Creeping Fig

Ficus pumila
Characteristics
Category Vine
Size 20'
Flower Color
Flower Season
Exposure Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Regular irrigation when young
Growth Rate When the vine is young, it is slow-growing. As it matures, its growth rate dramatically increases.
Hardiness 15°F
Notes:

Description

The self-climbing evergreen has unique, attractive foliage and can quickly scramble up the side of a wall with its lacy stems and leaves, climbing to twenty feet or more. The creeping fig has small, heart-shaped, juvenile leaves when young, and large, leathery dark green mature foliage. It produces a pale greenish-yellow fig-like fruit on its horizontal stems that is inedible. Its flowers are inconspicuous or are not present. Several different varieties are available including a variegated form.  For best results, plant it on a north- or east-facing wall. Use to create a cool, green splash of foliage against a wall of wood, masonry, or block, or to soften a wall in an atrium, building, or house façade. It is native to Japan, eastern China, and Vietnam.

Maintenance

It likes shady to partial shade conditions and also prefers well-draining soil. When the plant is young it requires regular irrigation, but as it matures is becomes more drought-resistant. Creeping fig tolerates freezing conditions for short periods of time and is hardy to about fifteen degrees Fahrenheit. It needs to be pruned regularly from growing into roofs, eaves, and windows. Mature vines will need to be tied or re-anchored to the wall if they get too heavy. This vine is difficult to remove from walls and leaves a marking on painted surfaces and walls. If a mature vine dries out and dies, prune it heavily to its roots to stimulate new growth. When the vine is young, it is slow-growing. As it matures, its growth rate dramatically increases.
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