Ficus pumila

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 2 Professionals
Common Name: creeping fig
Type: Vine
Family: Moraceae
Native Range: Eastern Asia
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers indoors
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy

Culture

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.

Noteworthy Characteristics

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. Pumila means dwarf. Synonymous with F. repens.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for scale, aphids, mealybugs, thrips and spider mites. Outdoor plants may spread rapidly.

Garden Uses

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.