Black Spot On Fiddle Leaf Fig – Causes and How to Fix Them

Do you have any black spots on your fiddle leaf figs? Usually, fiddle leaf figs get black spots from a viral infection, pest infestation, and bacteria. 

Watering too much is the most common thing that causes black spots on fiddle leaf figs. However, the majority of them are curable; only viral infections are not. Therefore, the infected plant should be destroyed if they are infected with viruses.

As well, it can be difficult to figure out the cause at first. As a result, I am going to discuss all the possible causes and treatment options for tiny black spots on fiddle leaf figs in this article. If you identify the causes, you will be able to take action as soon as possible. 

I have also discussed preventive measures against fiddle leaf fig black spots, so please continue readig till the end.

With that said, let’s understand what causes black spots on fig trees.

Black spot on fiddle leaf fig: Causes and How to fix

1. Overwatering fiddle leaf fig


Black spots on fiddle leaf figs are often caused by overwatering. By overwatering or not letting the soil completely dry out between waterings, the plant can become sick.

Overwatering damages plants in several ways. For instance, roots begin to rot when a plant is overwatered.

Consequently, the plant lacks water and nutrients, causing its leaves to turn yellow and brown. In addition to damaging plant health, excess water can also encourage fungal growth.

How to fix overwatered fiddle leaf fig?

Stop watering your overwatered fiddle leaf fig for a while. Before watering your plant again, make sure its soil has dried completely. Afterward, you can water your fiddle leaf fig tree less frequently.

Also, only water when the top inch is dry. Additionally, you may need to repot the plant if the black spots don’t improve after a week or two. Moreover, be sure the pot has drainage holes and use a well-draining potting mix.

2. The fungal disease on fiddle leaf fig

The fungal disease on fiddle leaf fig

Figs with black spots are often the victims of fungi. Usually, these diseases are caused by too much moisture. 

Four major fungal diseases that affect fiddle leaf figs are black spot, leaf spot, sooty mold, and anthracnose.

a) Black spot fungus

One of the common fungal diseases affecting figs is black spot fungus. Usually, you will notice black spots on your fig leaves. The spots can range from millimeters to centimeters.

Mostly, black spot fungus spreads due to water droplets. Thus avoid wet weather or any watering technique that splashes water on the leaves.

As this fungus enjoys warm and humid conditions, it is common to see them in greenhouses or during the summer months.

How to treat black spot fungus?

When you notice black spot fungus, immediately remove the infected leaves. Next, try to improve airflow around the fiddle leaf fig plant. 

Additionally, make sure the leaves are dry before watering the plant. The leaves will be able to dry before nightfall if you water your plant early in the day. 

Also, you can treat black spot fungus with natural fungicides, such as neem oil and horticultural oil.

b) Leaf spot fungus

Another fungal disease that can affect fiddle leaf figs is leaf spot fungus. A variety of fungal pathogens can cause fungal leaf spots on plants.

Also, it is common for these fungi to attack the leaves of plants, causing black or brown spots to develop. When the spots coalesce, the entire leaf can turn brown and die.

How to treat leaf spot fungus?

If your plant has fungal leaf spots, remove any affected leaves.

Neem oil or copper fungicides are natural fungicides you can use on the plant. Additionally, use the fungicide according to the instructions on the label.

Moreover, ensure that your plant receives sufficient water and that its potting mix is well-drained.

c) Sooty mold

An aphid or other sucking insect infestation often causes smoky mold to grow on plants. The sooty mold fungus eats honeydew, a sticky substance excreted by the insects.

Black, sooty stuff covers the plant leaves as the fungus grows. Typically, smoky mold doesn’t directly harm plant leaves, but it can block sunlight and turn them yellow or brown.

How to treat sooty mold on fig plant?

To treat sooty mold on fiddle leaf figs, you need to remove the underlying problem: aphids.

You can spray them with water or use insecticide soap to get rid of aphids. By itself, the sooty mold will fade away once the insects are gone.

Alternatively, wash the leaves of your plant with mild soap and water to speed up the process.

d) Anthracnose

Among the plants that can be affected by anthracnose are fiddle leaf fig trees.

Plants become infected with the disease when a fungus infects open wounds or natural openings (stomata). The symptoms of anthracnose include black or brown spots on the leaves of fiddle leaf fig plants, premature leaf drop, and stunted growth.

Upon taking hold, the fungus releases spores that are spread through wind or water to other plants. 

Also, it is more likely that anthracnose will affect plants during periods of wet weather when the spores germinate more readily. Moreover, when the fungus is severe, the plant may die.

How to treat anthracnose? 

The first step to resolving anthracnose on your fiddle leaf fig is to isolate it from other plants. Next, remove any affected leaves and dispose of them to prevent the disease from spreading.

Alternatively, you can use a natural fungicide to treat the plant. Among the many options, neem oil is a popular choice due to its safety for humans and pets.

To treat the affected leaves, mix neem oil with water according to the directions on the bottle. Spray the mixture onto the leaves. Moreover, cover the entire leaf, including the underside. Until the symptoms go away, you must treat your plant every 7-10 days.

Additionally, there are a few things you can do to prevent anthracnose.

  • Don’t overcrowd your fiddle leaf fig, and give it plenty of room to grow.
  • Do not let the plant sit in water, but keep it well-watered.
  • Ensure leaves are watered early in the day so they can dry before nightfall.
  • After each use, sterilize your gardening tools.

3. Black spots on fiddle leaf figs caused by bacteria

Black spots on fiddle leaf figs caused by bacteria

Fiddle leaf figs are also susceptible to bacterial infections. Many types of bacteria can infect plants, and each one causes different symptoms.

A bacterial infection may appear in the form of wilting, yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or spots on the leaves that are black or brown. Moreover, the entire plant may die in severe cases.

The most common way that bacteria spread is by insects or through contact with soil or water that is infected. Additionally, bacterial leaf spots or bacterial blight are the most common causes of black spots on fiddle leaf figs.

How to fix black dots on fiddle leaf fig caused by bacteria?

The first step in treating a fiddle leaf fig infection is to isolate it from other plants.

After removing any affected leaves, dispose of them to prevent the disease from spreading.

Additionally, you can try using a natural bactericide on the plant. The best choice is baking soda, as it is safe for humans, animals, and the environment.

In a spray bottle, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with one quart of water, then spray it onto the affected leaves. Also, ensure the entire leaf is covered, including the underside. To cure your plant, you need to treat it every seven to ten days.

There are also a few things you can do to prevent bacterial infections.

  • Ensure that your fiddle leaf fig has enough ventilation.
  • An open window or door is a good place to place a fiddle leaf fig.
  • Allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent bacteria from taking hold. Water your plant regularly but don’t overwater it.
  • Lastly, avoid placing your plant in direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves and cause them to become infected.

4. Viral infection on fiddle leaf fig

Viruses infect plants and disrupt their normal growth by infecting their cells. Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) is the most common virus to infect fiddle leaf figs.

The leaves are marked by black spots and yellow or white mottling. You may also see crinkled or distorted leaves.

As a result of these viruses, a wide range of symptoms can occur, from mild leaf discoloration to complete plant death.

How to treat black dots on fiddle leaf fig caused by a viral infection?

Virus infections are incurable. As a result, you need to destroy plants that are affected.

Plants that are infected should be handled with good hygiene to prevent the spread of viruses. Whenever you handle any tools, be sure to wash your hands afterward.

5. Pest infestation

Figs can also develop black spots due to pest infestations.

Aphids, scale insects, and spider mites are the most common pests that attack fiddle leaf figs. They feed on sap, which can cause leaf discoloration, stunted growth, and black spots on leaves.

Hence, it is important to control pests immediately because they can spread diseases as well.

How to control pest infestation on fiddle leaf fig plant?

There are several ways to control pests on fiddle leaf figs.

As a first step, isolate the plant from other plants in your home. This will prevent the pests from spreading.

The next thing you can do is use a natural pesticide on the plant. One simple recipe is to mix 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of dish soap.

Apply the mixture to the affected leaves, including the undersides. For 7-10 days, you must treat your plant.

Alternatively, you can use a commercial pesticide, but be sure it is safe for indoor plants.

It is possible to control many common houseplant pests with products containing neem oil or pyrethrin.

This was all about causes and how to fix the black spot on the fiddle leaf fig. However, it would be always best if you took preventive action against tiny black spots on your plant. You can keep black spots at bay by following these preventative measures.

The best way to prevent tiny black dots on figs

There are several ways to prevent black spots. Yet, the best way to prevent the black spot on fiddle leaf figs is to provide your plant with proper care.  Here are a few tips:

Few questions on the black spot on the fiddle leaf fig

Q.1 Why does my fiddle leaf fig tree have black spots?

Ans. Fiddle leaf fig trees have black spots due to pests, fungi, bacteria, or viral infection. Fig rust is a fungal disease that occurs on fig trees, often in late summer and fall. 

Spotting will probably increase as we move towards the fall when rainy weather encourages the disease while drier weather retards it.

Q.2 Should I remove spotted leaves from a fiddle leaf fig?

Ans. Yes, when your plant develops brown or black spots, you should remove the affected leaves and ensure it has adequate light. If your plant has multiple brown spots, you should remove any brown, mushy roots and the affected leaves, then repot your plant carefully.

Q.3 How does fungus look on a fiddle leaf fig?

Ans. There may be white spots or powdery mildew on the leaves of a fiddle leaf fig. The fungus may also cause the leaves to appear yellow or brown. If you observe any of these symptoms, you should take steps to treat them immediately.

Q.4 What are the signs of a bacteria-infected fiddle leaf fig?

Ans. Usually, bacterial leaf spots are brown in color rather than black and are found mostly on young leaves. The spots are usually on new growth and have irregular margins.


Watering improperly, pest infestation, viral infection, fungal disease, or bacteria are a few main causes of black spots on fiddle leaves fig. However, most can be controlled with proper care.

Take immediate action whenever you see any black spots on your fiddle leaf fig. Most of these are curable, but only viral infections are not. 

Therefore, it is always best to follow the preventive measures mentioned in this article. It is all about providing your fiddle leaf figs with the right care.

Water your fiddle leaf fig regularly and provide them with bright indirect light. However, do not place them in direct light, as direct light can scorch the leaves. Additionally, don’t forget to quarantine new plants before introducing them to your collection.

Below are our other posts about fiddle lead figs you might like. So, before you go, check them out.

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  • Prachi Parate

    Prachi Parate is an enthusiast writer. She is a native of a science background, where botanical science was one of her favorite subjects. It was always Prachi's dream to combine her passion with a career. Hence, her fascination with plants led to a career as a writer. Also, she believes that taking good care of yourself is key to happiness. Time spent in nature is one of her favorite self-care practices. It is her goal to transform her learning into content that helps readers.

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