Does any one know the cause of these black spots on my rubber plant? None of the leaves are drooping, but most are getting these black spots.


Edit: Thanks for the answers. I had a feeling it was a fungus infection. I have put it into a room with the brightest light. Should I be removing the infected leaves?

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2 Answers 2


This is not a cigarette burn. This is a fungus/virus/bacterial infection brought on by overwatering and not enough light. See the poorly annotated picture below that shows the typical initial infection followed by a growth ring as the problem grows. Ficus Elastica This plant is variegated with the white and green leaf colour. It does not photosynthesize as efficiently as a completely green leaf. When you have a waterlogged root system and not enough light you will see these spots.

Most healthy plants can outgrow the problem if the cause is addressed. Try these steps

  • check that there is drainage from the pot. When you water it should come out the bottom of the pot
  • remove the plant from the pot and look at the roots. Black and soft is rotted, firm and brown or white is healthy
  • move the plant to the highest light condition you have
  • before watering again stick your finger in the soil down one inch. If it is moist then do not water until it is dry

Is this plant sitting next to a sofa where you might have had some friends sitting and smoking? A friend's kid hanging out for awhile? This looks to me a cigarette burn. You have to send more pictures and information.

There are a few other spots I am able to see in your picture that have blackened. No big deal. Little tears or a munching insect could easily do this and turning black is this plant's defense. One day that black will just dry up and fall off.

Your plant looks too healthy to be susceptible to fungus/insects. Did you transplant this plant into this pot or did this plant come in this pot not too long ago. Did you use planting soil out of a bag? Or did you use garden soil?

I am stabbing in the dark here, grins. Really does look like a burn but then it really doesn't. Is there a center that is crispier than the edges? What is happening beneath that spot? Under the leaf? Is there a way you could send a picture of the entire plant? Give us information such as where this plant lives in your home, lighting? How long have you had this plant? What soil is in your pot? Your watering habits. Fertilizer?


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