Causes Of Rubber Plant Spots On Leaves And How To Fix It

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Last Updated on July 22, 2022

If you nurture a rubber plant and you one day find out that there are spots on the leaves, then this may have you worried. Rubber plant spots on leaves can be a signal that something is wrong with your plant. But not too worry because we will be delving into how to fix rubber plant spots on leaves.

Rubber plant which is usually referred to as Ficus elastic is one lovely type of houseplant characterized by its dark and glossy leaves.

Rubber plant is a lovely plant so finding some spots (either brown or white spots) on the leaves can reduce its stunning look. Finding out the reason for this spot symptom on the leaves of the rubber plant is a good step to fixing this issue.

Rubber plant spots on leaves will be explored here so let’s simply look into this.

Rubber Plant Spots On Leaves: Which Part Of The Plant Is Affected?

The major part of rubber plant affected by these spots is the leaves. Rubber plant spots on leaves show dark brown patches and this is usually from the tip and edges of the leaves. Also, the cause of the brown spot can make these small spots begin to show on the center or close to the edges of the leaves.

Other part where the brown spot can show up is the base of the leaf and this is usually caused by pests and diseases attack. You may even notice some of these brown spots where the leaf meets the stem.

Rubber Plant Spots On Leaves - Which Part Of The Plant Is Affected

Once you notice any small brown spot on your rubber plant, you need to act fast. If you don’t tackle the issue on time, this brown spot can show up on the plant’s new leaves, stem, and shoots.

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Rubber Plant Spots Causes, Symptoms, And Managements

Rubber plant spots on leaves can be caused by different issues such as Septotia leaf spot, rubber plant algae leaf spot, downy mildew, powdery mildew, the bacterial blight of ficus elastic, alternaria, and anthracnose.

Also, rubber plant spots can be caused by over-watering, poor drainage, root rot, nutrient deficiency, harsh weather like scorching sun and frost damage, low humidity, insect infestation, and fertilizer burn.

Let’s take a look at some details of this rubber plant spot on leaves:

1.    Septoria Leaf Spot

Septoria leaf spots can cause brown spots on your rubber plant and this is caused when you leave your plant in a wet and humid condition for a long period. This spot is caused by a fungal disease and it exhibits this small, irregular, brown spot on both the top and undersides of the leaves.


Rubber plant spots on leaves caused by septoria can exhibit black or dark brown-edged lesions on the leaves. On the leaves, you can also notice this mold-like growth, and the leaves can look shrivel, blacken, and drop off.

Also, the leaves affected tend to change to yellow and brown and they will eventually wither and die.

Septoria Leaf Spot

Resolving The Situation

Once you’ve identified that your rubber plant spot is suffering from septoria leaf spot, it’s important you quarantine the affected plant immediately.

Trim off and destroy the diseased, drooped, or any dead parts of the leaves. Always, space out your houseplants so that there can be adequate air circulation.

You can spray your plant with a sulfur-based fungicide, captan, or copper-based fungicide.

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2.    Rubber Plant Algae Leaf Spot

Rubber plant spots on leaves can be caused by rubber plant algae leaf spots. This algae leaf spot is caused by a parasite known as Cephaleuros virescens and this parasite thrives in a humid and warm environment.


The symptoms noticed with these algae leaf spots is a small rough, mesh-like brown spot on the leaves of rubber plant. You may notice pale green, gray, or orange with this issue. Even if you notice that the spots are small, the spots can still expand and merge into bigger patches.

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Resolving The Situation

The good news is that algae leaf spot is not a fatal disease. Organic control methods can be used to resolve the situation.

Ensure you trim excess foliage, improve aeration, and space out your houseplants. When you’re watering, don’t splash water or water from the top of the plant. Instead, aim to water the base of the plant or you can use self-watering pots. Make sure you use well-draining, aerated, and fertile soil.

However, if the algae leaf spot is too severe, use a copper-base fungicide or Bordeaux mixture biweekly. Apply this until the algae leaf spot has been eliminated.

3.    Downy Mildew

Downy mildew should not be confused with powdery mildew. This affects rubber plants and it mostly occurs in cool and humid conditions. This downy mildew disease is rarely seen during hot weather.


With this disease, you will notice colonies on the underside of your rubber plant leaves. So, you will notice spots covered with bluish-gray, purplish, whitish, or bluish cotton-like fungi.

Mildew spores begin to dig and lock into the leaf from underneath and the upper part of the leaves will look yellow or white. As time goes on, they tend to form a fuzzy coating on the leaves and more damage will result in brown spots on rubber plants.

Resolving The Situation

Once you’ve identified that your rubber plant is suffering from downy mildew, isolate the plant to prevent the spread of the disease.

Horticultural oil such as neem oil can be applied to the plant to prevent the spread and colonization of other leaves in the early stages. A copper-based fungicide should be used to tackle any colonies and spray once every seven to ten days.

Final Word

Rubber plant spots on leaves are usually a signal that something is wrong with your plant. So, you will need to act swiftly to prevent further damage when it comes to this issue.


What causes brown spots on rubber plants?

Rubber plants brown spots on leaves are usually caused by over-watering, fertilizer burn, pest and diseases infestation, harsh weather, low humidity, and poor drainage.

Why does my rubber plant have white dots?

The tiny white dots seen on rubber plants are known as lithocysts and they are enlarged cells that have calcium carbonate crystals. Seeing these white dots is no issue and they are normal for rubber plants.

Should you cut off the brown leaves rubber plant?

These brown leaves are usually dead and dying leaves so you should remove any dead and dying leaves by pruning them. Doing this will help the plant grow healthier and into the shape you would like it to have.

What do brown spots on leaves mean?

Usually, brown spots on leaves signify that the plant is suffering from an issue that needs to be attended to. These brown spots n leaves can be caused by over-watering, under-watering, lack of humidity, and so on.

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