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Have Red Spots on Your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree? This is Why

Red Spotting on Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree Leaf

Irregular Watering Patterns (under watering)

Though most Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree parents tend to overwater their plants (keep the soil waterlogged), and give it too little light, this condition is from drought-like conditions, usually coupled with increased light levels.


Fiddle Leaf Figs need evenly moist soil through the Growing Season(March-September).  When the plant doesn't have enough access to moisture in the root zone, a condition occurs that affects Ficus lyrata's newest growth.

Reddish, brown spots are created on the bottom sides of the leaves that show through the leaf.

Spotting on Ficus lyrata leaf


According to the University of Florida Excessive Moisture Stress (which sounds like too much moisture, but is not) is the driver of this condition.

That means the plant is exposed to irregular watering patterns. This also typically occurs in combination with higher light levels.

This creates the perfect storm to expose the irregular watering patterns. Because light and water go hand-in-hand in consumption during photosynthesis, the more light a plant is exposed to the more water it will need. You can learn more about that relationship here.


New Growth


Lack of water in the root zone makes it challenging for plants to absorb necessary minerals from the soil. Make sure to keep your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (Ficus lyrata) soil evenly moist through the growing season, and allow it to dry out slightly more in the fall and winter.

And be sure to give it bright, but indirect light! That is explained here in a 1-minute video.

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  • This is so useful! My poor FLF was losing all its leaves due to low light and some soil problems I was having, I put a plant light on it and changed its pot and soil and it immediately started having new growth but the spots started appearing, clearly I should have adjusted the watering as well, what a novice mistake! Thanks for your insight :)

  • I have two fiddle leaf figs in two entirely different locations in my house. Both are new to me and both have new leaf growth but the new leafs are yellow with red spots. I have them in bright, indirect light and keep them moist. Could I be overwatering them? Should I remove these new leaves?

    Brenda Lea
  • Hi there – I water my ficas every two weeks. They also have direct afternoon sunlight. All the leaves are coming in freckled as your article noted. The newer leaves look almost brown and when they get to about an 1” long, they fall off. I have had these two ficas for a year and have never repotted them. Now I wonder if I should move them out of direct light and repot them? I have consistently watered every two weeks. I value your opinion. Thank you for your help!

  • Hi! My plant has recently grown 6 new leaves in the last two weeks and they all have these speckled leaves. I water it thoroughly every Wednesday and have it in a South facing window which is direct/bright light. It only gets 1-3 hours of direct light and isn’t dry so not sure what to do.

  • My new leaves are beautiful and spotless but on one mature leaf, has developed small speckled spots. Why only a mature leaf and not new growth.m? Should I change anything?

    Colleen Wages

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