Have you noticed some white spots on your fiddle leaf fig leaves lately? Maybe you’re worried since you haven’t seen such spots before. If so, you are not alone.
White spots are a common problem that house plant owners frequently encounter. But where do these spots come from? Several factors can cause white spots and tarnish the beauty of your lovely fiddle fig.
This post will help you understand the causes of white spots on fiddle leaf fig. We’ll also give you some practical tips on how to get rid of them to make your fiddle fig look pleasant again.
White Spots On Fiddle Leaf Fig
White spots on fiddle leaf fig could be a sign of Powdery Mildew. This is an infection caused by a fungus that grows in highly humid environments. Other causes could be hard water in the environment, among others.
What do White Spots on My Fiddle Leaf Fig Mean?
First, white spots on fiddle leaf fig could mean the plant is infested by pests, for instance, powdery mildew, Spider mites, Mealybugs, Scale insects, or the Mosaic virus.
White spots can also occur due to sunburns when the fiddle figs are exposed to direct sunlight. Finally, hard water and environmental stress can also cause white spots on fiddle leaf figs.
Causes of White Spots on Fiddle Leaf Figs
Before trying to find a remedy for white spots, you should first evaluate and know the possible cause. Here are some of the most common causes of white spots on fiddle leaf figs:
1. Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew is an infection caused by a fungus that grows in highly humid environments. It looks like white powder or dust appearing on the leaves’ top surface.
The fungus grows fast in areas with too much moisture and poor air circulation. If Powdery mildew infects your fiddle fig, it will start developing white spots on the upper leaf surfaces.
To prevent it from spreading, prune off any affected leaves and increase air circulation around your plant. You can open the doors and windows or place a fan in the room.
You may also want to reduce the amount of water you give your plant.
2. Hard water
Another cause of white spots on fiddle leaf figs is hard water. Hard water contains high levels of dissolved minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron.
These minerals can build up over time and form unsightly white spots on fiddle leaf fig leaves.
To prevent such white spots, use filtered or distilled water on your fiddle figs. If you usually use tap water, consider changing that.
Rainwater is also a good alternative since it’s soft and has fewer minerals.
Soft or distilled water will ensure your fiddle leaf fig gets enough moisture without leaving unwanted mineral deposits on its leaves.
3. Pests and diseases
White spots can occur due to pests like mealybugs or scale insects. They can also result from diseases like root rot or leaf spot disease.
These pests and diseases often cause discoloration in addition to white spots. If your fiddle fig is pest-infested, you may see small insects crawling around it. They may also form webs between the stems and leaves.
Let’s look at some of the pests and diseases that cause white spots:
- Fig Mites
These are tiny, spider-like insects that feed off the sap in fiddle leaf fig leaves. They often leave behind a telltale sign—white spots or yellowish discolorations on the underside of leaves. With time, the white spots may start turning brown.
If you see such signs, you may have a fig mite infestation. To get rid of fig mites, spray your fiddle leaf fig with an insecticidal soap solution or neem oil. Do this once a week until the infestation is gone.
- Mosaic Virus
Mosaic viruses are plant infections spread by aphids and other related pests. These pests often spread their saliva on plants as they feed. They leave behind white patches on the fiddle leaf fig leaves.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for the Mosaic virus. You can prevent it from spreading further by pruning away affected leaves and other parts of the plant.
You can also spray an insecticide to control the population of aphids and other insects that spread the virus.
- Scale Insects
Scale insects are tiny bugs that live in colonies on the underside of fiddle leaf fig leaves. They can also live on other parts of the plant, like the stem joints.
Scale insects feed on sap from the plant and can cause small, white patches known as scale patches. If left untreated over time, the white patches can eventually turn brown.
Treating scale infestation requires patience. You can start by removing any loose scales with a pair of tweezers or by hand. You can then spray the plant with an insecticide every few days until the patches disappear.
Mealybugs are tiny insects that survive by sucking sap from fiddle leaf fig plants. They often grow around moist areas like stem joints or near flower buds.
After feeding, they leave behind waxy threads or a white cotton-like residue. The residue will appear like white spots on your fiddle leaf fig leaves.
To remove these residues, wipe the plant with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. You can also wipe it with an insecticidal soap solution every week.
4. Too much direct sunlight (sunburn)
Another common cause of white spots on fiddle figs is too much direct sunlight.
Direct sunlight can cause sunburns. When your fiddle fig is sunburnt, it may develop white spots and brown patches on its leaves. You may also see some signs of leaf curling.
To prevent sunburns, ensure your plant gets not more than four hours of direct sunlight daily (in summer). The hours of exposure should be even less during winter.
Also, consider moving the plant away from heat sources like radiators or heaters. Extreme temperatures can also cause sunburn-like damage to fiddle fig leaves over time.
5. Environmental stress
Finally, white spots can also result from environmental stress.
For instance, if you move your fiddle fig around too often or place unnecessary objects near it, the plant may develop white spots.
This may also occur if you place it in an environment that doesn’t suit its needs (e.g., if it’s too dry or too cold).
If you suspect your plant is suffering from environmental stress, try giving it some extra attention. Give it some free space, and avoid moving it too often.
Also, ensure its environment is ideal for its needs (e.g., bright indirect light). This should help ease stress-related issues and restore your green fiddle fig leaves.
How to Get Rid of White Spots on Fiddle Leaf Fig
Pesky white spots on fiddle leaf figs are always unsightly. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to get rid of them and keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy.
Here’s how to get rid of white spots on fiddle leaf figs if you notice them on your plant.
1. Clean leaves with a soapy solution
The first step in getting rid of white spots on your fiddle leaf fig is to give the leaves a good cleaning. Prepare a soapy solution by mixing one tablespoon of mild dish soap and one cup of lukewarm water.
Dip a soft cotton cloth with this mixture and use it to wipe the fiddle fig leaves gently. This will remove any dirt or dust that may be causing the spots.
Remember to rinse off any dish soap residue after wiping off the white spots.
2. Remove infected leaves
If the white spots are not coming off some leaves after cleaning, you might want to remove them. These leaves are infected and may spread the infection to other parts of the plant.
To remove an infected leaf, use a sharp pair of scissors or pruners and cut it just above where it meets the stem.
Be sure to dispose of these leaves far away from other plants, so you don’t accidentally spread the infection.
3. Spray with fungicide/pesticide
Once you’ve removed infected leaves, spray the remaining leaves with a fungicide or pesticide. You can buy an organic pesticide from your local gardening store or online at Amazon.
When spraying, ensure you reach every part of the plant. Spray the top and bottom sides of each leaf until it’s completely saturated. This will ensure all the pests or fungi are removed from the plant.
Allow this treatment to sit for at least 24 hours before watering the plant.
4. Spray leaves with baking soda solution
Another effective way to get rid of white spots on your fiddle leaf fig is to spray its leaves with a baking soda solution.
Mix one teaspoon baking soda with one liter of distilled water and stir until dissolved. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray onto both sides of each leaf until saturated.
This baking soda solution helps neutralize any acids present in the soil, which may be causing the white spots.
Allow it to sit on the leaves for 15 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.
5. Remove from direct sunlight
If your fiddle leaf fig stays in direct sunlight for too long, its leaves could develop white spots due to sunburns.
To prevent this from happening, place your plant away from direct sunlight. You can also provide it with shade during peak exposure hours (e.g., using blinders between 10 am-4 pm).
Also, ensure all parts of your plant receive equal amounts of light throughout the day. This will prevent scorching on one side, which can cause white spots.
6. Improve air circulation around the plant
White spots on fiddle leaf figs can also disappear when you improve air circulation around the plant.
You can do this by turning on a fan or opening nearby windows to increase airflow.
Good air circulation will regulate moisture levels around the plant and help reduce white spots.
It will also prevent fungal infection from attacking the fiddle fig. Fungi grow faster in humid conditions that result from poor airflow.
7. Prune off unhealthy leaves
In addition to the spotted leaves, you should prune off any unhealthy leaves from your fiddle figs. Inspect the leaves carefully and cut off the ones that look discolored and damaged.
Also, look out for leaves with holes in them. Such leaves may cause an imbalance in the plant’s overall health.
Pruning them off will strengthen the fiddle leaf fig trunk while allowing better air circulation. It will also prevent further infection while allowing the plant to recover fully.
8. Use essential oils
Using essential oils can also help restore good health to your fiddle leaf fig. Essential oils can kill any pests or disease-causing organisms that may be causing the white spots.
Neem oil or tea tree oil are effective options due to their anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Simply mix a few drops of tea tree oil with water, then use a spray bottle to spray directly onto the leaves. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes before rinsing it with water.
You can do this once or twice a week until all the white spots are gone.
9. Don’t fertilize the plant
Fertilizing is not necessary while dealing with white spots. Therefore, don’t fertilize your fiddle leaf fig plant during this period when dealing with white spots during this period.
Fertilizing can encourage more growth, which will be susceptible to infections later. For long-term results, wait until all signs of white spots have disappeared before fertilizing your plant again.
10. Water Properly
Finally, be sure you’re properly watering your fiddle leaf fig when trying to eliminate white spots.
Add more water only when the top two inches of the soil feel dry. After each watering session, allow excess water to drain completely before returning the plant indoors.
Overwatering can make any existing infections worsen over time.
How to Prevent White Spots on Fiddle Leaf Figs
Prevention is always better than cure! That’s why it takes less effort to prevent white spots than to get rid of them once they appear.
As a house plant owner, here are some necessary precautions to prevent white spots from appearing on your fiddle leaf figs:
1. Inspect your plant regularly
Always inspect your fiddle leaf fig for any signs of fungal or bacterial infection on fiddle leaf. Check the leaves thoroughly every week so you can address any issues before it gets worse.
Also, check the underside of each leaf for signs of white powdery mildew or sticky residue, which could show an infestation.
If you see any signs of pests and diseases, treat them right away before they have a chance to spread. This will keep the plant from developing white spots due to infections.
2. Fertilize regularly
It’s also important to fertilize your plant regularly. Fertilizing your fiddle leaf fig gives it the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and vibrant.
When buying fertilizer, choose one that’s designed for houseplants.
Always follow the instructions on the label carefully when using fertilizers. Also, be careful not to overfertilize, as this can as well cause white spots on fiddle fig leaves.
3. Keep away from direct sunlight
Another safety precaution is to keep your fiddle leaf fig away from direct sunlight.
As mentioned, direct sunlight can cause sunburned leaves and white spots on the plant foliage.
Find a spot with indirect sunlight so your plant can get enough light without getting scorched by the sun’s rays. This will keep its leaves looking lush and vibrant without discoloration or damage.
4. Avoid overwatering
Fiddle leaf fig plants need enough water to thrive and stay healthy. To prevent white spots, ensure you water your plant regularly but not too often—about once a week should be enough.
You’ll want to ensure the soil is moist enough without having standing water at the bottom of the pot. Too moist soil can lead to root rot, which can cause white spots on fiddle fig leaves.
To avoid this, water only when the soil feels dry to the touch.
5. Improve ventilation in room
Always ensure there’s adequate ventilation in the room where you’ve placed your fiddle leaf fig. This is especially important if you live in high-humidity areas.
Excess humidity can cause fungal infection in fiddle leaf fig plants, which could result in unsightly white spots on their leaves.
If possible, turn on fans or open windows periodically to enhance the circulation of fresh air in the room. This will also prevent mold growth, which can lead to white spots on fiddle fig leaves.
6. Avoid using hard water
This is one of the most important precautions for preventing white spots on fiddle leaf figs. Hard water contains high levels of minerals that can damage the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig plants.
If you live in an area with hard water, be sure to use filtered or distilled water when watering your plants.
This will ensure there’s no mineral buildup on your fiddle figs. It will also help keep their leaves healthy and free from white spots.
7. Handle fiddle leaf fig plants using clean tools
Did you know that untidy gardening tools can cause infections in your houseplants?
Dirty tools can transfer pests to your fiddle leaf fig plant. The plant will start developing white spots on their leaves when they get infected.
Always use clean tools and gloves when repotting or pruning your fiddle leaf fig. Disinfect the tools after every gardening session and keep them in clean poly bags.
This will ensure they don’t pick and transfer the microbes to your lovely indoor plants.
8. Avoid stress from the environment
Fiddle leaf fig plants don’t do well under environmental stress. Overcrowding is among the factors that stress such plants out.
To avoid this, always place your plant where there is plenty of space and free from congestion.
When keeping many plants in one space, give each plant enough room to grow freely. This way, they won’t experience stress and develop issues like white spots on their leaves.
9. Use light and diluted fertilizer
Finally, it’s important to limit the amount of fertilizer you apply to your fiddle leaf fig plant.
Too much fertilizer can lead to white spots forming on the fiddle leaves over time. You may also affect the plant by overwhelming it with too many nutrients.
We recommend using a light and diluted fertilizer once every two weeks to achieve a good balance.
This is during their active growing season (spring through early fall). You should then cut back during the winter when the fiddle leaf fig trees go dormant.
How do I get water spots off my fiddle leaf fig?
If the white spots on your fiddle leaf fig leaves are due to water droplets, there is an easy fix! Gently wipe off the water droplets with a soft, damp cloth or paper towel. Avoid using harsh cleaners as they could damage your plant’s leaves.
What does a diseased fiddle leaf fig look like?
Some common signs of disease in fiddle leaf figs include white spots, yellowing leaves, brown spots, soft and mushy stems, wilting, and stunted growth. If your fiddle leaf fig plant exhibits any of these symptoms, take quick action to save it from further damage.
What does fungus look like on a fiddle leaf fig?
A fungal infection can cause dark spots with yellow halos fiddle leaf fig leaves. It may also form webbing between branches or stems. Additionally, you may notice an unpleasant odor coming from its soil. Fungal infections can be especially dangerous since they spread quickly if not treated promptly.
How do I get rid of fiddle leaf fig fungus?
To get rid of fiddle leaf fig fungus, start by snipping off any affected leaves or branches and disposing of them properly. Then, spray the remaining parts with an organic fungicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Monitor the plant closely for further signs of infection over time.
Keep Your Fiddle Fig Spotless!
White spots on fiddle leaf fig can be unsightly and hard to get rid of. However, it’s never a call for panic. If you’re careful enough to notice them early, you can get rid of them before they cause severe damage to your plant.
White spots can occur due to simple reasons like overwatering or more complex issues like infections. Once you identify the cause, you can take prompt action to salvage the plant.
As an avid houseplant lover, always remember that prevention is better than cure. With these treatment and prevention tips in mind, you can keep your fiddle leaf fig spotless and healthy!