Ficus Pumila

Creeping Fig

The creeping fig is also known as the climbing fig which is primarily grown outdoors as a climbing vine. However, the ficus pumila is also grown as an ornamental house plant, successfully indoors.



The creeping fig is an evergreen climbing species which you might have seen crawling up the walls of large mansions or a quaint house in the country. Indoors they’re best grown in a hanging basket, or given something to attach to and climb.

There are a number of varieties of this fast growing species such as the miminma, variegata and others which have smaller variegated leaves than the all green pumila.

How it looks and displaying: The heart shaped leaves on the ficus pumila grow to approximatively 1 inch long and along a wiry wooden like stem. You can keep these very small in a normal sized plant pot, in a hanging basket, or a larger container where the stems and leaves can hang over the sides. If you would like to be more creative you can allow them to climb a moss stick or provide them with a home made structure they can climb.

Care level: The F. pumila is very easy to grow and maintain (if anything it's hard to stop them growing), but it does need to be pruned to keep it at a size suitable for the place it resides indoors. The good news you can prune these as much as you like, which is best done in spring.


Origin: East Asia.
Names: Creeping or climbing fig (common). -- Ficus pumila, [syn.] ficus repens (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx): No maximum spread and only a few inches high.
Poisionous for pets: Toxic to cats and dogs.

Picture of a creeping fig

A variegated type (ficus sunny fig) growing in a container outdoors; creeping up the wall.

Variedated type growing outdoors

Close up picture of Creeping Fig

Close up of ficus pumila

Creeping Fig Care

Temperature: The pumila is a tough plant and grows well in temperatures from 55 - 75°F (13 - 24°C (can be higher or lower and survive).
Light: Avoid direct sunlight and provide a brightly lit setting. It will also tolerate low lighting conditions.
Watering: When you water the plant give it a thorough watering until water seeps through the bottom (during spring and summer) of the container and allow the soil to stay slightly moist. After giving the plant a thorough watering remove excess water from the tray under the container to prevent causing root rot. During the winter water much less without soaking the soil.
Soil: Most well draining and aerated potting soil mixes will suffice.
Re-Potting: The creeping fig does like to be pot bound to a certain degree. However, it likes to spread it's roots just like it does outdoors and in it's natural habitat, so you are best to re-pot it every two years and cut back roots which are outside the main root section. If you're increasing the pot size and want the plant to grow more you do not need to cut back any roots. Cutting back roots should be done during spring when pruning is done.
Fertilizer: Dilute a liquid fertilizer and feed once a month during spring a and summer.
Humidity: Normal room humidity is fine.
Propagation: These are easily propagated by taking stem cuttings and when re-potting them.
Pruning: As mentioned above these can be pruned back as much as you like during spring, which keeps the plant looking in good shape. You can easily cut a third of the plant back. See re-potting about the roots.

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