I bought a new fiddle leaf fig a couple of months ago. We were out of town for a month and I assumed it would be dead, but when we got back it looked beautiful! Then I started watering it and now it has black spots on the leaves. I keep letting the soil dry completely before watering again and it's definitely nowhere near soggy. Is there still a chance I'm overwatering? Or do I need fertilizer? Or is it a disease? Thanks for any suggestions!
Black leaf spots on my indoor Fiddle Leaf Fig
Actually - while I'm asking about this plant - I've had a hard time removing the dry white scum stuff from the leaves. I gently wiped them down with water only several times and they still look like they have soap scum on them. I haven't wanted to use any of those polishers since I've read they clog the pores so to speak. Anyone have advice on how to improve the look of the leaves also? Or could this somehow be related to the black spots too? Thanks for helping me save my plant! Oh yeah - and I forgot to mention it's in a small pot. COuld that be the issue? I had read that they do fine in small pots somewhere, but perhaps that is wrong?
It's fungal. Remove & destroy affected leaves (the tree will replace them) and treat with an over-the-counter fungicide spray containing Tebuconazole at around 3%. Bayer makes several, but you don't want the granular product that has insecticide and fertilizer in it. Also spray the container & soil surfaces.
The white stuff on leaf surfaces is residue from insecticide/fungicide sprays used during production. I am the proud owner of a not-so-shiny new hibiscus that has it even worse than your lyrata. I'm not sure what might work to remove it, but I know a sharp stream of water is ineffective, but you already knew that. ;o)
Pot size might indirectly affect fungal infections in that tight roots can cause a general decline in vitality, which in turn, can have an affect on the plant's ability to fend off biotic pathogens. Whether or not any plant does fine in a tight pot is a matter of perspective. We might utilize tight roots to bend a plant to our will, bloom induction e.g.. Growth is measured by the increase ion a plants biomass, so while you may think a plant is doing well under root-bound conditions because it is performing as you want it to, the fact is that in the overwhelming number of cases, tight roots are a significant impediment to increases in bio-mass and thus not a good thing from the plant's perspective. Your plant tolerates tight roots fairly well, but it doesn't appreciate being grown under root-bound conditions.
Fantastic answer and additional information!
BTW, FFG - when you remove the affected leaves, don't pull them off - you'll damage latent axillary buds (those buds waiting to be activated in the crotch where the leaf is attached to the branch). Instead, simply cut through the leaf petiole a half inch or so from the stem. The remainder of the petiole will soon fall off on its own.
Wow - thank you so much, Al! I'll do exactly as you recommend.