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Why Is My Fiddle Leaf Fig Turning Brown, Yellow, or Red?

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Fiddle leaf fig works as a natural purifier for the air around it while also adding a Bohemian essence to the space. But this means we should take care of the fiddle leaf fig to ensure it stays healthy.

Why is my fiddle leaf fig turning brown, yellow, white, or red?

Fiddle leaf figs communicate the problems they are fighting through their appearance. The brown, yellow, white, or red patches they develop usually indicate an issue they are going through.

Therefore, it is good to know what problem each individual color represents. This makes finding the solution to fix them easier.

Brown spots:

If you begin to notice brown spots on the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig, it is most probably because of a fungal infection caused by the root of the plant rotting. This can be caused by a combination of over-watering the plant and also a poor drainage system.


Fiddle leaf fig plants are tropical plants that are accustomed to surviving long dry spells between occasional heavy rain.

So, when they are watered multiple times a week, the water gets collected at the base of the plant where the root is situated and this causes the root to begin rotting, this happens more often if the pot lacks proper drainage.

A fungal infection then develops and spreads from the root towards the leaves, turning them brown.


If brown spots have already appeared on the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig, try to cut off only the browned parts of the leaf using a clean, disinfected pair of shears. This should be able to save the plant.

And to avoid that from having again in the future, water the plant only once a week or once every 10 days and ensure the pot has good drainage.

Yellow spots:

Sometimes fiddle leaf fig’s leaves will gradually begin to turn yellow from their original dark green. This can be caused by a lack of adequate sunlight, poor nutrition, or an insect problem but this is very rare. The problem worsens if the plant receives little sunlight but too much water.


When the fiddle leaf fig plant is kept in a spot away from sunlight and over-watered, this causes the leaves to turn yellow. Sometimes, this happens when the plant is not getting enough nutrients to thrive from.

And lastly, an uncommon cause for the leaves to turn yellow can be insects. These particular insects tend to latch on to the leaves of the plant and drain it of its sap.


You need to determine what is causing the leaves to turn yellow. You can move the plant to a sunnier spot in the house and drain it. If it was in a dark corner.

If your plant has yellow spots and also has stopped growing, it is time to fertilize it to give it the necessary nutrients. And finally, if you discover the insects destroying your plant.

You can snip off the damaged, yellowed spots and use an insect repellent for plants or neem oil to keep the insects away from the plant.

Red spots:

Two of the most common causes of red spots on fiddle leaf fig plants can be associated with Edema or Oedema which means there is an inconsistency in watering the plant. This can also be caused by either spider mites or false spider mites. Sunburn and under watering can also cause it, in rare cases.


When the fiddle leaf fig is overwatered, the roots tend to absorb more water than the leaves are able to give off as water vapor through the stomata.

And this causes pressure to build up in the leaves and at one point the cells in the leaves burst from this pressure. And the red spots on the leaves are the dried cells. This is known as Edema and is very common in growing fiddle leaf fig plants.

Spider mites or false spider mites are small insects that cling onto the underside of the plant and feed on the leaves by rupturing them. This terminates the cells causing the red spots.


In order to protect your plant from Edema you need to be mindful of the watering routine. If new growth is sprouting, the number of watering should be more but if they have already matured, it is best to water them less.

And if you notice spider mites or false spider mites on the underside of the leaves of your plant, spray it with a jet of water. This will permanently remove them and their eggs.

White spots:

When the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig begin to turn white, it can be because they are going through mildew infection. In this case, you will be able to find a powdery white elements on your leaves. But sometimes its leaves can turn white due to too much sunlight bleaching the tops of the leaves.


A white, powdery element might begin to stain the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig. This will grow in size and cover larger parts of the plant before eventually terminating it.

This is a mildew infection caused by inadequate air circulation, mainly happens when too many plants are crowded together in a small place. Sunburn can also be the reason why the leaves are turning white.

If that happens you will notice the leaves at the top turning white as they get bleached by direct sunlight.


In case of a mildew infection, try to move the plant somewhere spacious or put a healthy distance between each plant or simply trim the leaves to give it space.

The leaves which are infected should be removed and rub neem oil on the healthy ones. Finally, take a concoction of a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a quart of water and spray it on the plant generously.

But if the white spots are caused by the sun, trim the damaged parts and move it to a place away from direct sunlight.

Fiddle leaf fig common disease and how to treat them:

If you own a fiddle leaf fig, then it is best to know how to identify the common disease they may go through. And also how to effectively treat them.

Fungal infection:

A common mistake many people make is overwatering their fiddle leaf fig, which causes fungal infection. It is also known as root rot. The leaves will begin to turn brown and the edges will curl and droop.

If this happens, you need to trim off the browned and curled parts of the leaf and let the plant dry out before watering it again.

Bacterial infection:

Similar to fungal infection, sometimes the leaves of the plant will turn brown or yellow due to a bacterial infection.

This is caused by the lack of proper hygiene such as touching the plant with unclean hands or tools and it is also harder to combat than a fungal infection.

You will need to remove any leaves that have been affected and also repot the whole plant in order to save it.

Anthracnose leaf spot:

This is another form of fungal infection which causes brown and black spots on the leaves. This tends to spread quicker in moist and humid environments.

And the best way to treat it is to remove the affected leaves and be sure to not leave any moisture on the leaves.


Fiddle leaf fig can get easily sunburnt when left under direct sunlight. This will burn and bleach the leaves. If this occurs, remove the affected leaves and move the plant someplace with bright but indirect sunlight.

How do you treat a fiddle leaf fig sick?

You can treat your fiddle leaf fig by moving it outside to a shady spot. This way it will be away from direct sunlight but will still receive plenty of light, fresh air, and warm conditions which are essential when it comes to reviving a sick fiddle leaf fig.

Should I cut brown leaves off fiddle leaf fig?

Brown leaves should be cut off from the fiddle leaf fig. It is best to remove them because if left untended they can spread to the healthy parts of the leaf too. Your plant can be saved from further damage if they are removed carefully.

How do I get rid of fiddle leaf fig fungus?

Fiddle leaf fig fungus usually starts from the root in the form of root rot. If you notice the root looking brown and mushy, you should remove the damaged roots and also leaves that have brown spots due to the fungus and then repot the fiddle leaf fig using new soil.

Why is my fiddle leaf fig mold?

When your fiddle leaf fig is placed in a space that is overcrowded, maybe with other plants, there is a lack of proper air circulation or any air movement. This causes the growth of mold on the plant which grows and turns fluffier over time.

How to clean fiddle leaf fig leaves?

An easy yet mess-free way to clean fiddle leaf fig leaves is by dipping a soft piece of cotton in plain water and wiping the leaves with it after removing the excess moisture from the cloth.

Final Thought:

Fiddle leaf figs can be a great addition to any room. But like all plants, they have some basic needs. And if they are fulfilled the chances of any disease infecting them will be decreased. But it is still good to know about potential problems they might face and also the solution to fight them.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Do Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves Get Holes?

Do Fiddle Leaf Figs Bloom Flower or Produce Fruit?

What Size Pot Does a Fiddle Leaf Fig Need?

Can Fiddle Leaf Fig Recover from Sunburn?

Why Are Fiddle Leaf Figs So Expensive & Popular?

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