Every fiddle leaf fig owner fears spider mites.
These tiny insects can wreak havoc on your poor fiddle!
With spider mites, you want to catch them early before the infestation spreads and takes a serious toll on your plant.
Spider mites aren’t actually spiders, but they are a type of arachnid similar to ticks. They suck the juices out of the leaves, which can cause discoloration and shriveling. They like to go after the new, tender leaves first. Many fiddle leaf fig owners mistake a spider mite infestation for edema, so make sure to look closely to see if the dots are moving! Not good!
Spider mites are also tiny. They often look like tiny brown, black, or red dots that could just be edema or a slight over-watering problem, until, upon closer inspection, you notice the dots are moving. Your plant can accumulate a ton of these pests before showing damage, but by then the problem is much harder to get rid of.
They travel by air, using their webbing to catch breezes to other plants, so it’s important to keep infected plants away from your other houseplants. All it takes is a short breeze from an open door or fan for spider mites to spread from one plant to another.
Quarantine your affected plant to prevent spider mites from spreading to other plants. Closely inspect any new houseplants before letting them near your current houseplants (especially your fiddle!).
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Signs of Spider Mites on Your Fiddle Leaf Fig:
Spider mites are spiders, after all, and they spin webs on your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves, stems, and trunks. They usually don’t leave webbing in the soil, however.
Examine your tree closely for soft, cottony webbing. Spider mites especially like the undersides of leaves, so check those leaves, top and bottom!
Small, Clustered Dots on the Leaves
One of the most tell-tale signs of spider mites are small, dark red or brown dots on the leaves. These are the insects themselves, so look closely with magnifying glass to see if the dots are moving.
This might also indicate where the spider mites have started to snack on your fiddle leaf fig’s leaves!
How to Get Rid of Spider Mites on your Fiddle Leaf Fig
So what happens if you do find spider mites on your precious fig? How do you get rid of the little buggers?
Good news! As far as pests go, spider mites are actually pretty easy to get rid of. All you have to do is get them OFF the leaves, and they don’t attach themselves to leaves like scale or other insects.
Our favorite way to dislodge spider mites is with a jet of water. You can try a hose on spray mode if you have a lot of insects, but if you’ve managed to catch the infestation early, all you need is a kitchen syringe or something else that can spray a focused jet of water. Even a Super Soaker might work if your aim is good!
Take your fiddle outside or put it in the sink or bathtub and spray those little dark dots until they’re gone. Done!
If your infestation is severe, you may need to prune heavily affected leaves and carefully throw them away before they spread.
You can also use our Houseplant Leaf Armor, designed for houseplants to protect against insects, bacteria, and fungus, or diluted neem oil on a cotton swab to kills eggs. (Our Houseplant Leaf Armor product works just like neem oil but without the unpleasant smell! As an added bonus, the Houseplant Leaf Armor also cleans and adds shine to your houseplant’s leaves.)
If you still have trouble with spider mites after trying the usual methods, try these suggestions from the University of Colorado.
Spider mites are a real problem, but they’re fairly simple to handle.
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.
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.
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