Fiddle leaf fig brown spots – House Plant Journal

Fiddle leaf fig brown spots

Plant: Fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata)

How long have you had the plant? 1 to 2 years


There’s a dark brown pattern on some of the leaves. This one is the biggest and it also shows at the top 2 leaves. There were also spots (dried brown/yellowish) on many leaves. The biggest one is shown in the photo.  I recently moved to a new place and placed the plant next to the window/door. It is getting a lot more light than its previous spot but the growth seems to be stunted with brown spots occurring.


Overall plant:

Light Situation:

The plant gets about 2 hours of direct sun from this spot

How do you determine WHEN to water: I wait for the soil to become about halfway dry.

Describe HOW you water: Fully soak the soil, letting excess drain away. I pour enough water until I see water coming out in the saucer. I don’t follow a schedule and just touch to see if the soil is dry or damp. I water when it’s dry.

What fertilizer do you use? Yes – Miracle grow, indoor plant food spikes

When was the last time you repotted? About 1-2 years ago


Thanks for the photos and info!  You’ve got a very nice fiddle leaf fig!

You have an excellent window, which will allow you to enjoy a fiddle leaf fig (and many other plants) for the long run.

Your watering and fertilizing care practices sound good.  Now that your plant is receiving more light, you will notice it uses water more quickly so continue with your “when partially dry” watering strategy but increase your frequency of soil checking and you’ll get accustomed to the new rhythm.

Your plant is growing well and the brown parts you’ve shown me are nothing to be concerned about.  An occasional soil flushing can help to minimize the appearance of new browned tips and dark spots – this is when you pour lots of water through the pot and allow it to drain away.  This will leach away potentially built up minerals but be sure to follow up with a fertilizer since the flushing also washes away nutrients.  I only do this every few months.

As I mentioned, your plant is growing well but there’s nothing that can be done to make these spots disappear once they show up.  The sap of a fiddle leaf fig will turn a rusty brown color as it oxidizes so any small cell damage can result in a reddish-brown spot.  It’s not an indication of anything wrong unless it’s spider mites or you are blindly watering in poor light conditions.  As for the lighter brown spots, these are appearing on older leaves, which is inevitable.  Soil flushing can help to minimize it but your overall plant still looks healthy.  As you enjoy the plant over the years, you will continually have the lower leaves dying off as new ones grow at the top.  There will come a time when it gets so tall that you will want to take a cutting of the top so you can plant it lower into the soil.

For more great resources, I think you’ll enjoy my book and online course.

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *