Growing Ficus Pumila: How To Care For Ficus Repens

Ficus Pumila, also known as the creeping or climbing fig, is a fast-growing vine perfect for covering walls, fences, and trellises. 

Ficus Pumila is native to India and China. Though it can be an aggressive climber, its small leaves and delicate appearance make it a popular choice for indoor and outdoor gardens.

Growing Ficus PumilaPin

If you’re looking for a plant that will add some instant greenery to your home, the Ficus Pumila is an excellent option.

Here’s everything you need to know about caring for this vining plant.

Some of the common household names for Ficus Pumila include:

  • Creeping fig
  • Climbing fig
  • Fig ivy

Ficus Pumila got these names because of its rapid growth habit. It’s an evergreen plant that can easily become invasive if not kept in check.

The leaves are small and oval-shaped with a leathery texture. They’re deep green with a light green vein running through the center.

The stems are thin and delicate, but they’re very strong. They can grow up to 30′ feet in length if left unchecked!

Quick Facts On Ficus Pumila

  • Family: Moraceae
  • Light: Bright, indirect sunlight
  • Temperature: 55° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Water: Allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out between watering
  • Fertilizer: Balanced liquid fertilizer, monthly
  • Propagation: Cuttings, stem layering
  • Common Problems: Aphids, mealybugs, scale

Ficus Pumila Care

The Ficus Pumila is a very hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of conditions.

What Does The Ficus Pumila Look Like, And How Big Does It Grow?

Ficus Pumila is an evergreen climber that can grow up to 30’ feet in length.

The leaves are small and oval-shaped with a glossy surface. The flowers are white and borne in clusters.

The fruit is a drupe that is edible and has a sweet taste.

When Does Ficus Pumila Bloom? Are The Flowers Fragrant?

The Ficus Pumila flowers from late spring to early summer. The flowers are not fragrant.

What Are The Lighting Needs And Temperature Requirements?

Ficus Pumila is native to tropical and subtropical regions, so it prefers warm temperatures and high humidity.

If you live in a cooler climate, you can grow Ficus Pumila indoors as a houseplant.

It does best in bright, indirect sunlight but can also tolerate some shade.

If your Ficus Pumila receives too much direct sunlight, the plant will suffer from scorched leaves.

Ficus Pumila can tolerate low light, but it will not flower or fruit under these conditions.

Climbing Ficus prefers warm temperatures, about 60° to 85° degrees Fahrenheit but will not do well if the temperature drops below 60° degrees Fahrenheit.

How And When To Water And Fertilize Ficus Pumila?

Ficus Pumila does not like to sit in wet soil, so ensure the drainage is good and the plant is not sitting in water.

Allow the top few inches of soil to dry out before watering again.

During the hotter months, you may need to water more frequently.

Ficus Pumila also likes high humidity, so mist the leaves regularly or set the plant on a pebble tray.

You can also use a humidifier to raise the humidity levels in the room.

Fertilize Ficus Pumila every 2 weeks during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer.

Be sure to dilute the fertilizer according to package directions.

What Is The Ideal Type of Soil For Climbing Ficus And When Should You Transplant It?

Ficus Pumila does best in a well-draining, slightly acidic soil. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, add some sand to help with drainage.

You can also grow Ficus Pumila in a potting mix designed for succulents or cacti.

Transplant Ficus Pumila in the springtime when the plant is actively growing

Choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the current one, as Ficus Pumila does not like to be root-bound.

Does Climbing Ficus Need Special Grooming Or Maintenance?

Ficus Pumila is a fast-growing plant that needs to be trimmed occasionally to keep it in shape.

How To Propagate Creeping Or Climbing Fig?

You can propagate Ficus Pumila by taking stem cuttings in the spring or summer.

To propagate creeping fig, do the following:

  • Take 4- to 6-inch stem cuttings from new growth in spring or early summer.
  • Fill a planting pot with a mix of peat moss and perlite, and make a planting hole in the center of the pot.
  • Dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone powder, then insert it into the planting hole.
  • Water the soil around the cutting, and place the pot in a warm location with indirect light.

Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and in 4-6 weeks, the cutting should have rooted and begun to produce new growth.

At this point, you can transplant it into a larger pot or into its permanent location in the landscape.

Ficus Pumila Pests And Diseases

Creeping fig is generally a low-maintenance plant healthcare-wise, but it can be susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites.

These pests are small, sucking insects that can cause the plant’s leaves to turn yellow and drop off.

Try spraying the plant with neem oil or another organic insecticide to control them.

Fungal diseases like powdery mildew and anthracnose can also affect creeping figs. 

These diseases are most likely to occur in humid conditions or when the plant is overwatered.

To prevent them, ensure the plant has good air circulation and water it only when the top inch of soil is dry.

Here are the signs to look out for:

  • Yellow or brown spots on the leaves
  • Leaves that are curled, distorted or falling off
  • White, powdery growth on the leaves or stems

If you notice any of these symptoms, try removing affected leaves and increasing air circulation around the plant.

You can also treat the plant with a fungicide designed for use on ornamental plants.

Suggested Uses Of Climbing Fig Plant

The climbing fig is a versatile plant that can be used in many different ways in the landscape.

Creeping fig can be used as a groundcover, climber, or trailing plant in the landscape. 

It’s also often used to cover walls, trellises, and other structures and can even be trained to climb trees.

It can also be grown in containers on a patio or deck.

This fast-growing plant is perfect for beginner gardeners, as it’s easy to care for and is not picky about soil or light conditions.

It’s also a good choice for those looking for a low-maintenance plant that will quickly fill an empty landscape space.

For example, you can use it to cover an unsightly view, create privacy, or add interest to a blank wall.

You can also plant it in containers and train it to climb a trellis or other support.

What do you think? Have you ever used a Ficus Pumila in your outdoor landscaping?