Why do my fig tree leaves have brown marks?

Why do my fig tree leaves have brown marks?

Fig plants are prone browning leaves so minor markings are nothing to worry about and are part of the natural life of the plant. 

When settling into their new home plants can experience a little more discolouration of the leaves due to the stress of adjusting to the new environment. 

If new marks continue to appear after a month or so then there may be some other issue with the care or environment that just needs to be identified and then rectified. 

We would suggest taking off any really bad leaves to encourage new growth, as while the leaf might be viable still the brown patches will not turn green again. 

Brown spots on the leaf edges

This is usually a sign of under-watering and the plant may be overly dry, however there are rarely exactitudes with living things so some investigation is required before action is taken. 

How much water your plant needs will depend on the light, humidity and temperature of the environment that the plant is in. 

To decide on when to water you should stick your finger an inch or two into your plant’s soil to feel how damp it is.

If on checking you confirm the soil is very dry and this is likely the cause of the browning edges, then give it a very good thorough watering and keep it away from any radiators that may dry it out faster.

If you have underfloor heating the bottom roots might be drying out faster than the top, so in this case raise the plant off the floor.

It is good to have a routine to check the plant on a regular interval to see if it required watering. In order to avoid going to the other extreme and overwatering make sure it has started to dry before watering again. 

Brown spots in the middle of the leaf

If the brown spots start in the middle of the leaf and spread outwards they are likely caused by overwatering, which means the roots are receiving too much water or are sitting constantly in water which causes them to rot. 

In this case it is best to remove the rootball from the nursery or decorative pot and inspect the roots.

If they are mushy or smell then they are starting to rot and it is important to repot the plant before the condition worsens. Wash the roots and remove any that are brown or mushy and repot in fresh houseplant soil with proper drainage. 

If on inspecting the roots there was no sign of rot then the plant has received too much water but you have caught the problem before rot has begun. In this case allow the tree to dry out before watering again. 

Then follow the rule that before going to water, if the soil is wet to the touch from the last time you watered, wait until it dries out more before watering. 

Crumpled curling brown patches

If the brown patches are crumpled, curling inwards and feel dry, then the plant may be lacking humidity and water.

As tropical plants, Ficus trees are used to good levels of humidity so leaves curling is a response to overly dry air. This can often be caused by draughts, radiators or underfloor heating.  

Sporadic brown spots

Brown spots may appear randomly due to trauma, which can happen from moving home or in the everyday life of a busy home, it is easy for them to be knocked or brushed past, or for a leaf to be pressed against a wal.. 

In this case nothing needs to change with the watering or care, just the damaged leaves can be removed if unsightly and care taken in activity around the plant. 

Ugly brown black leaves 

Fiddles are also averse to cold or chilly rooms along with draughts so if leaves are very unsightly all over, with brown and especially black, then the tree has caught cold and needs to be protected and kept at a minimum of 12 degrees. 

Little red spots

Little red spots on new leaves are completely normal and are not a sign of any issue to be rectified. 

This is where the tree is going through a growth spurt and once the young leaves become larger they become a darker green and the spots will disappear.