Winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11. In St. Louis, grow indoors as a houseplant or outdoors as an annual ground cover or container plant. Easily grown in a soil-based potting mix. Site indoors in bright indirect light or part shade with protection from afternoon sun. Water regularly during the growing season. Avoid overwatering. Reduce watering from fall to late winter. Prune as needed.
Ficus pumila, commonly called creeping fig, is a vigorous, fast-growing, evergreen, climbing vine that from a distance simply does not look much like a fig. Where it may be grown outdoors, it will climb and cover walls, posts, trellises and other structures by adhesive aerial rootlets. Outdoor plants can grow to 15’ or more. On climbing stems, juvenile foliage consists of ovate, heart-shaped leaves to 1” long. On fruit-bearing stems, mature foliage is oblong to elliptic, thicker, shinier and larger (to 4” long). Hairy pear-shaped fruits (to 2.5” long) may appear on outdoor plants throughout the year. Fruits emerge green ripening to purple. Flowers and fruits rarely appear on indoor plants. Stems have a milky sap. Indoors, this plant may be grown on room-dividing trellises or in hanging baskets or sprawling over a shelf. Varieties available in commerce include ones with variegated foliage and with oak-like lobed leaves. Synonymous with F. repens.
Genus name comes from the Latin name for Ficus carica the edible fig.
Specific epithet means dwarf.
No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for scale, aphids, mealybugs, thrips and spider mites. Outdoor plants may spread rapidly.
Outdoors, this plant is a popular cover for stone walls or rock outcroppings. Grow as a houseplant or garden annual in the St. Louis area.