Ficus pumila

Ficus pumila, also known as Creeping/ Climbing Fig, is an evergreen climber with rich, green, ovate, heart-shaped leaves. It’s known for being a vigorous and fast-growing climber as it attaches itself to everything it encounters via adhesive aerial rootlets. Pear-shaped fruits can appear on plants throughout the year, and when this is the case, fruit-bearing stems may have foliage that is larger, thicker, shinier and elliptic in shape.

Ficus pumila on fence

Landscape uses

Ficus pumila is excellent for planting along fencelines to blanket the fence in green or cover up unsightly walls. It’s important to carefully select where you plant Creeping Fig as it will attach to everything encounters – it does not need a support framework to grow. You could use Ficus pumila as a ground cover, but we wouldn’t recommend it due to its ability to grow out of control quickly. We often use Ficus pumila along fencelines; example projects include Hawthorn Star and Malvern Entertainer.

Ficus pumila on wall

How to plant

Plant in full sun to part-shade in moist, well-drained soil. If planting in full sun, ensure that it doesn’t receive hot afternoon sun and can be protected from the wind. You can expect Ficus pumila to grow to approx. 3m – 4.5m high, with a spread of 90cm – 1.8m.

Malvern entertainer

Care and maintenance

Pruning is essential for controlling Ficus pumila – if you’re using it along fencelines/ walls, you ideally want to keep a thin profile rather than allowing it to become bushy. Ensure you are pruning when necessary to ensure the Ficus doesn’t grow where you don’t want it. In the first few years of growth, it will require minimal maintenance as it grows – especially if the idea is to cover a large wall.