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Fiddle fig leaves turning brown

I bought a 1.3m long fiddle fig tree to my house recently. I noticed a few odd spots on the leaves that has got me worried for the health of my plant:

1. The large leaves at the top have pink/rust spots 



2. The leaves at the bottom are rather small, slightly pale and are rapidly falling off. They also have brown spots (as if burnt) on them.





At first, I thought that this could be because of physical trauma/change of environment of the plant since I bought it 2 weeks ago. However, I brown spots have gotten worse in the lower leaves and even the healthy looking leaves at the top have some spots now. I am afraid this is due to root rot or bacterial infection. How can I be sure what the cause is? How do I treat it?

I am very new at this, so any advice will be much appreciated.

Posts

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,038
    It's natural for the lower leaves to fade and fall off as they age, but I don't know about the spots on the upper leaves.  Did it have them when you bought it? If so it might be worth going back to the shop and asking.  In the meantime, keep it away from any other houseplants in case it's something that could spread.
  • Thanks Jenny.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,556
    I suspect those specks are thrips and need dealing with as they feed on sap and thus weaken your plant as well as making it look unsightly.

    Some info here from the RHS on thrips and treatment (scroll down) http://staging.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=876 

    See here for how to care for you plant - includes other pests to look out for - 
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/7207/i-Ficus-lyrata-i/Details 


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Obelixx said:
    I suspect those specks are thrips and need dealing with as they feed on sap and thus weaken your plant as well as making it look unsightly.

    Some info here from the RHS on thrips and treatment (scroll down) http://staging.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=876 

    See here for how to care for you plant - includes other pests to look out for - 
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/7207/i-Ficus-lyrata-i/Details 


    Thank you for sharing the links. I haven’t spotted any thrips/pest on the leaves or the bark. Is it possible for them to infect the roots?


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,556
    I have no personal experience of these but do know to look for them.  I don't think they affect roots but other things can so I suggest you take your out and inspect and pot on as advised to refresh at least some of the compost and food supply.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,490
    edited November 2018
    From the photo the pot looks very small for a 4ft ficus. If it is then the plant will be stressed and weakened
    Thrips are very tricky to find, if that's what they are. They usually leave tiny white spots on the leaves.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,038
    It's possible that it just hasn't been looked after very well by the shop that you got it from (common things, particularly in places like supermarkets rather than specialist nurseries, are displaying plants in places where they'll get cold drafts, or outside when its too cold, not enough daylight, incorrect watering, bruising from careless moving about or being close to where people walk).
    Do what Obelixx says, treat any pests that you find and accept that leaves that are already damaged won't turn green again and will eventually fall off.  Keep an eye on the new leaves and see if they look healthy. If not, that would indicate something's still not right - pest, disease or incorrect care/conditions.
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