Red spots on fiddle leaf fig plants are one of the most common issues that fig tree growers find disturbing.
Ficus Lyrata or the fiddle-leaf fig tree is a favorite indoor plant because of its lush and gorgeous green leaves, minus the red dots, which seem to be quite distressing. Read on to find out what these red spots do to your leaf figs and how to avoid them.
- Why Are Red Spots Present on My Fiddle-leaf Fig?
- How To Avoid Red Spots in Your Fig Leaves: General Care Tips
Why Are Red Spots Present on My Fiddle-leaf Fig?
The red spots on fiddle leaf fig may not always be an indicator of bad health to your plant. In some cases, these red spots are telling you that new growth is existing, specifically if it is edema.
Commonly, the causes of these red spots in your gorgeous green fiddle leaf figs are- edema, insect infestations, bacterial or fungal infections, and physical stressors or trauma. Now, let us talk about them:
– Edema Due to Overwatering
You may notice red spots on the newly unfurled leaf at the topmost portion of your fig plant, making you anxious that it might harm your plant. However, worry no more because the presence of this new leaf means that your fiddle leaf plant is growing through its right course.
Also, edema happens only to a newly develop leaf fig, and it slowly fades away as the fiddle leaf matures. What this means is that the leaf heals on its own, and the red spots go away.
However, what is an edema? Edema refers to bruises made in the cells of the leaf that are around 1mm to 3 mm in diameter. These minute blisters occur due to the unhealthy retention of water in the tiny veins of the leaf.
These small veins could not hold so much water that they burst, leaving pin-prick damage on the leaves. You would know that it is edema because the red spots are very tiny and do not grow in size.
The red dots are uniform in dimension and eventually heal on their own as the newly grown leaves mature. Aside from that, edema leaves no holes in your fig leaves.
Low light intensity
Another cause of edema is too low light intensity. As with most plants, the fiddle leaf fig needs to photosynthesize to make its food. If the light is too low then that interferes with their ability to do so. This makes it much more vulnerable to diseases and so on but makes it specifically susceptible to edema.
When humidity levels are high – above 60% – the plant will transpire at a slower rate. After all the surrounding air can only take in that much moisture. Unfortunately, this creates leaf cell moisture imbalance. This in turn leads to edema.
– Insect Infestations
Insect infestation is also one of the leading causes of red spots in your fig plant. Try to look at your fiddle leaf fig. If you see reddish or brownish pockmarks, there might be spider mites and/or (false) spider mites feeding off of your fig leaves. These insects could easily occupy a large portion of the leaves of your fiddle-leaf fig.
Spider mites are so tiny that you can’t directly see them. What you would notice is the webbing made by these insects. These spots range from reddish to pale brown as the spider mites feed on the plant’s chlorophyll.
They leave holes on the leaves of the entire plant. If you look closely, you would find clusters of eggs by these pests.
Meanwhile, false spider mites couldn’t be easily seen because they are usually hidden on the underside of the leaves.
– Bacterial Infection
Infected tools and pots, as well as your hands, could carry the bacterial infection in your fiddle leaf tree. You would know there is a bacterial infection when there are reddish brown or tan spots on the leaves of your fiddle fig plant.
You could find the spots even along the plant’s edges, too. Aside from that, fig leaves turning yellow is also an indication of infections caused by bacteria.
Overhead watering and sometimes misting are also common ways for bacteria to spread, especially on fiddle leaf fig leaves that are still young and found at the top of your plant.
– Fungal Infection
Drooping leaves located at the lower portion of the fig plant usually indicate root rot. Root rot, if not treated immediately, may harm your plant in two weeks’ time. Orange-brown spots to almost black spots could be seen in your fig leaves. These spots usually start at the base of the leaves or in parts where the leaves meet.
Like in any other plant, root rot in your fiddle leaf fig is usually caused by excessive watering and poorly draining soil. Because of this, the water becomes stagnant at the bottom of your plant pot. The persistent presence of water makes the roots of the plant deteriorate, leading to root rot.
– Physical Stress or Trauma
Stress on your fiddle fig plant can also cause red spots on the leaf. Fiddle-leaf fig plants, although sturdy, are prone to injuries when not taken care of well. Underwatering or intermittent watering are among the most common stressors for fig plants.
You would know you have an under watered fiddle when red to almost brown freckles are visible on the undersides of the leaves of your fig tree.
On the other hand, trauma from too much sun exposure is also manifested on the leaves of fiddle leaf figs. Red and brown spots could form from sun scalding of the leaves. You know it is from too much sun because the leaves affected are those exposed to direct sunlight or under the brightest light.
The constant moving of your fiddle leaf fig tree to different locations may cause unnecessary harm that could be unnoticeable to you, except for some bruises or spots displayed if you looked at your indoor plants closely.
How To Avoid Red Spots in Your Fig Leaves: General Care Tips
Knowing what causes the red spots on your leaf fig tree could help you in taking care of it.
It’s time to apply these care tips and practical solutions to avoid or get rid of those ugly red spots.
– Use a Good Potting Mix
Like any other plant, using a suitable soil mix is the number one preventive measure to avoid red spots on your fiddle leaf figs. A proportionate amount of moss, peat, perlite, and other organic matter would ensure good drainage and moisture retention for the roots.
– Regulate Watering
Making sure that your fig plants receive the right amount of water on an exact schedule is a sure preventive way to avoid red spots on leaf figs. Plant stress due to excessive water or lack of water will be eliminated. Fungal infection and root rot could also be addressed.
Though it may result in edema, it is not advisable to minimize watering fig plants that are in the growing stage, especially during summer. However, during winter, it is best to give your plant minimal water. In addition, discard the water accumulated in the pot’s basin so as not to encourage the growth of any infection.
Another factor to keep in mind with watering is the temperature of the water. You should always give your fiddle leaf fig room temperature water as too cold or too hot could cause shock.
– Constantly Check for Insect infestations
You could never go wrong with this one; regularly checking on the leaves of your fig plant would tell you the state it is in. You would know if there are pests invading your foliage.
Spider mites, mealy bugs, and false spider mites in your leaf figs could easily be wiped away with any insecticide available, and with neem oil, too. Another method used to get rid of these pests is to spray directly with water the areas occupied by the insects. The pressure would eventually wipe out the insects.
– Treat Infections
Whether it is a bacterial or fungal infection that contaminates your fiddle gig plants, it is best to treat it right away. With any delay in treatment, there is a possibility that the infection will spread throughout your entire plant.
When you suspect it is a bacterial infection, assess which leaves were infected and immediately cut them. If needed, repotting using newly sanitized pots could help in the recovery of your plants.
Meanwhile, for fungal infection, it would do well to remove the plant entirely from its pot. Look at its roots; if they are soppy or turning brown or black, it must be root rot. Cut the infected roots, and make sure that only healthy roots remain: those colored white or tan.
A spray of fungicide can also mitigate if not eliminate the problem. Moreover, if you want to, you could change the pots into something new and unused.
– Avoid Unnecessary Stress
Move your plants sparingly and carefully, as it may also cause trauma to them. Carrying them to new locations and new surroundings could place your plant under undue stress, so try to avoid moving it. Don’t put it indirectly under your air conditioning units.
Also, avoid placing it under the direct heat from the sun. Fiddle leaf figs appreciate dappled bright light from the sun but not scorching heat or it will create patches on your fig leaves.
– Ensure Good Lighting
To further minimise the chance of red spots due to edema you must ensure that the fig leaf gets enough light. Note, however, that it should be indirect light and not too harsh as the plant is originally from the rain forests so it would only get light that filtered down to it.
– Lessen Humidity
The two easiest ways to lift humidity for your fig is to not mist is but irrigate at the roots and to not have it too close to other plants. If the problem is really intense you could resort to pots of calcium chloride in your home or even get dry heat sources.
– Should You Be Alarmed by Red Spots on Your Fig?
Mostly yes; you should be alarmed by red spots on your plant. The spots indicate that there is harm happening to your plant, especially if the red spots have spread throughout. You need to check it thoroughly and make sure that you determine the reason for this condition.
– How Do You Know if the Spots Are Due To Overwatering or Underwatering?
To know whether the red spots on your fig are due to overwatering of underwatering you must know the difference in symptoms. The effects are largely the same – roots’ inability to absorb minerals from the soil causes spots and dying leaves.
With overwatering, edema will form which are red spots, with underwatering brown spots will form. With edema the spots do not grow and expand but with underwatering they do and eventually the whole leaf will die. Also note that while edema will recover, browning will not.
Being able to identify what those red spots are on your fig leaf plants could help you understand the causes, as well as the steps you need to take for treatment, making your fiddle fig indoor plant healthy and beautiful.
So, let’s sum up the important points and care tips to remember so you can have blemish-free fiddle fig leaves.
- Red spots are formed in the leaf fig tree because of edema, insect infestations, trauma, and bacterial and fungal infections
- These red spots could be avoided and remedied by being keen on the following a regular watering schedule, checking for insect infestations, as having sanitary planting and pruning practices
- Edema, the most common cause of red spots, will go away as the leaves mature.
- Red spots caused by bacterial or fungal infections must be treated immediately as they can harm your fiddle fig plant.
Growing the fiddle-leaf fig plant may not be easy as it initially seemed, but with the ideas presented here to resolve your red spot problems, you could then have a lush and leafy fiddle fig.
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