Ficus Pumila

Chief Characteristics of Ficus Pumila and Pointers to Care for It

A relative of the edible fig, ficus pumila is an evergreen vine that is native to East Asia. This write-up provides information on the characteristics of this vine.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2018
The evergreen Ficus pumila vine is also known as the creeping fig or the climbing fig. It belongs to the Moraceae family and the order Rosales. Due to its trailing growth habit, it works well as wall coverings. Though it is related to Ficus carica, which is one of the ficus tree varieties that gives us the edible fig fruit, there are marked differences between these two varieties. The climbing fig is valued by many gardening enthusiasts due to its delicate and attractive foliage and its vigorous growth. Though it is often used as wall coverings due to its dense and attractive foliage, it can also be kept as a houseplant by putting it in a hanging basket.
Characteristics
➞ Being a fast-growing, self-clinging vine, it creates dense wall coverings within no time.
➞ Its heart-shaped, glossy foliage looks extremely attractive, which is why it is often used as a topiary plant.
➞ This perennial climbing plant holds on to the surface through its aerial roots. The foliage on the fine stems secures firmly to the support.
➞ As the tender leaves mature, they grow to a size of 2 to 3 inches in length and even the stems become a little coarse.
➞ These days, people are using various varieties of this plant for the purposes for concealing of masonry walls. These include F. pumila Minima, F. pumila Sonny and F. pumila Variegata. These vines can climb up to a height of 15 to 20 meters.
➞ Though this vine doesn't produce flowers, you will spot a small fruit that looks like a smaller version of fig. However, this fruit is not really edible.
➞ If you are thinking about growing this vine in your garden or patio, make sure that it is not clinging onto wooden surfaces. It might damage the wood, so use it on stone walls or fences.
➞ Since this vine is poisonous in nature, it must be kept away from children as well as pets.
How to Care for this Vine
➞ Ficus pumila vine can be propagated through seeds, stem cuttings, or layering.
➞ Since this vine is a fast-grower, make sure that you select a location where it gets ample space to grow.
➞ It will survive in partial sun, but you could select a shady location as well.
➞ It is quite invasive and might kill the other plants due to its aggressive growth habit. So, select the location properly.
➞ It needs moist, loamy soil in the initial stages, so don't let the soil become dry.
➞ Water it well during the dry season, but over-watering must be avoided.
➞ The soil should be well-drained and soil pH should be in the range of 5.5 to 7.5.
➞ You can also amend the soil initially with a phosphorus-based fertilizer.
➞ You could use a potting mix made from garden soil, peat and perlite.
➞ As far as temperature is concerned, temperature in the range of 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit will work well.
➞ This vine will grow well in areas with medium humidity.
Since it grows fast and can be invasive, you must not allow it to overgrow and damage the other plants that are growing alongside. So, prune it as and when needed.
Climbing fig, Creeping rubber plant
Climbing ficus pumila on red or orange wall