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How to Grow Creeping Figs

By Moira Clune ; Updated September 21, 2017

An evergreen, perennial vine, creeping fig creates a dense screen under a variety of growing conditions. In warmer climates—between zones 8 and 11—creeping fig can grow up a four-story wall with the aid of its clasping stems. Useful for covering unsightly concrete walls or chain-link fences, this versatile climber thrives in shade or sun. Its small, heart-shaped leaves make it an ideal topiary specimen. Northern gardeners can grow creeping fig indoors; it makes an attractive houseplant in a hanging basket.

Choose your planting site. Creeping fig will grow in shade but for the best and most robust growth, plant it where it will get at least four hours of sunlight a day. If you are planting creeping fig next to a building, watch the area closely for moisture problems. The area up to one foot from a structure can become saturated if the roof is not guttered. If there is no roof runoff, solid walls can restrict natural rainfall.

Select your support. Unless you are planting creeping fig as a ground cover, it will need a structure on which to grow. A trellis, arbor, chain-link fence or masonry wall is suitable. Do not grow creeping fig on wooden walls; its aerial roots can damage siding.

Test your soil to determine pH. A pH test will tell you what nutrients are available in your soil. Creeping fig prefers a pH between 5.5 to 7.5. Easy-to-use soil test kits are available at nursery and garden shops.

Plant creeping fig in well-drained soil. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots. Arrange the plant in the hole so that the top of the plant sits at the same level with the soil as when it was in the container.

Backfill the planting hole, tamping the soil down to eliminate air pockets.

Water thoroughly. Do not allow your planting area to become too dry during the plant’s first year.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Creeping fig
  • Support structure
  • Support ties
  • Shovel
  • pH test kit

Tip

  • Creeping fig will grow toward the light and may need to be trained to its support during its first year of growth. Use soft ties or strips of pantyhose to attach vines to your support. Do not use wire; it will cut into the stems as the plant grows.