Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
James H. Schutte
Unlike most figs, which are trees, this East Asian native is a rampant evergreen vine grown primarily for its dense all-enveloping foliage. It has both juvenile and adult growth phases. Juvenile growth has small heart-shaped leaves on slender fuzzy clinging stems. Their rootlike holdfasts bond tightly to most surfaces including metal and concrete, and can damage some materials including wood. Where hardy, creeping fig will quickly cover multi-story buildings, requiring regular pruning to keep it in bounds. Adult growths are thick-stemmed and shrubby with leathery elliptical leaves that are several times larger than juvenile leaves. They often appears once the juvenile form reaches the limits of its support. Relatively large hairy green figs appear on adult branches, maturing to purple. Flowers are inconspicuous.
Creeping fig is a most accommodating plant, growing almost anywhere to form cool green vertical carpets. It prefers well-drained soil and partial to full shade. Full hot sun will yellow its leaves. It will take a few degrees of frost, but not prolonged freezing. Remove the mature fruiting branches to maintain the climbing habit. It is very drought tolerant once established. Use creeping fig to soften concrete walls or to cover embankments, or grow it indoors in a hanging basket or planter. Among its many cultivars are ‘Minima,’ which has tiny leaves; ‘Quercifolia,’ with small lobed oak-like leaves; and ‘Variegata,’ whose leaves have white marks or edges.
12 - 1
7 - 11
H1, H2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade
3'-50' / 0.9m - 15.2m
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Purple, Light Green
Green, Dark Green
Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Groundcover, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier, Tropical, Vine
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