One of the most common questions we get in our Fiddle Leaf Fig Facebook Community is about edema.
New growth that has tiny brown or red spots can be very distressing. When new leaves are speckled with small brown or red pockmarks, this is what is known as edema (odema).
How to Diagnose Edema
Edema is the abnormal retention of water in the cells of the plant which burst and cause the tiny red spots. When too much water is inside the cells of your new growth, edema happens. If you are wondering if your new growth is suffering from edema, consider these points:
- Edema is only on new growth.
- Small spots that are 1-3 mm and are red or brown in color.
- Spots do not spread or get bigger.
- Edema does not leave holes.
Edema Case Study
Rule Out Other Fiddle Leaf Fig New Growth Problems
Sometimes, your fiddle leaf fig leaves will have spots that you might think are caused by edema, but they are because of different issues.
Rust of Fungus
Having a rust or fungus on your leaves will be more of an all-over color, and not spotted like edema. Rust will rub off the leaves as well.
Fiddle leaf fig plants that are not used to direct sunlight can easily burn. It’s important to remember to acclimate your plant to direct sun. Sunburned leaves will not repair themselves, unfortunately.
Some insect infestations can leave small spots on your leaves, but are most likely accompanied by other signs, like webbing. Make sure to inspect your fiddle leaf fig leaves for insects. (We recommend using Houseplant Leaf Armor to protect against insects as well as bacteria and fungus.)
How to Prevent Edema in Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaves
- Proper drainage
- Fast-draining soil
- Moisture meter
- Water sparingly in winter months.
If you suspect your plant has edema, do not stress too much. Edema spots will disappear as the leaves grow out. Join us in the Fiddle Leaf Fig Facebook Group to chat more about your fiddle leaf fig!
Grab the Essentials for Your Fiddle Leaf Fig:
- Premium Fiddle Leaf Fig Potting Soil
- Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Food
- Root Rot Treatment
- Houseplant Leaf Armor to protect against insects, bacteria, and fungus (As an added bonus, it also cleans and adds shine to your plant’s leaves!)
- Moisture meter to always know when your plant is thirsty.
- Houseplant Propagation Promoter to propagate more quickly and with more success.
To learn more:
- Sign up for our free Fiddle Leaf Fig Care 101 Webinar or enroll in our free Fiddle Leaf Fig Course for advanced fiddle leaf fig care.
- Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter.
- Read The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert, your complete guide to growing healthy fiddle leaf fig plants. The book is available in full-color paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon now!
- Click to join our community on Facebook: Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource Group.