Why Does My Fiddle Leaf Fig Have Holes

Fiddle Leaf Figs are not the easiest houseplants to care for, but if you are providing for their needs, they will repay you with constant and robust growth. Therefore, rather than freaking out when you see that some of your fig tree’s leaves have holes in them, consider it your fiddle leaf alerting you to a problem that has to be fixed.

A Fiddle Leaf Fig’s leaves could have holes for a variety of causes. Most likely, there is a pest invasion since numerous insects gnaw holes in leaf tissue. Other frequent causes include low humidity, nutrient deficits, rot brought on by overwatering, and physical harm.

Although holes in the leaves of your Fiddle Leaf Fig can be alarming, if you know what to look for and how to fix the problem, you should be able to stop it from getting worse and any new leaves should emerge healthy and whole.

My fiddle leaf fig is being eaten by what?

Floppy Leaf Mealybug, aphid, spider mite, and scale infestations can affect figs. Additionally prevalent are bacterial diseases and root rot, as well as flying pests including whiteflies and fungus gnats. Although there are several remedies, such as horticultural oil and sticky traps, the best defense against these problems is prevention.

Helpful bacteria

Bacillus thuringiensis, or BTI, is a fully non-toxic microbe that is dangerous to insects and larvae but not to people or other animals. It works wonders to get rid of bothersome gnats and is an insecticide that is permitted for use in organic farming.

To get rid of any larvae or eggs, try sprinkling BTI of the food grade over the soil’s surface.

Diatomaceous Earth

This mineral is a fine powder with microscopic jagged edges. Although DE is safe for your plant, it kills insects when they consume it.

To be extra safe, always wear a dust mask when working with DE. If at all possible, move your plant outside to complete this task.

Flypaper and traps

In a few weeks, mature fungus gnats will naturally die out, especially if new larvae are forming, but you can speed up the process by using sticky traps or flypaper.

To draw bugs, either hang a strip next to your instrument or place one directly on the ground.

Potential Cause 1: Root Rot

Brown stains on the roots from a fungus caused by too much moisture. Root rot is brought by by over watering and bad drainage, and it eventually affects your plant’s leaves.

How to Correct It

Removing the pot and looking at the roots is the only way to be confident that your plant has root rot. Root rot is at blame if the roots are mushy and discolored. Let your plant dry out for around two weeks if there are only a few brown patches on the leaves so that the roots have enough time to heal.

Make sure your plant gets enough light, and remove any damaged leaves. If there are several brown patches, you should remove any brown, mushy roots and the affected leaves before repotting the plant and being careful not to overwater it in the future.

Potential Cause 2: Bacterial Infection

In addition to the brown spots, your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s leaves will yellow as a result of bacterial leaf spot. In contrast to bacterial leaf spot, which causes the leaf to turn yellow as the brown spot spreads, root rot often causes the leaves to remain dark green with brown patches. Your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s leaves will eventually drop off due to both bacterial leaf spot and root rot. Since bacterial leaf spot tends to feed on new growth, it is likely to be to fault if your younger leaves are suffering more than your older leaves.

Unfortunately, this is the Fiddle Leaf Fig condition that is most difficult to treat. It can already be too late for your plant, even with the right care and watering. Cut off all of the leaves that have brown spots if the damage is not severe, then repot your plant in new, sterile soil. While it is healing, give it lots of light and don’t water as frequently.

Potential Cause 3: Insect Damage

Although uncommon, insect illnesses leave clear signs. Check your plant for webs or insects using a magnifying glass. Small patches that develop into holes on the leaves are a sure sign of insect damage.

Treatment for insect infestations is simple. Use neem oil products made specifically for indoor plants. Alternately, you might make your own cure by mixing a few teaspoons of mineral oil and baking soda in a spray bottle with water. Spray the entire affected area of the plant after thoroughly shaking the solution. Your other houseplants should not be near diseased plants. Neem oil has an overpowering odor, so move your plant outside if you can. Spray your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves with a strong mist. Don’t forget to spray the area where the leaf meets the stem after turning each leaf to cover the underside. If more spraying is required, wait two weeks, inspect once more, then repeat the process.

Potential Cause 4: Your Plant is Too Dry

Dry tan or brown regions that originate at the edge of the leaf and force the leaf to curl make dry plant brown spots simpler to identify. Your plant will occasionally appear dry or wilted overall, and the dirt may have retreated from the pot (shrinkage). This may result in the water never reaching the root ball and instead running between the pot and the soil.

Consider transferring your Fiddle Leaf Fig to a more moderate area if it is currently close to a heater or in an extremely dry environment. When the soil is 50 to 75 percent dry, water as needed, and keep an eye on your plant to make sure it’s getting enough hydration. Use a humidifier close to your plant or try misting it once to three days. Make sure the root ball of your plant is completely submerged in water by giving it a long sip. Make sure the pot’s bottom is dripping with water. Before placing the plant back on its saucer, let it to rest and drain any extra water.

How can you identify pests on a fiddle leaf fig?

You should understand how these people behave before talking about how to identify, handle, or avoid them.

Mealybugs frequently ride along on other plants and enter your house. These soft-bodied insects feed upon the sap of the leaves on your fiddle leaf fig, eventually causing the leaves to fall off. The female mealybugs generate cottony material to lay their eggs, and they exude a fluid with a moist appearance called honeydew.

These final two pieces of information are valuable for locating the pest. Simply keep an eye out for a cottony substance or wet-appearing residue if no apparent white bugs are present.

Treatment options can be similar to those for spider mites, but if you only use water, be ready for a mealybug recurrence.

How do I get rid of borers on my fig trees?

The fig tree borer cannot be treated. Chemical therapies have no effect on them. Borer-damaged branches can be removed, but there’s a significant chance the borers are also in other parts of the tree. Even after the incision is closed, removing the branches creates the perfect environment for adult beetles to lay new eggs. When a borer attack occurs, a tree service will frequently advise trying to revive the tree, although even this strategy frequently has mixed results. The use of a net to prevent adult beetles from laying eggs on trees has had some degree of success. Even though the mesh completely encloses the tree, the harm being caused by the larvae and grubs that have already hatched inside the tree will still occur. Sadly, the tree will frequently experience beetle, larvae, and grub infestation season after season until it gets so sickly that the only option is to have the tree removed by a professional tree service and a new tree planted in its place.

  • The fig tree borer cannot be treated.
  • Even though the mesh completely encloses the tree, the harm being caused by the larvae and grubs that have already hatched inside the tree will still occur.

Do fiddle leaf figs need direct sunlight?

Although they can withstand moderate sunlight, it’s not their preferred environment. It’s a good idea to put the plant near a south or west-facing window, but not directly in the sun, as it prefers steady, ambient light. They can tolerate up to six hours a day of direct sunlight, if necessary.

Finding a location where the conditions are as consistent as possible throughout the day is the finest thing you can do for these plants as they are creatures of habit. Placing your plant in low light is one thing you must never do.

Can my plant go outside?

Of course, you can take care of your fiddle leaf fig outside given the correct circumstances. It might perhaps act and develop to a height of more than 40 feet if you locate it in the ideal location. Your garden should, however, be entirely frost-free and never drop below 50 degrees at night in order to prevent any issues.

On summer days, you should use caution as well. Keep your plant from getting too hot too quickly and water it frequently so the roots have access to moisture all the time. Similar to when you keep it as a house plant, you should be watchful of how much direct sunshine it gets.

Why do the leaves turn brown?

You have some homework to complete if the leaves on your fiddle leaf fig are starting to turn brown. There are several potential causes, but light and water are the most frequent ones.

In most cases, water is the culprit if the edges of the leaves are becoming brown. If just the lower leaves are impacted, overwatering has created root rot. The likelihood of the plant being thirsty increases if all of the leaves are going crispy. Unhappy leaves that are going brown in the middle show that the plant needs more humidity since it is receiving too much light.

What’s the difference between a fiddle leaf bush and a tree?

An established fiddle leaf tree can cost hundreds of dollars, so you’ll probably end up nurturing a smaller plant to grow tall. Ficus lyrata likes to grow straight up if left unattended, but you can encourage branching by either pruning the new growth or notching the stem.

To notch, choose where you want a new branch to grow and make a 1/8-inch cut into the stem just above a node using a clean knife. The node should produce a new branch. The lower leaves can then be removed when your plant appears very healthy.

Should I mist my plant?

When caring for any rainforest plant, especially in the winter, misting is a need. Fiddle leafs prefer a humidity level of 65 percent, which is substantially higher than that of most houses.

Filling a spray bottle and leaving it next to the plant is the ideal method for misting. You can regularly spritz it with room-temperature water in this manner. Misting your plant is very crucial after dusting its leaves. For your plant, a humidifier is ideal if you can afford one, but regular misting with a spray bottle should suffice.

How long does it take for the plant to grow?

Most fiddle leaves can grow up to 10 feet tall indoors. They might even outgrow your home if they’re truly content. However, that may take up to 15 years. Of course you two want to stay together for that long, but it can be difficult to wait for a plant straight out of a magazine.

These are not the quickest-growing plants, but with proper care and fertilization, the 18-inch bush you purchased from the garden center should mature into a respectable-sized tree in 34 years.

Should I cut off brown spots off the leaves?

Although brown stains on the leaves are unsightly, you shouldn’t immediately remove them. After all, in order to photosynthesize, the plant requires its leaves. Your plant won’t thrive if the leaves are pulled out as soon as spotting appears.

Your plant is attempting to tell you something when its leaves turn brown, whether it’s water, fertilizer, sunshine, or pest control. The best course of action is to try to identify the issue, fix it, and then postpone pinching off the damaged leaves until your plant has produced some healthy new growth.

Are fiddle leaf fig toxic?

Yes. We’re not talking about plants that are aesthetically pleasing but dangerous here, but if you have kids or animals in your house, you should be cautious of them around any Ficus family plant, including your fiddle leaf fig.

A healthy adult won’t suffer long-term consequences from ingesting the plant, but cats, dogs, and small people can get hurt from the calcium oxalate crystals in the leaves. A burning, irritated mouth, trouble swallowing, drooling, and vomiting are indications of an adverse response. Consult a doctor straight away if you believe that your child or pet may have consumed a portion of the plant.

What is consuming my fig tree?

Fig trees may be attacked by beetles, earwigs, fruit flies, scales, nematodes, and spider mites, according to UC IPM Online. Insect infestations may cause small leafspots, eaten foliage, and stunted development. Many pests can be exterminated with a strong jet of water from a garden hose, but others, like nematodes and fruit flies, may need more aggressive control using insecticides or predatory insects safe for use on food crops.

Canker disease is a condition that can affect figs and can be treated with fungicides and pruning. The damaged portions should be trimmed away since fig mosaic results in mottled leaves and fruit. Signs of difficulty include yellowing leaves, sluggish growth, little crops, or malformed leaves. Maintain the tree’s health and keep an eye out for any disease, insect, or drought-related symptoms.


Spider mites are spiders, after all, and they make webs on the leaves, stems, and trunks of your fiddle leaf fig. However, they typically don’t leave webbing in the ground.

Look closely at your tree for any delicate, cottony webbing. Make sure to check the top and bottom of the leaves because spider mites like the undersides of leaves.

Small, Clustered Dots on the Leaves

Small, dark red or brown spots on the leaves are one of the most obvious indicators of spider mites. These are the actual insects, so use a magnifying glass to check very closely to see if the dots are moving.

This might also show where the spider mites have started munching on the leaves of your fiddle leaf fig!