apart from that, indirect yet bright sunlight is of absolute importance for the plant to thrive. Assess the damage, and if it’s not too much, you can repot the plant with sterile and pH-balanced soil.

  1. Elimination Of Damaged Roots

The best way to treat root rot is to remove the roots that have been affected. You also need to prune the leaves that contain the brown spots. After that, you can repot it again. It is essential to understand that too much water is stressful for Fiddle leaf figs. For this, you can use your finger and dip it into the soil to see the moisture content. Alternatively, you can also use the moisture meter. That will let you know if the plant requires water or not.

  1. Use Organic Solutions

There are various ways to handle insect damage to the Fiddle leaf fig. For instance, you can use neem oil to remove these pests from the plant. Other than this, there are numerous organic and chemical pesticides available on the market. In that case, you need to check out the label containing ingredients and assess the toxicity level before using it. You can also try pruning the brown leaves to prevent the infection from spreading to other leaves or plants.

  1. Place The Plant In A Better Location

It is a well-known fact that Fiddle leaf figs are temperamental houseplants. They require a specific set of environmental conditions to thrive. One of these factors is sunlight. The plant needs bright yet indirect sunlight. Exposure to too much sunlight can lead to brown spots. That is why you need to make sure that the plant is located properly. Shady areas that offer bright sunlight indirectly are the perfect place.

  1. Stick To Watering Schedules

To deal with the edema issue, it is vital to maintain the watering schedule of the plant. Do not make any unnecessary changes unless it’s needed. Fiddle leaf figs cannot handle sudden and unexpected changes to their existing conditions. However, if the watering cycle is not suitable, you need to make appropriate changes. But, this too needs to be done slowly.

  1. Use A Humidifier

In order to treat the dryness of the plant, you need to water it regularly. Make sure that you do not miss the watering schedule. Moreover, if you see that the soil has receded or shrunk, there is a need to repot the plant with fresh soil. The primary goal is to ensure that the root gets adequate water for the plant to survive. Apart from this, you also need to use a humidifier if you live in a dry climate or area.

Also Read: Why Does My Fiddle Leaf Fig Have White Spots? Causes And Solutions

FAQ About Fiddle Leaf Figs Turning Brown

Can you eliminate leaves containing the brown spots on fiddle leaf figs?

Yes, you can take out the leaves with brown spots on the Fiddle leaf fig plant. However, for that, you will need to use the right tools. Make sure that you opt for a sterilized scissor. Now you can use that to prune the plant, cutting off the brown leaves.

Is a well-draining soil absolutely needed for fiddle leaf figs?

Soils with poor water drainage capacity can lead to water retention, causing root rot. To prevent this, Fiddle leaf figs need to be potted with soil that contains coarse sand. It will definitely resolve the drainage problem.


Fiddle leaf figs have quickly become one of the most beautiful ornamental houseplants. The luscious green leaves enhance the beauty of the space elegantly. That is precisely why observing brown spots on the plant can be particularly distressing. You need to fix the issue right away as the plant is known to be demanding and high-maintenance. With the right solutions, you can make the houseplant healthy once again. Do you follow any other solutions to fix the brown spots? Comment and discuss your views with us right away!


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