I thought the result was really quite outstanding… but then I lost the plant (the person entrusted with watering all my plants while I was away forgot to water that one). In order to look its best, creeping fig should get about 2 inches (5 cm.) The creeping fig plant can propagate easily and rapidly. It can cling to almost any surface, even plaster abundantly coated with multiple layers of paint (my situation). Once you’ve potted it up, place the container against the desired wall… and wait. But have you ever considered letting climbers cover your indoor walls as well? Depending on one's outlook, creeping fig is either a miracle plant handed down by the gods or a scourge from hell. There are actually several houseplants that produce aerial roots or adhesive pads and can thus cling to walls. Instead, let Mother Nature take care of the situation. Although native to tropical East Asia, it survives temperatures down to 20 degrees or colder. When grown outdoors, creeping fig like full or part shade and grows best in well-draining soil. I’ve experimenting with creeping fig (Ficus pumila) as an indoor wall cover for about 35 years. These plants grow at a fast pace, eventually reaching up to 15 feet in length, when left to grow. You can feed occasionally with diluted fertilizer, but it’s not a heavy feeder. Clinging vines require no support. Instantly recognisable with their gigantic sprays of fragrant … ... Clinging vines, such as creeping fig, climbing hydrangea and trumpet vine, develop aerial roots along their branches and stems that naturally cling to walls and other surfaces. There probably aren’t more than a handful of private residences in all of North America with indoor walls covered in creeping fig, so you can literally claim your wall is one in a million! If allowed to grow up a wall, it can grow up to 20 feet (6 m.) tall. Why not use them that way indoors? Cutting Creeping Fig Vine - I have a creeping fig vine that has crept all over the place. The fig rectangles provided a wonderful backdrop for clipped box hedges and topiarised trees planted nearby. Don showed how classy creeping figs can look when used in a formal garden design. I need something that will grow down and yet cling to the wall. But creeping fig on a wall can be manageable if you trim it back and grow it in a container to manage its size. Initially, in the first year, creeping fig will grow slowly, if at all. I particularly like the oak-leaved creeping fig (F. pumila quercifolia), with small lobed leaves, but it is not as resilient as the species, so I’ve never dared to use it to cover a wall. away from the base of the wall, insert the plant, and refill it with good soil. Homeowners typically use them as wall or fence covers, but they can also serve as a ground cover. The key to healthy growth is to provide as much warm, humid air as possible, plenty of even moisture, and bright light but not direct sunlight. Since your creeping fig will be growing in the same pot for the rest of its life (I don’t see how you’d ever be able to repot a plant that clings to a wall! This group includes heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum, formerly P. oxycardium), pothos (Epipremnum aureum), monstera (Monstera deliciosa) and English ivy (Hedera helix). Creeping fig is also a favorite plant for topiary as it obediently grows over wire-framed shapes of all kinds. The stems can climb fairly quickly once they get started: a foot (30 cm) or so a week. I’ve only ever tried using the original form of creeping fig (Ficus pumila) on walls, that is, the species itself. If planted against a wall, all growth will initially be vertical. While the climbing fig has visually appealing aesthetics, it can also be a destructive nuisance. When planted where it's happy it'll grow up to 10 feet in a year, covering a wall. They do this by secreting a sticky substance from the aerial roots. If some leaves do turn brown, gently knock them off with a duster or a broom. When the plant is ready to climb, and that can take several months, one or more of its stems will grow towards and then up the wall all on its own, clinging to the surface thanks to tiny aerial roots. It is a native of East Asia and is found on Japan’s southern islands, in eastern China, and in Vietnam. It can also be used as a groundcover. However, it's worth noting that even very healthy and well-cared-for plants will likely only last a few years in their potsultimately their root structures are designed for aggressive and spreading growth. The creeping fig is an evergreen climbing species which you might have seen crawling up the walls of large mansions or a quaint house in the country. Above: Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista. I’ve tried it and they’ll only fail to thrive. Most are of these sold as hanging basket plants and normally allowed to drip downwards from their pots, but in the wild, they usually grow upwards, clinging to tree trunks or rocks… or buildings. It only has an average spread of three to six feet. By year three you may wish you hadn’t planted it. It shouldn't be used on wood walls, however, which its sticky tendrils can damage. Occasionally some of the leaves turn yellow, then brown. When climbing a wall, climbing fig vines can grow up to 20 feet tall. Then, at my current address, I let it grow up a wall in my dining room over a 4-year period. My current plant has been growing 7 years and covers only a small portion of the room, but then it’s in a very shady location with no direct sunlight. Creeping fig will grow under most light conditions, from bright sun to deep shade, although it grows much faster in a … Q. Creeping fig loves humidity, so if you want to grow it in dry climates, you will need to provide some artificial sources of humidity. Creeping figs prefer evenly moist soil. Creeping fig as it looks when you buy it. In a bright sunny room, growth will be many times faster. Obviously, too, the room must be heated because the creeping fig tree is a subtropical plant. I have never seen such love/hate comments on a plant. This fast-spreading vine requires at least 10 feet of vertical clearance and 3 feet of horizontal space. There seems to be no middle ground on this one. Plant creeping fig against a wall where you can’t spare the square footage for … Creeping fig (Ficus pumila) is a fast-growing vine that can be used to soften the look of concrete garden walls. If you do not this much rainfall in a week, you will need to supplement with the hose. To cover a wall, fence or grown on a topiary; It doesn’t require full sun or a lot of water, making it a simple plant to grow. Do this once every 4 to 5 days in a sunny or hot room, once a week or so in a darker or cooler one. I have creeping fig planted in the ground right up against the foundation of my home and growing up a block foundation and a brick wall here in mid-Georgia. Another option is to attach some type of trellis or fencing to the wall. Thereof, will creeping fig grow down a wall? It also helps to fill in any cracks in a wall before growing a creeping fig there. Any houseplant potting mix ought to do. They need to be pollinated by a specific insect, a tiny wasp called Blastophaga pumiliae, and you certainly won’t have any in your home. For indoor pots or a small outdoor garden, you need only one creeping fig plant. The water will evaporate, creating … Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. They do this by secreting a sticky substance from the aerial roots. Is There a Fig-covered Wall in Your Future? This is why some people consider creeping fig to be a pest plant. Creeping fig is often planted to cover trellises, posts, walls or rock outcroppings. Use floral wire or even paperclips to hook the plant to the structure. Creeping fig (ficus pumila) -- also known as climbing fig and creeping ficus -- is a decorative vine that grows in thick thatches on the sides of buildings, fences and homes. The kind of place where most houseplants that would kill most houseplants. Creeping fig (Ficus pumila), an evergreen plant with small, heart-shaped leaves, works as a vine to cover walls, as a ground cover, foundation plant and for topiaries. No, it doesn’t cover the entire surface (far from it! Some vines need a lattice or fence to cling to and grow, but creeping fig can attach to and grow up any type of wall. It will take temperatures nearly down to freezing if necessary… but that’s not likely to be the case in an indoor situation. We have a creeping fig that covers a 75′ wall 6 ft high. Creeping Fig Care. As a climbing vine, it tends to be leggy near the base and should be underplanted with low-growing facer plants. Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila) is a fast growing, small leafed vine that will stick and climb up stucco and concrete. Initially the stems head towards the ceiling, so you quickly gain height. Q. It can potentially damage structures when the roots get into cracks in walls. I feel it is a better choice than many others because of its denser growth habit and natural tendency to branch freely. Plus, with its tiny leaves growing one practically on top of the next, like shingles on a roof, it’s simply very attractive when grown that way. If you can’t find it locally, try a mail order houseplant source, like Logee’s in the United States or Understory Enterprises in Canada. As the vines age, or as they start to stretch out, the leaves get larger and the stem gets thicker. In year two, it will begin to grow and climb. Creeping Fig will grow to be about 30 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. ), you’ll want to repot it right away into a large container (I used an extra wide, extra deep window box). If attaching creeping fig to a wall is your desire, the first year of growth can be slow, so have patience and use a few tricks to get your fig clinging to the wall in subsequent years. It was quite a shock to arrive home and see a shower of yellowing leaves dropping from the walls and ceiling! After all, the term “ivy league university” comes from the way Boston Ivy covers so many of the buildings on university campuses. I first I tried growing it on walls in various apartments over the years, but usually ended up moving before it got very far. Before watering, insert your index finger into the soil. To get a creeping fig growing on walls doesn’t require much effort on your part, only a little patience. When you find the suitable spot, you’ll need to locate a plant. It might well be decades! Attaching creeping fig to a wall shouldn’t really be necessary, but you may want to take some steps to encourage growth in a particular direction. Creeping fig covering a column in Longwood Gardens’ Main Conservatory. You’ll first need to choose a wall for your creeping fig to climb on. Some vines need a lattice or fence to cling to and grow, but creeping fig can attach to and grow up any type of wall. Growing Creeping Fig - How do I get it to attach to the wall--it has just grown over itself. I reinstalled a creeping fig in my dining room 7 years ago and you can see the results in the photo. Creeping fig will grow under most light conditions, from bright sun to deep shade, although it grows much faster in a sunny spot. I really like the "live wall" look. It’s an interesting long-term project and certainly original. The plant will put out these little roots and stick to anything in the vicinity: a trellis, a wall, rocks, or another plant. If you want dense growth from the start, pinch the upright stem and repeat as needed: this will slow the growth rate of the plant, but at least will force it to branch more profusely. All it takes is a cutting left in a soil for it to root and start doing its thing. The Creeping Fig, otherwise known as the Ficus Pumila or Climbing Fig, Creeping Rubber Plant, Ok-Gue, Ficus repens, is a well-known climber plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world. ), but it has this zigzag growth habit, a bit like a Roomba, hitting an obstacle, then heading off in another direction, so I’m hoping to see more wall coverage over time. You’ll first need to choose a wall for your creeping fig to climb on. The plant will put out these little roots and stick to anything in the vicinity: a trellis, a wall… Creeping plants can climb down as well as up QUESTION: “I have a concrete wall that is 4 foot tall, and the only place to plant is on top of the wall. The curious fruit of the creeping fig isn’t likely to form indoors. If your creeping fig grows vertically on a fence or wall, you can place trays with water next to its base. And it's highly unlikely your indoor plant will ever bloom or yield fruit. Side branches are slower to appear. In spite of a careful attempt to revive it, it didn’t recover and I had to remove it. The plant is then able to produce its curious green fruit… but they won’t ripen indoors. Elsie Taylor Owens and husband Jimmy have a soft spot for historical architecture and gardens, but when they finished building their Federal-inspired home, funds for landscaping were nearly exhausted.Inspired by Charleston's vine-covered facades, Elsie opted to plant creeping fig rather than shrubs to save some money. For instance, you can attach eyehooks in the wall using masonry shields. Plant your climbing vine in spring, if you bought it bare root. The creeping fig most indoor gardeners are used to, with tiny leaves and thin stems that cling to various surfaces, is the juvenile form of the plant. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water. This will allow you to determine the direction of its growth as it gets bigger. By this time, it will grow and climb in leaps and bounds. 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As for pruning, you’ll want to control where the plant goes, as it will wander pretty much anywhere if you let it. We’d like to have ivy or creeping fig, but everything I read indicates that it "climbs". Creeping fig used as an indoor wall cover. The leaves of this plant are tiny and press against the wall or ceiling, with the result that several guests thought I’d painted a climbing plant on the wall. To grow creeping fig on a wall takes a little time and patience, so just wait a year or two and you will see more growth and clinging than you ever imagined. There is no use trying to force the plant to climb by gluing or tacking its creeping stems to the wall yourself. Climbing fig (Ficus pumila) is a woody, evergreen vine that can be used outdoors to cover a wall or fence, or as an indoor ornamental, where it is allowed to either cascade down from a hanging basket, or trained to cover a trellis, hoop or pole. I try to restrict mine to the dining room only and snip off any branches that head elsewhere. – on outdoor walls. Plant creeping figs in an area that receives full or partial shade and features well-draining soil. Why not? of water a week. I planted creeping fig on my cinderblock walls -- it was strange as it started to grow but never would grab onto the wall and would fall down -- then, about 3 years in, it started grabbing and has covered about 60% of my original plan. Actually, I also have another creeping fig climbing up the inside walls of my fireplace… but that’s another story. I’d seen it used as a wall climber in several public greenhouses, notably in Longwood Gardens and Meadowbrook Farms in Pennsylvania and in the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken in Brussels, not to forget in the sales area of Logee’s Greenhouses in Connecticut. Sign up for our newsletter. I use it more as a ground cover for terrariums and bonsais. There are also cultivars with variegated foliage or smaller leaves you could try. Scale On My Ficus Creeping Vine - This vine is growing on the front wall of my home. At maturity, it completely changes its appearance, producing thicker, shrubbier branches that arch out from the wall and much larger and thicker leaves. If you want to keep your Ficus pu… The plant’s wandering stems and small leaves create an interesting lacy pattern as the vine grows across the wall. They tend to grow more horizontally, at least at first, and also grow more slowly than the upright ones. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! I keep it well manicured and is usually a ... Q. It’s hardy, it gives nice coverage and texture to an otherwise frightfully boring wall and you can simply rip it off the wall if it gets to be too much. This could be good news for you if you plan to cover more than one wall … Yesterday we have a major wind event (70 MPH winds) and the creeping fig became un-attached to the wall. Wisteria (Wisteria chinensis) Getty. This seems mostly linked to irregular watering. We started it about 15 years about with about 12 plants. How long before your fig tree completely covers an indoor wall? Indoors they’re best grown in a hanging basket, or given something to attach to and climb. There doesn’t seem to be an off-season: the plant grows by fits and starts throughout the year. Other than watering, creeping fig requires little maintenance. Everyone knows you can grow climbing plants – Boston ivy, Virginia creeper, climbing hydrangea, etc. It is about 6 inches thick. Creeping fig is a member of the Ficus genus which includes rubber trees, towering jungle banyans, and also the familiar domesticated trees that produce edible figs. That shouldn’t be too difficult, as creeping fig is often sold in garden centers as a foliage plant or in a hanging basket.
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