When it comes to fiddle leaf figs, the first signs of problems will almost always show up in the leaves.
If your fiddle is unhappy, you might notice drooping leaves, brown spots, yellowing, strange speckles, or a whole host of other issues.
But what if your leaves have holes?
Lots of different things can cause holes in fiddle leaf fig leaves, so if your leaves are suddenly resembling swiss cheese, here are a few of the most common factors to consider.
What causes holes in fiddle leaf fig leaves?
One of the most common, and most overlooked, causes of holes is physical trauma, meaning that the leaves have torn or been punctured by another object.
If you notice tearing and holes on an otherwise healthy fig, try to remember if you fiddle has been moved recently (bumps and scrapes tear leaves!), if it’s been bumped, or if your kids or pets might have messed with the leaves.
Pets sometimes chew on the leaves or brush against them, and roughhousing or curious children can also accidentally tear the leaves.
If this is the case, do what you can to protect your fiddle, but don’t change the routine otherwise.
Consider putting up a barrier if children or pets seem to be the problem. If the tree was damaged in a move or other accident, the best you can do is continue to care for it in a way that helps it thrive.
Lack of humidity
This is especially problematic for new leaves as they unfurl and stretch out.
If your fig isn’t getting enough humidity, your little buds can stick to themselves and tear as they grow. These holes won’t repair as the leaves reach maturity, so it’s important to make sure those baby buds get plenty of humidity.
Humidifiers and pebble trays can help create humidity for the tree, but it’s also a good idea to mist your leave buds every day to lubricate them as they grow. (We don’t recommend misting the rest of your tree, and here’s why.)
Insects are every plant owner’s nightmare!
If you notice holes in the leaves that don’t seem to be caused by physical trauma or baby leaves sticking together, check your tree closely for signs of insects.
Insects often eat the leaves of our plants and leave behind tiny holes. If you’ve noticed holes on mature leaves that get bigger or more numerous even if the leaf has stopped growing, you’ve probably got an insect problem on your hands.
Use a magnifying glass and flashlight to examine the leaves (top and bottom!), stems, and trunk of your tree for small, raised brown bumps, white insects, wedding or cotton-like stuff, or clear, sticky residue.
If you find signs of insects, just know it is possible to get rid of them! Read our Ultimate Guide to Fiddle Leaf Fig Insect Problems here.
Holes are Signs of a Bigger Problem
While holes in fiddle leaf fig leaves can’t be repaired, the issues that cause them can be solved!
See these holes as signs of what your tree is asking for, and once that issue is solved, you can look forward to a thriving tree capable of growing plenty of new, healthy leaves.
To chat more with other fiddle leaf fig owners, join our Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant Resource Community on Facebook.