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Scientific: Ficus pumila
Common: creeping fig or climbing fig
Family: Moraceae
Origin: China and Japan to Australia

Pronounciation: FII-kus pu-MIL-la

Hardiness zones
USDA 8-11

Landscape Use: Wall cover, trellis and fence cover in Phoenix, also topiary.

Form & Character: Delicate, yet deceptively spreading, woodsy, tropical to subtropical looking evergreen vine.

Growth Habit: Semi-woody, evergreen, perennial vine, slow when young becoming quite aggressive and vigorous, spreading to 1000 to 5000 feet2....basically covering up everything!

Foliage/Texture: Creeping fig like English and Algerian ivy has two distinct leaf types, juvenile and adult. The juvenile foliage is small cordate to ovate, oblique inequilaterally base, ciliate hairs on underside of leaf, aerial roots on juvenile stems attach to most anything, adult leaves are 2 to 3 times larger on stiff adult stems lacking adventitious aerial roots; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Flowers small, greenish yellow; fruit is a rounded green to brown fig to 3 inches in diameter, flowers and fruit are seen on adult foliage only.

Seasonal color: none

Temperature: Surprisingly hardy to 10oF; definitely more cold hardy than its tropical appearance would suggest.

Light: Shade to partial sun; leaves yellow in direct Phoenix sun.

Soil: Foliar chlorosis (yellowing caused by iron deficiency) is common because of the alkalinity of Phoenix soils.

Watering: Regular irrigations, not drought tolerant.

Pruning: Prune vigorously every few years to control vigorous spread.

Propagation: Cutting

Disease and Pests: Spider mites during hot, dry, dusty summers.

Additional comments: Creeping fig has an aggressive growth habit with capacity to cover up a whole structure. The presence of aerial adventitious roots on juvenile stems warrants discretionary use of this vine in order to circumvent maintenance problems, especially adventitious root digestion of wood. Best used to cover concrete, brick or metal surfaces, will not attach to plastic. In summary, this evergreen vine is way tougher than its delicate appearance would suggest.