Creeping fig vine (Ficus pumila) is one of my favorite evergreen vines and a useful plant choice for so many situations.
In this case, take a look at the two photos where creeping fig grows along brick stairs; it’s a nice detail where plant and architecture marry.
One of the reasons it works so well…?
Ficus pumila grows by attaching itself to the masonry surface with no need whatsoever for support! The small dense evergreen leaves add a nice soft contrast to the brick and really enhance the architecture and the material.
If you live in a mild climate, USDA zone 9 – 11, keep this vine in mind. Consider using it to cover ugly masonry walls too. I’ve used it to green up stark concrete walls as well as to create a green screen covering a garden with multiple terraced rubble walls.
What About Wood?
You certainly can use creeping fig to cover and embellish a wooden fence or privacy wall! Sometimes it can be a little slower for the vine to take hold on this surface, but be patient. Speed-wise, Ficus pumila is a slow to moderate growing plant. Getting started and taking hold can feel slow, but then once the roots take hold and the plant starts to attach (help it along) after maybe a few seasons– bam, a green screen!
Growing Creeping Fig Against a Wood House Gets an F
Not a good idea! Be very cautious when growing against your home’s facade.
If you do choose to use it, remember to prune often and definitely think ahead of time about keeping it in bounds and where the boundary to the vine is and where it’s off limits. Because creeping fig grows by attaching itself to surfaces using its’ adhesive pads, keeping it in bounds can present a physical issue especially because (example a painted wood home) not only will the sticky pads leave marks on your home’s paint, but sometimes even remove paint, when pruning and detaching vigorous unwanted growth.
Creeping Fig gets an F
~ Plant parts are poisonous if eaten
~ Using this vine on a wooden residential facade
~ If it is known to be invasive in your area
Creeping Fig gets an A+ 🙂
~ Hanging basket and indoor plant
~ Beautiful evergreen screen for surfaces made of masonry and concrete
~ Covering ugly rubble and mason walls
~ When used to create beautiful details (stair example) and architectural enhancements
~ Outdoors in mild climates like California
For more on this topic see more evergreen vine choices.
ps: How to maintain as a flat vine? Small leathery dark green leaves mature into large, thick leaves; shear the mature foliage to promote new juvenile growth.