Just like most houseplants fiddle leaf figs are susceptible to disease and pests. The fiddle leaf fig is susceptible to bacterial or fungal diseases such as root rot. Furthermore, root rot can kill your fiddle leaf fig if you leave it untreated.
Fiddle leaf fig pests such as mealybugs, aphids, scale, and spider mites are more often visitors. Many of these fiddle leaf fig pests are small in size and hide in places that are hard to see. Therefore, it is always a good idea to inspect your fiddle leaf fig carefully every now and then.
However, most of the fiddle leaf fig diseases and pests are treatable. The only problem lies in identifying the infestation or disease quickly. Therefore, in this article, I am going to walk you through all the common fiddle leaf fig diseases and pests.
Once you get familiar with these pests and diseases it would be easy for you to identify them and quickly take action to save your plant’s health and beauty.
So, let us find out unwanted guests on your fiddle leaf fig.
Common Fiddle Leaf Fig Diseases & Pests with treatment
If you notice white powder all over your fiddle leaf fig foliage then mealybug is to blame. This fiddle leaf fig pest is small in size. Also, this tiny insect will lay eggs around your fiddle leaf fig. Hence, make sure to inspect your fiddle leaf fig leaves and the area where branches meet the main stem.
Moreover, if mealybug infestation is severe, your plant will tell you through yellow leaf fiddle leaf fig, dropping of leaves. And eventually, your plant will die if you leave it untreated.
Additionally, mealybugs prefer new, vulnerable leaves, stunting growth.
The best way to treat mealybugs is with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. By using this, you will suffocate mealybugs and eliminate the white powdery substance on your beautiful fig leaves.
For more information read Mealybugs On Fiddle Leaf Fig – Causes and How to Treat!
Seeing small bugs on your fiddle leaf fig may indicate an aphid infestation. Typically, aphids will form little colonies on the foliage and new stems of your plants.
When left unattended, aphids consume plant sap and reproduce quickly, thus becoming a significant problem.
Also, aphid infestations will dry out your fiddle leaf fig foliage. As a result, your leaves will turn yellow and wilt when infested with aphids.
Aphids are best controlled with neem oil. Applying neem oil suffocates the existing bugs and prevents eggs from hatching. If you aren’t sure how to apply neem oil, check out our post on Neem Oil Fiddle Leaf Fig | When and How to Use It.
Additionally, insecticides can be bought at the store or made at home. A spray bottle filled with a mixture of dish-washing soap and water (3 tablespoons to 1 liter) works well on leaves.
If you keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy, aphids feeding on the sap won’t harm your plant too much, so your best protection from serious damage is to keep it healthy.
Whitefly is small, flying insects that are white in color. They are similar to moths in shape and are commonly found on the top of plants or near stem ends.
Just like aphids, whiteflies feed on the sap of large Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves. Generally, if you gently shake the plant, it will jump off due to its small wings. However, as soon as you turn your back, they quickly return to the leaves.
Whitefly infestation will stunt your fiddle leaf fig growth. Additionally, they leave behind honeydew, which attracts ants and encourages mold growth.
Predatory insects like ladybugs feed on whitefly eggs. As long as there is a low level of infestation, this method works well.
Moreover, the use of neem oil mixed with water and sprayed on your fiddle leaf fig will kill whiteflies regardless of their life cycle. Also, don’t forget to wet all the foliage.
Another option is to use a sticky trap to stop them from eating the leaves. Bug sticky traps work best in controlled environments for fiddle leaf figs.
However, eggs will not be removed from plants with the sticky trap method, so be sure to use this in conjunction with another method.
4. Spider mites
Known for their characteristic webs, spider mites attack a wide variety of houseplants, including Fiddle Leaf Figs. While they may be hard to see in the beginning, a closer look at the points where leaves and branches meet the stem should reveal white webbing.
This spider family feeds on plant cells, hiding from sight. As well as eating your plants’ nutrients, spider mites carry diseases that can damage your fiddle leaf fig. Moreover, your leaves may drop, curl yellow foliage, turn brown or wilt, or have speckled brown dots on them.
It is quick and easy to get rid of spider mite pests and webs with horticultural oils. Moreover, check other nearby houseplants for spider mites, as they can quickly spread.
Also, read Spider Mites Fiddle Leaf Fig – Causes and How to Treat!
On your fiddle leaf fig, you can easily identify scale insects. A scale bug is a small, flat oval-shaped insect with a brown shell. Moreover, they live under the leaves and on the stems of your fiddle leaf fig.
Like aphids, scale insects feed on the sap of your house plants. This removal of sap can cause the yellowing of leaves and wilting. Therefore, it is important to deal with scale insects as soon as possible to keep your plant happy and healthy.
Scale insect treatment depends on the degree of infestation that you have. If you have a few bugs on your fiddle leaf fig, you can remove them with your hand or a cloth. Moreover, applying neem oil or alcohol solutions with a cotton bud will kill the scale.
For larger infestations, pesticides and insects such as lacewings and ladybugs can be used.
6. Fungus Gnats
Fungus gnats lay their eggs in moist soil near warm, humid places on your houseplant leaves.
While they are not the most damaging insects, they are definitely the most frustrating, especially if they fly around your head after migrating from your plants.
A sticky trap left in the soil of your Fiddle Leaf tree will quickly attract these flying insects. To stop the spread of these pests, repotting can be done if the eggs have been laid.
Follow this post for step by step guide on Repotting Fiddle Leaf Fig – When, Why, and How to Re-pot
7. Powdery Mildew
An air circulation problem between the leaves causes this fungal disease. Your tree will have chalky white or gray spots on its leaves and stems if it is affected by powdery mildew.
Powdery mildew can weaken your fiddle and ultimately kill it. Moreover, if you don’t act quickly, it could spread to other houseplants.
Start by isolating the fiddle to prevent the spread of the fungus.
As this disease results from stagnant air and damp, dark conditions, you need to create the opposite. For this, turn on a fan to move the air in the room. However,not directly at your fiddle. Additionally, open some windows or doors.
Remove only those leaves with sharp, clean shears if there are only a few spots on them. Also, do not touch any of the healthy leaves and clean your shears between cuts.
Next, protect the remaining leaves. To treat your leaves, spray them generously with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 quart of water.
Also, other than powdery mildew, there may be other reasons for white spots on fiddle leaf figs. Therefore make sure to read White Spots On Fiddle Leaf Fig – Causes And What To Do.
8. Root Rot
When the soil is too wet for too long, fungus grows in the roots of a plant, causing root rot.
Figs with root rot usually develop dark brown or black spots on the bottom leaves first, then move upwards.
Also, watch out for browning or blackening on the lower leaves, mushy stems, and a funky smell.
Upon removing the tree from the pot, you may find mushy black roots that have begun to rot.
If your tree is only showing a few spots with no odor, you can remove the damaged leaves, ease up on the water, give it more light, and use Root Supplement to prevent further infection.
However, repot your tree if the symptoms are more severe and the spots are spreading. Take your fiddle out of its pot and remove all the old soil from the root ball. If any roots are rotting, trim them off!
Make sure the tree is replanted in fresh, fast-draining soil with a clean pot with drainage holes. Give the tree plenty of bright, indirect sunlight so it can heal and prevent root rot from returning. However, don’t remove more than 10% of the leaves per week.
After repotting, water the tree less than usual and hold off on fertilizing for a month or so. For root recovery and to prevent a recurrence, use Root Supplements.
9. Bacterial infection
It is rare for fiddle leaf fig plants to suffer from bacterial infections, but if they aren’t treated promptly, they can die quite quickly.
Your Fiddle Leaf Fig will show similar symptoms to Root Rot, but it will show up all over. If your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s foliage is cracked and brown spots are present, it may have a bacterial infection.
Also, check out the post on Fiddle Leaf Fig Brown Spots – Causes and How to Treat Them
It is best to remove the affected leaves and repot the plant in fresh soil and a clean container. Make sure the soil drains well and the pot has a good drainage system. To prevent the infection from spreading to other houseplants, clean your pruners after removing the affected leaves.
Next, place your Fiddle Leaf Fig under indirect bright light and water it only when the top few inches of soil are dry. Avoid misting the foliage as well.
If you overwater or water inconsistently, your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s roots will take in too much water, resulting in edema. To avoid overwatering read When, How Much, and How Often to Water Fiddle Leaf Fig
It may be due to poor air circulation or irregular fertilization. The underside of the leaves has little bumps caused by burst leaf cells. As the cells burst, the bumps become dry and reddish brown in color.
Start a better watering schedule for your Fiddle Leaf Fig to avoid overwatering.
Check the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry before watering or use a moisture meter.
Organize your plants outside, so that they can circulate well, or improve air circulation inside if they are grouped together.
Using insecticides & pesticides on fiddle leaf figs
What kind of pesticide you use will determine how much you use. In most cases, they are diluted in water and sprayed directly on the leaves. When the pests are suffocated, they can be wiped off and thrown away.
Also, to apply your pesticide, carefully cover the underside and top of each leaf. Small pests are easy to miss, and they can hide in unexpected places, even if you don’t see them.
Lastly, it is important to wash your hands immediately after using pruners and to clean your tools as well.
You can keep fiddle leaf fig pests at a bay by taking the preventive measure. Hence, let us discuss how to prevent them in the next section.
How to prevent fiddle leaf fig disease and pests
Regularly water the plants, make sure they have enough light, and maintain a stable temperature for fiddle leaf figs. Watch for signs of stress and fix any issues quickly.
Adding fertilizer in spring and summer will help your fiddle leaf figs grow and flourish. To feed fiddle leaf fig check out the post on Fiddle Leaf Fig Fertilizer – When and How to Fertilize (Essential Tips)
Also, it is most common for pests and diseases to thrive in warm, humid environments with limited airflow. Thus, make sure there is enough space on all sides if there is plenty of moisture around your plants. By doing this, moisture will not build up in cramped areas, causing diseases to develop.
Additionally, each month, clean your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves of any dust buildup. Be extra careful with propagated fiddle leaf figs, especially in the early stages.
Also, check How to Propagate Fiddle Leaf Fig – 3 Simple Methods!
Few Questions on diseased fiddle leaf fig
Q1: What does a diseased Fiddle Leaf Fig look like?
Ans. Your Fiddle Leaf Fig will show yellowing leaves along with brown spots if it has a bacterial leaf spot. In the case of root rot, the leaf will remain dark green with brown spots, whereas with bacterial leaf spots, the leaf will turn yellow as the brown spot spreads.
Q2: Is Baking Soda Good for fiddle leaf fig?
Ans. Yes. Simply spray the plant with baking soda in water to get rid of the pests. Don’t forget to treat the underside of the leaves of the infected plant and keep it away from others.
Q3: What kills spider mites instantly?
Ans. You can kill spider mites instantly by spraying 1 cup of rubbing alcohol and 4 cups of water on your plants. Make sure the stems and foliage are completely covered. By dehydrating spider mites, rubbing alcohol kills them.
Q4: Why does my fiddle leaf have tiny brown spots?
Ans. It is common for fiddle leaf fig leaves to have brown spots due to a fungal infection caused by too much moisture at the roots. When your plant is overwatered and has poor drainage, root rot develops, which spreads to its leaves.
Fiddle leaf figs are prone to disease and pest infestation. It is often a fungal infection that affects fiddle leaf figs, rather than a bacterial infection. Often, improper watering is to blame for fungal infections. So if you get your watering schedule right, your plants won’t get sick as often.
On fiddle leaf figs, mealybugs, aphids, scales, and mites are common pests. Nevertheless, you can get rid of them easily if you apply pesticides or horticultural oil right away. However, depending on the level of infestation, repotting may be necessary.
If you leave your plant with fiddle leaf fig disease and pests, it can damage the plant or even kill it. Therefore, take action quickly.
Follow the preventive measures discussed in the article to keep pests and diseases at bay. Also, taking care of fiddle leaf figs will keep them healthy and less prone to insects. Read How to Care and Grow for a Fiddle Leaf Fig – A Complete Guide to make sure your plant is getting the right care
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Also, help your friends and family who are dealing with annoying insects by sharing this article.
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