What Causes Black Spots On Houseplants Leaves? Reasons + Treatments


Nobody likes to see those black spots on the leaves of our beloved plants.

Though certain houseplants are more likely to get the black spots, it is not unusual.

In this post, I will examine the potential causes of black spots on houseplants’ foliage and how to help them.

Black patches on houseplant foliage are typically the result of insect damage or a fungus infection.

Therefore, the first cause can be overwatering. Aging, bacterial or viral illness, and food insufficiency are less common reasons for black spots.

It is important to figure out and explore the problem itself to find the proper care for your beautiful houseplants. 

Can Plants Recover From Black Spot?


Whether your plants leaves have tiny or large black spots, you can make the recover, with proper treatment, if not it can cause defoliation and make the plant weak.

Below we listed the reasons why plant leaves have black spots and how to make them recover.

The Top Reasons You See Black Spots On Your Houseplants Leaves

1- Overwatering

Today, the most frequent cause of indoor plant death is overwatering. Black patches might indicate the plant’s cry for help. 

The roots of your plant will first suffer damage from overwatering, which will then go upward.

Your plant is in danger of dying if the foliage is damaged, therefore you must take quick action.

What You can do to fix an overwatered plant is to take it out of the soil and examine the roots to determine whether this is the issue.

They should not be dark, black, mushy, or smelly since this indicates that your plant has been overwatered and requires assistance.

You can remove dead and damaged roots and replace the pot’s soil.

By selecting soil with good drainage, you may prevent the problem from happening again.

Reconsider your plant-care regimen for improved growth and the production of gorgeous foliage. Learn about the water needs of the species of houseplants you have.

The growth of lovely leaves is facilitated by proper indoor plant hydration. Water helps the physiological functions of the indoor plant.

However, a plant’s dryness might be caused by uneven watering practices. To conserve water, indoor plants’ leaves start to droop and curl.

The ultimate scream will be dark patches on foliage and stems if the inconsistent watering practice continues.


To take the proper step, make sure to check the soil’s moisture level. Consider watering the houseplant according to its needs if the soil is dry.

During the spring and summer, give the indoor plants two or three monthly watering. Since most indoor plants are dormant throughout the winter, watering should be less often.

2- Fungus

The majority of indoor plants are spectacular and demand meticulous maintenance.

Fungal infection is the cause of the sudden black blotches on houseplant’s foliage. Remember that certain indoor plants are more resistant than others.

However, all plants might benefit from the same black spot fungus therapy.

These fungi-based diseases are transmitted by water splashes and flourish in moist environments or moldy soil.

It is easier for fungus to invade wet leaves and as a result, cause black spots on houseplants


To prevent fungal infection, think about watering the plant from the bottom rather than the top. When the humidity is low, try to avoid splashing water on the foliage.

Remove and discard the damaged leaves.

To help the indoor plant with the black spots caused by a fungus, use a horticultural fungicide. Don’t forget to keep the afflicted houseplant separate from others.

Here are some tips that will help you to avoid getting the fungus on your houseplants:

  • Make sure to water the plant from the bottom up.
  • In the summer, water as early as possible.
  • Make sure the location has enough airflow.
  • Leaves shouldn’t be misted.

In order to prevent the fungus from spreading further, you should also remove the infected leaves. The fungus won’t harm your plant permanently if it’s treated correctly.

3- Pest Infestation

woman with eyeglasses looking at a plant leaves
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

The most common cause of black spots on our beloved houseplants is insects. Some of the most harmful ones are Spider Mites, Aphids, Scales, Thrips, Mealybugs, and Gnats.

These little critters often prey on the leaves and stems of plants.

The development of black spots is caused by repeated leaf piercing during cell-sap sucking.

Plant leaves with black dots show indications of recovery. But often, these dark spots make your houseplant seem unhealthy.


Examine the leaves with a hand lens to find the offending bug. The majority of these pests have various hues and modes of colonization.

To get rid of the bugs, spray an effective pesticide all over the houseplant. To make place for new growths, start cutting the damaged leaves.

4- Viral And Bacterial Infections

Black spots appearing on your houseplants’ foliage may occasionally be a sign of a bacterial or viral infection.

Infected plants are typically stressed, and the results won’t necessarily be as favorable as with fungal diseases.

You should get rid of every leaf that is impacted if you think this is what’s causing the black markings on your plant’s leaves.

Sanitation and prevention are a couple more recommendations for treating a bacterial or viral illness.

You can help your plant with black spots and avoid getting more by following those instructions:

  • Keep healthy plants separate from unhealthy ones.
  • Clean any equipment after each usage.
  • Don’t forget to take extra good care of your plant.

Remember that certain indoor plants are immune to viral and bacterial infections. Houseplants that are stressed or weak are more susceptible to the circumstances.

Less effective black spot treatments for plants are chemicals.


As a general rule, segregate the damaged plant and get rid of the leaves that have black spots.

Enhance the cleanliness of the houseplant and use rubbing alcohol to sanitize the leaves.

It will assist in getting rid of the viruses and bacteria creating the black spots.

5- Plant’s Aging Process

Black patches might appear for no reason at all. Instead, they are only a sign of wilted, aged leaves.

As a plant sheds older leaves and directs the nutrients to areas of the plant that are still developing, degradation happens naturally.

If the black spots on your houseplant are caused by aging, only the lowest leaves should have them. Additionally, not all leaves experience the average decrease.


If you take better care of the plant, such as by washing the leaves and turning them in the light, you can make this process slower.

6- Too Much Light Exposure

green leaf plant on pot
Photo by Sigrid Abalos on Pexels.com

The majority of houseplants enjoy medium to bright indirect light. In order to promote greater growth, the situation often mirrors their natural habitat.

The leaves will be damaged and scorched by prolonged direct sunlight like Crotons for example.

Sunburn can also cause leaves to fade and develop black and brown spots and patches on their surfaces.


The best course of action is to move the houseplant from its existing location and place them in indirect sunlight. It will prevent sunburn problems for indoor plant foliage.

Bottom Line

Black spots shouldn’t be welcomed, but they also don’t always foretell death for your plant.

The condition typically appears worse than it is because the affected leaves frequently continue to function and don’t truly die.

The unattractive black marks can range in size, some have rounded borders while others have uneven ones.

Once the reason is resolved, spots on afflicted foliage are unlikely to return, but they won’t emerge on new leaves.

Don’t disregard the problem because there are several major causes of black patches.

Discovering the issue is essential since treatment differs depending on the problem’s origin.

Keeping the plant healthy is the greatest approach to stopping black spots from appearing.

In addition to being more resilient, a vigorous houseplant will swiftly recover from harm and new sprouts will also appear soon.

Peride Beradze
Peride is an avid planter, Tour Manager and freelance writer. She is a plant collector who mainly focuses on succulents. She loves studying cultures, traveling and learning new languages.

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