Creeping Fig

Ficus pumila

Creeping fig - is it a vine or a groundcover? A little of both actually, and that's the charm of this tiny-leaved plant.

creeping fig

It does just fine on the ground - until it meets something vertical.

Then it's up, up and away, covering a wall, rock, a fountain - anything will do.

Thankfully, it won't do this in a hurry, in case you want to keep it from climbing.

As a low groundcover, this plant (sometimes called ficus repens) works beautifully if it's kept edged. It stays very low and lush, happiest in part sun to part shade.

As a vine, it needs no support, just something to attach itself to (it particularly loves stucco). Long shoots will meander up a wall, very decorative as they progress and eventually fill in.

This plant is most commonly seen in all green, but there's also a variegated ficus repens with showy white markings on the leaves.

Plant specs

Creeping fig starts out growing at a slow pace, speeding up as it matures to a moderate growth rate. The leaves grow larger as the plant ages.

Part sun to part shade is best for these plants, though they'll grow in any light.

This is a cold hardy groundcover and does well anywhere in South Florida.

covering a wall

Plant care

Add top soil or organic peat humus to the hole when you plant.

Makes sure the area drains well. Water regularly but don't keep the area overly wet...give it some time to dry out between waterings.

Keep this groundcover regularly trimmed along the edges.

If it wants to climb and you don't want it to, you'll have to follow a frequent trimming regimen. Once stems take hold, they're hard to remove and can even leave marks on (and remove paint from) the surface they've been clinging to.

Fertilize twice a year - in spring and late summer - with a good quality controlled-release fertilizer. 

Plant spacing

Place these plants about a foot apart to fill in quickly. If you're planting so it will climb, situate creeping fig close to the wall or other structure.

Come in from walks and drives about 2 feet.

These quaint little plants make excellent container plants, especially nice in hanging baskets.

Variegated variety

A.K.A. (also known as): Ficus Repens


COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Chenille plant, gardenia, cat's whiskers, foxtail fern, angel's trumpet, alocasia, and dwarf azalea.

Other groundcovers you might like: Asiatic Jasmine, Sunshine Mimosa

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