Holes In Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves – Causes and Steps to Fix

Probably you are here because your fiddle leaf fig is showing signs of trouble. You can always tell that fiddle leaf figs are in trouble by their leaves. Therefore, if you see holes in a fiddle leaf fig, you need to take action immediately.

There are many reasons why a Fiddle Leaf Fig’s leaves have holes. It is most likely that a pest infestation has taken hold. Insects feed on leaf tissue, creating holes in fiddle leaf figs. Overwatering, humidity issues, nutritional deficiencies, and physical trauma are other common causes.

I know you may be concerned about the holes in your Fiddle Leaf Fig leaves right now. However, if you know what to look for and how to fix the issue, you will be able to prevent the problem from worsening. Once you took the action any new leaves will grow healthy and intact.

Now, the first thing to do is understand what causes holes in fiddle leaf fig leaves, and what we can do about them. So, let us know the causes of fiddle leaf fig holes below

Common causes of holes in fiddle leaf fig leaves

Common causes of holes in fiddle leaf fig leaves

1. Damage from insects

The most common cause of holes in fiddle leaf fig leaf is pest infestation. Aphids, leaf miners, slugs, mealybugs, scale, spider mites, and thrips are among the most common fiddle leaf fig pests. 

There are many ways these pests can damage leaves. In some cases, they suck sap from the leaves, causing them to dry out and die. Moreover, they may chew on the leaves, causing holes to form.

They can also lay eggs inside leaves, which hatch and damage them further. Some pest larvae, such as leaf miners, eat their way out of the leaf, causing holes in the new fiddle leaf fig.

Often, these tiny pests go undetected. As a result, the pests create havoc on your fiddle leaf fig plant. Hence, it is important to learn how to identify these pests so that you can save your plant.

How to treat holes in fiddle leaf fig caused by pests

Fiddle leaves with holes are hard to fix, so your best bet is to prevent more from forming. For a healthy plant, prune the damaged leaves and follow these tips to prevent further damage:

Plant isolation

The best way to reverse damage to your fiddle leaf fig is to isolate it from other plants if it has holes caused by pests. By doing this, you can prevent pests from spreading to other plants in your house.

Moreover, if you have brought any new plants, quarantine them before adding them to your collection. 

Use neem oil

You can remove a variety of pests naturally from your plants by using neem oil.

Just spray neem oil on your plants after mixing it with water. Also, don’t forget to cover the leaves and stems completely.  Using neem oil will kill existing pests as well as prevent new ones from appearing.


Soap is another easy solution to pest problems. Mix one part water with one part dish soap to make a soap spray. After mixing the two ingredients, spray your plant.

Additionally, soap is best suited for soft-bodied pests, such as aphids and mealybugs. Soap spray will kill pests quickly as it suffocates them. 

As this pest likes to hide under the leaves, so be sure to spray the undersides of them. After a few hours, rinse the soap off your plant to prevent damaging the leaves.


Another stronger solution is an insecticide. Insecticides are available in a variety of forms, but make sure to pick one made specifically for indoor plants.

2. Physical trauma

This is another common cause of holes in fiddle leaf fig leaves. Physical trauma can puncture, tear or scratch the leaves of the fiddle leaf fig plant.

Often, transport results in trauma. Also, you may experience this problem if you locate the plant in a high-traffic area. As there is a possibility that pets, kids, and movers will bump into your plant. Thus, causing them physical damage.

How to fix physical trauma in fiddle leaf fig

It is important to take good care of your fiddle leaf fig in order for it to thrive. So, you can place a barrier in front of your plant. This should help deter kids and, pests.

3. Nutrient deficiency

You may also find holes in your fiddle fig leaf due to nutrient deficiency. Most commonly, this is caused by a nitrogen deficiency, but other nutrients like phosphorus and potassium can also contribute.

If a plant lacks sufficient nutrients, it will begin to develop leaf problems such as holes, spots, or curls. Often, these deficiencies are caused by poor soil quality or insufficient watering.

How to fix nutrients deficiency in fiddle leaf fig

Add borax or boric acid to the soil to increase boron levels. Use it as a foliar or soil fertilizer.

4. Humidity

In fiddle leaf plants, humidity helps keep the leaves moist. In dry conditions, leaves can develop holes. And once leaves are damaged in dry environments, they are unable to recover over time.

Also, it’s easy for a new fiddle leaf to get caught on the bud it’s emerging from and tear when it unfurls or unravels. It can range from a small scratch to a full-blown gash. 

How to boost humidity level in fiddle leaf fig plant

Make a pebble water tray and place it near your plant. Moreover, misting your fiddle leaf figs regularly will keep them humid. Additionally, considering a humidifier is also a good idea.

5. Root rot

In fiddle leaf figs, root rot occurs when roots sit in water for too long. Your fig plant can die if there isn’t proper drainage in the pot or if they are watered too often. 

Also, too big pot can also damage your fiddle leaf fig. It’s a serious problem because root rot stops the plant from taking up nutrients and water, which leads to holes, wilted leaves, and eventually plant death. Worse, it can attract pests and bacterial or fungal colonies.

How to fix root rot in fiddle leaf fig plant

Improper watering causes root rot in plants. However, merely changing watering habits may not be enough if too much of the root system is dead or rotting. Moreover, this can lead to the rest of the root ball becoming diseased. 

Therefore, it would be best to replant your fiddle leaf fig. Additionally, do not forget to remove diseased roots.

These were the main causes of holes in fiddle leaf fig. In the next section, let us learn how to prevent fiddle leaf fig holes in leaves.

Tips to prevent fiddle leaf fig holes in leaves

Tips to prevent fiddle leaf fig holes in leaves

It is easy to prevent holes in fiddle leaf figs if you take good care of your plant. Just follow the below instructions to keep your fiddle leaf fig free from unwanted holes.

1. Water your fiddle leaf fig properly

Only water your fig plant when its topsoil is dry. You can check the soil moisture by inserting your finger. Also, whenever you are watering make sure to provide a deep drink until the excess water drains out of the pot.

Also, it is important that you never allow your plant to sit in water. This can lead to root rot. Moreover, if you have kept your plant in a saucer, make sure to empty it out after 30 minutes. Lastly, use room temperature water to avoid shocking the fig roots.

2. Provide humidity to plant

Fig is the lovers of humid conditions. Hence, try to create a high humidity for them. You can do this by placing the plant in a more humid room such as a bathroom or kitchen. Moreover, you can use a humidifier. Another option is to group the plants together. 

The humid area will prevent the fiddle leaf fig leaves from drying out and developing holes.

3. Regularly keep an eye for pests

One of the main causes of fiddle leaf fig leaf damage is pests. So, if you find any pests on your plant, treat them immediately.

You can identify pests on your leaves by looking for webs, discolorations, holes, and stippling. Also, be sure to check the undersides of the leaves for pests if you see any of these signs. To get a better look, you can also use a magnifying glass.

4. Maintain a regular fertilizer schedule

A regular fertilization schedule will help your fiddle leaf fig get the nutrients it needs. So, choose a fertilizer high in nitrogen to promote growth.

Also, make sure you fertilize during the growing season (spring and summer). Don’t fertilize during dormant periods. Additionally, don’t overfertilize your plant, as it can burn its leaves.

5. Don’t forget to repot your plant

Fiddle leaf fig roots should be repotted every two to three years

Also, be sure to use a well-draining potting mix and pots that are only slightly larger than the original. As root rot and leaf drop can occur if you use a larger pot than the existing pot. 

After repotting, water the plant well so that the roots can adjust to the new potting mix.

6. Keep your fig plants away from children and pets

Children and pets can damage fiddle leaf fig leaves. Hence, to prevent accidental damage to your plant, keep it away from pets and children.

Moreover, fiddle leaf figs are toxic to dogs, cats, other animals, and children! So, it is better to keep them away.

It is also a good idea to place your plant in a room that isn’t frequently used to keep it safe. Yet, be sure to supervise your children and pets around the plant, and make sure they do not pull on or damage the leaves.

7. Get a pot with drainage holes

Make sure your pot has drainage holes before you plant your fiddle leaf fig. By doing this, you will prevent root rot and the roots from sitting in water.

The hole can be drilled yourself or you can purchase a pot that already has them. Also, for best results, use a potting mix that drains well to prevent root rot and eventual holes in your fiddle fig leaves.

8. Fan your plants or shake them

In humid environments, fiddle leaf figs appreciate air circulation. Rotate the air around your plant once in a while by shaking or using a fan.

It’s actually a good idea to shake your fiddle leaf fig. This makes your plant more resilient to pests, diseases, and tears.

Few Questions on holes in fiddle leaf fig

Q.1 Can I cut off the fiddle leaf fig leaves with holes?

Ans. Yes, if any fiddle leaf fig leaves have holes, prune them. It will prevent the spread of pests and diseases, and it will also allow the plant to concentrate on growing.

Q.2 When do fiddle leaf figs grow new leaves?

Ans. Your fiddle leaf fig will grow a new leaf about once a month during the high growing season. During the winter months, the plant’s growth will likely slow down not always even, so you might see several new leaves in a short time, followed by a long interval without new leaves.

Q.3 What’s eating my fiddle leaf fig leaves?

Ans. There are many insects that breed on houseplants, and fiddles are susceptible to pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale. You may also notice fungus gnats bothering your fiddle leaf fig. 

Q.4 Why do my new fiddle leaf fig leaves have holes?

Ans. When the leaves are too dry, baby leaves can grow out with holes. As they sprout, they can stick together, causing holes.  In this case, your plant would benefit from more humidity, as the air is usually too dry.


The most common causes of holes in fiddle leaf fig plants are pests, humidity, nutrient deficiencies, root rot, and physical trauma. Although the holes in fiddle leaf fig leaves are inevitable, you can fix them and prevent them in the future.

Fig plants are most commonly attacked by aphids, mealybugs, and scale. To treat them, you can isolate them, use neem oil, soap spray, or use more powerful insecticides if the infestation is heavy. 

Furthermore, your fig plant will not thrive in a dry environment. Thus, it can also result in holes in the plant. For this reason, consider adding a humidifier or pebble tray to increase the humidity.

To correct nutrient deficiencies in soil, add boric acid. Last but not least, whether your plant has root rot or not, it is best to replant it.

This was about fiddle leaf fig holes. However, let me know in the comments section below if your fig plant is displaying any other signs of trouble. You can count on me for assistance.

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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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