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Ficus Pumila: All you need to know about the Creeping Fig care

Ficus Pumila also known as the Climbing Fig plant or Creeping Fig plant is an evergreen perennial, a vining plant that is one of the more popular members of the Ficus genus. 

Ficus Pumila

It is considered a fast-growing plant that has a large spread and can grow as tall as 15 feet when grown outdoors.

The Creeping Ficus plant can be grown indoors to make an ornamental house plant or outdoors as a ground cover plant. 

Creeping Fig indoor plants feature stunning green leaves that are heart-shaped and possess slim stems while Outdoor Creeping Fig plants feature a more mature, bushy foliage with a rubbery sheen and an elliptical shape. 

Native to the tropical regions in Asia, the Pumila Ficus plant is a sturdy plant that can withstand a lot of unfavorable conditions except extreme cold.

Its sap is toxic and should be kept away from the reach of pets and children and pets. 

Botanical NameFicus Pumila
Common NamesClimbing Fig, Creeping Fig
Plant TypeEvergreen Perennial, Vining plant
Full SizeFrom 10 feet to 15 feet in height, 3 feet to 6 feet in width  
Sun ExposureRanges from Direct to Indirect sunlight 
Soil TypeRich, well-draining soil with slight neutral to acidic level
ToxicityToxic to both people and pets 

Caring for the Creeping Fig

The Ficus Pumila plant or climbing fig ranges from average to high-maintenance. For proper growth, efforts must be made to meet its light, soil, water, temperature, and pruning requirements.     

Caring for the Creeping Fig
Extension Gardener

Creeping Fig Light Requirement 

Adequate lighting should be provided for the climbing fig plant to maintain proper growth. Although the vining plant does favor indirect or partial sunlight exposure, some exposure to direct sunlight would be recommended.    

Learning to alternate between both sunlight intensities is key for the Pumila Ficus. Aim for a maximum of 4 hours of direct sunlight a day and a maximum of 8 hours of indirect sunlight a day. 

Do this by starting the day with exposure to direct sunlight (morning sunlight) for a period of 4 hours, after which you provide indirect sunlight exposure for the remaining part of the day. 

When grown indoors, you can place the potted vining plant in a room next to an eastward-facing window. To help with providing shade, a light curtain may be used. 

The Ficus plant can also survive low lighting, but this can reduce its growth speed and cause the leaves to fall off.  And prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can lead to the leaves being scorched. 

Creeping Fig Watering Requirement

Most Ficus plants in general require average watering and Ficus Pumila is part of them. It is recommended that you water the Ficus plant once a week in the summer or spring season. 

During the fall or winter season, limit the watering to once in 3 weeks or once in a month. This is because the plant goes into dormancy during this season. 

Aim for soil that is kept moist at all times. A wet soil would lead to soggy roots which could lead to Root Rots, so try not to overwater the plant.

You can make use of a moisture meter to know the level of moisture in the soil before watering. Another great practice would be to stick your finger in the soil, if the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil feels dry, you can proceed to watering.

Avoid the use of tap water or chlorine-filled water and ensure it is at room temperature so as not to stress the plant’s roots. 

Creeping Fig Soil Requirement   

Creeping Fig Soil Requirement  
The Spruce

The Climbing Ficus plant isn’t picky with the soil type being used. What matters to the exotic plant is that the soil used is well-draining and rich in nutrients. 

Mixing regular potting soil with one part perlite and one part peat moss should be able to get the desired soil condition. 

Keep the pH value of the soil between neutral and a little acidic. A soil pH level that ranges from 6.1 to 7.0 would be best. 

Creeping Fig Humidity and Temperature Requirement   

Ficus Pumila can survive a less humid climate, but for a flourishing look, keep the humidity level high.

You can achieve this with the use of a humidifier. Set the humidifier at 40% or higher and keep the potted plant away from Air conditioners and heaters as they might dry out from long exposures to these. 

The Ideal temperature range should be between 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  Temperature levels below that would prove harmful to the plant. 

Creeping Fig Fertilizer Requirement  

Fertilizing should be done once a month in the plant’s growing season. This includes the summer, spring, and fall. 

During the winter, It is recommended that you avoid fertilizing the plant as the plant would be dormant during this season. 

The appropriate fertilizer to be used should be organic. However, liquid fertilizer is also advised. Before using, dilute the liquid fertilizer to half its initial strength and avoid direct contact with the leaves when using. 

Deep-water the Ficus Pumila soil to get rid of the excess fertilizer that might be left over from fertilizing. Ensure the water from deep-watering passes the drainage holes at the base of the pot. 

Creeping Fig Propagation 

Creeping Fig Propagation 
Grow and Care

It is rare for the Climbing Fig plant to produce seeds while grown indoors, so the major practical way of propagating the Creeping Fig houseplant would be through stem cuttings. 

Wear protective gloves before propagating a Ficus Pumila plant as the sap has a high toxic level that causes serious skin irritation.

Creeping Fig Pruning Requirement   

Pruning is an essential part of Ficus Pumila care. To keep the plant’s vigorous growth under control, prune the Ficus vine plant once a month. 

Sterilize all tools to be used for pruning before using. And wear protective gloves to avoid skin irritation.

Be careful when pruning not to trim off one-third of the entire plant at once as this would damage the plant. 


The sap from the Creeping Ficus plant is toxic to both people and pets when ingested. So keep the potted plant away from them as much as possible.

Call a licensed health professional, as soon as you notice that a child or pet has eaten from the Ficus Pumila. And monitor them for any signs or symptoms developing.

Common Health Problems of the Ficus Pumila 

The major health challenges the Creeping Fig faces are caused by exposure to frost or excess cold and overwatering. Improper maintenance can lead to the following;

  • Root Rot
  • Scorched leaves
  • Leaf Drop
  • Yellow or brown leaves
  • Aphids
  • Whiteflies
  • Scales
  • Mealybugs
Common Health Problems of the Ficus Pumila 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my creeping fig dying?

In most cases, this is caused by overwatering the Fig plant or excess exposure to frost or cold. 

How do I get a creeping fig to attach to the wall?

The best method how to get creeping figs to attach to the wall would be to use paperclips or a floral wire to attach them to the wall. 

Why are my fig tree leaves curling?

Curling yellow fig tree leaves are often caused by a lack of moisture in the soil.

How do you save a dying Fig plant?

The best method to save a dying fig tree would be to let the fig tree recover on its own. 

How fast does creeping fig grow?

Creeping figs are regarded as fast growers, and can grow up to 1 foot each year. 

Does ficus pumila damage walls?

Creeping figs or Ficus Pumila can damage the paint on a wall or the mortar used if not pruned often.