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Horticulture/Ficus lyrata


Hi, Susan. I have a 4 year old plant about 2.5 feet tall which is starting to lose it top-most leaves. They are becoming speckled on the underside with very small dark brownish spots that are starting to run together until the leaves become almost a sold brown. I do not think this is due to over or under-watering but I don't know why.  The leaves are also starting to curl under as they dry out. Provided this site permits, I will attach a photo. We live in Bend, OR and the room my plant is in is fairly cool, say 61 degrees at night and then 67 or so in the day until it warms up in late May of June.  I am hopeful that you gcan give me some ideas and one last point, I have not seen any sign of pest infestation although I am hopeful that this is the source of my issues as it should be easy to fix, maybe?  Thank you for your thoughts! John

Hi John,

I think it is a fungal leaf disease (probably pseudomonas or xanthomonas).  I would get some copper soap (Bonide makes it) from a local nursery and spray it with that.  Is there any way to give it better conditions?  Fiddleleaf Ficus really likes it hot and humid.  They can also get nutrient deficiencies, so use a fertilizer which includes minor elements like iron, magnesium, etc. Don't prune the effected areas unless they die completely - if that happens, you will have to top it, but dip your shears in alcohol before cutting so you don't spread the problem further.
I hope this will help.


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Susan Tabor


Entomology,plant pathology, agronomy, native plants, useful and edible plants,medicinal plants,landscape design and installation, plant taxonomy and identification, cultivars and varieties, Botany, nutrient deficiencies, plant recommendations and troubleshooting.


35 years as a professional horticulturist and landscape contractor. I have a network of contacts at leading universities and with acknowledged experts in the field. I've restored the landscapes of several plantations, 2 Governors mansions and owned/managed 3 nursery/garden centers. I discovered a new subspecies of Emelia in 1997. I've locally introduced several native or volunteer species into mainstream landscape design.

Morning Advocate The Register Better Homes and Gardens All Experts - Approx 1996-97

Louisiana State University - horticulture David L. Hoffman - California - phytotheraphy

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