Climbing Fig Vine
A Vine that Creeps or Climbs
Although it’s related to the edible fig and ornamental fig trees, the Climbing Fig Vine (Ficus pumila) takes this group of plants to new heights. As its wandering stems reach out in all directions, aerial roots grab hold of vertical surfaces and cling tightly as a network of leaves covers fences, walls or arbors. Climbing Fig Vine is also called creeping fig because of its other growth habit -- scrambling along the ground as a groundcover!
At a Glance
1. Dense foliage. You’ll find two types of leaves on Climbing Fig Vines. The new growth on young plants produces small 1-inch-long leaves, which mature to darker-green foliage that grows up to 3 inches long and 2 inches wide.
2. Fast growth. Vigorous Climbing Fig Vines typically grow up to 12 inches each year and reach heights of up to 30 feet.
3. Salt tolerance. Climbing Fig Vine is tolerant of salt spray, which makes it a super choice for coastal gardens.
The versatile Climbing Fig Vine is equally useful as a horizontally creeping groundcover or a vertically growing vine. Plant vines where they’ll climb structures, such as trellises, arbors or pergolas. Grow a living fence by spacing plants at the base of chain-link or wooden fencing and allowing them to find their way upward and outward. Create beautiful yard art by training Climbing Fig Vine over a topiary form.
Tip: The vines attach quite strongly and may damage wood or stucco structures if you try to remove them, so it’s best not to allow them to climb your home’s exterior walls.
Planting & Growing Guidelines
Although Climbing Fig Vine has a lacy, delicate appearance, it’s tougher than it looks!
• Establishing plants. When you set out new plants, lay the vines along the ground so the initial growth is lateral. This will provide a wider rooted base to help anchor the vigorous vines when they begin growing upward.
• Sun. Plant Climbing Fig Vine where it receives morning sun with some shade or filtered sun in the afternoon. In hot climates, direct afternoon sun may cause the leaves to turn yellow.
• Soil. Slightly moist and well-draining soil is best.
• Water. During its first growing season, water regularly to help plants develop a strong root system. After plants are well-established, they are fairly drought-tolerant and won’t need watering except in times of low to no rainfall.
• Pruning. If desired, you can prune Climbing Fig Vine quite liberally to help control its spread.