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How to Plant a Creeping Fig

By Elton Dunn ; Updated September 21, 2017

Creeping fig (Ficus pumila) grows in hardiness zones 8 to 11 and makes a dense privacy screen or ground cover. Native to east Asia, the plant features glossy, heart-shaped green leaves. This plant can choke out other plants if not trimmed back and can be grown in containers to control it. Plant creeping fig in the early spring, then prune back the plant as often as is necessary to maintain its desired shape and size.

Choose a location for your creeping fig. The plant can grow in either full sun or shade and is not particular about the type of soil it's grown in. Creeping fig will either spread as a ground cover or will trellis if given something to climb.

Erect a trellis if you plan to trellis creeping fig. The plant will trellis naturally over a fence or other object. Plant a wooden or metal trellis in the ground, then rest it against a wall or other object.

Dig a hole for your creeping fig that's twice the size of the plant's root ball. Remove rocks or weeds from the site.

Pull your plant from its container. Break apart the root ball by working it with your fingers. Unwind any circled or tangled roots before planting.

Place the creeping fig in its prepared hole, spreading the roots out with your fingers. Then fill in the hole with soil.

Water the site until the soil compresses around the base of the plant and becomes saturated.

Train the creeping fig vine to your trellis or fence if you intend to trellis it. Wind the tendrils of your creeping fig vine around the trellis slats, securing them to the trellis slats with string. Tie the string loosely to avoid cutting into the plant. Continue to manually wind the stems around the trellis slats until they take naturally on their own. If it's being used for ground cover, skip this step.


Things You Will Need

  • Trellis (optional)
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • String

About the Author


A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.