Ficus Species, Climbing Fig, Creeping Ficus, Creeping Fig

Ficus pumila

Family: Moraceae (mor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ficus (FY-kus) (Info)
Species: pumila (POO-mil-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Ficus hanceana
Synonym:Ficus minima
Synonym:Ficus stipulacea


Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From woody stem cuttings

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gilbert, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona(2 reports)

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Auburn, California

Carlsbad, California

Citrus Heights, California

Diamond Bar, California

Fullerton, California

Huntington Beach, California

Manteca, California

Pismo Beach, California

Riverside, California

Salinas, California

San Diego, California

Torrance, California

Turlock, California

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Casselberry, Florida

Clearwater, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Miami, Florida

Orlando, Florida(2 reports)

Pompano Beach, Florida(2 reports)

Tallahassee, Florida

Thonotosassa, Florida

Rincon, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Statesboro, Georgia

Karya, Ionian Islands

Alexandria, Louisiana

Denham Springs, Louisiana

Hammond, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Henderson, Nevada

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Wake Forest, North Carolina

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Beaufort, South Carolina

Bluffton, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Florence, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Inman, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Brownsville, Texas

China, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Houston, Texas(3 reports)

Nome, Texas

Port Arthur, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

South Jordan, Utah

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 26, 2020, Richy_in_Oztralia from Sydney,
Australia wrote:

This plant is the most invasive thing in the world (let me know if there's anything worse ..Triffids are excused as they don't come from around here least I haven't come across any in my backyard !

Sure the little climber looks nice when it's young and confined to a pot but if you let it, it will take over the entire neighbourhood !

Mine has wrapped its tendrils around a small native Australian tree and after a couple of years has completely enveloped the "Bottlebrush" with firmly attached vines which are tricky to remove from the tree's bark . It's also headed off in all directions and covers brick walls here there and everywhere!

Does anyone know?
Should I spray or brush Glyphosate (Roundup or whatever )..on the creepers leaves b... read more


On Apr 30, 2019, yrrej from El Paso, TX wrote:

I get a kick out of reading the comments on "invasive plants". "One man's trash is another man's treasure" is especially pertinent here in the Chihuahuan Desert where virtually nothing is invasive at any distance from the river. Withholding water will control virtually every garden plant known to man or woman. I tried kudzu here in years past (before the ban) with no success, so I am planting this little vine with impunity and the knowledge that if it gets too uppity, I'll quit watering it and bring it back in line. Other vines around my yard are Virginia Creeper, cross vine, cat's claw vine, honeysuckle, passion vine (2 types), trumpet vine, clematis, firecracker vine, morning glory, grapes, and both types of "Boston ivy". Invasive? Bring it on!


On Apr 28, 2019, magnoliarose52 from Villa Rica, GA wrote:

We are in the western/north side of Georgia -- 7b zone. I had seen this Creeping Fig all over Charleston, South Carolina a few years ago. I loved the softness and richness of it. I tried to get some growing near a concrete wall that is on our property (we have an old Victorian house in town), but it didn't take very well except in one spot. That area grew up last year onto the wall, so now I've planted some bigger plants right up next to the wall. My husband is awesome about keeping the edges of our islands trimmed, so I'm hoping we won't have craziness once it gets established. I believe that because we do have some hard freezes, that is why I've not been able to get it to grow as prolifically as I would have liked. The wall probably retains warmth and that would make sense too. I love th... read more


On Mar 10, 2018, jadams0 from Pompano Beach, FL wrote:

This plant is a monster if it is not maintained regularly. The previous owners planted it to hide an ugly front exterior but unbeknownst to them, it grew out and under the ground, spread all around like a mat and began to grow up and around a beautiful Crepe Myrtle. It took about 4 hours to remove it completely from around the tree and hopefully the shock of removal won't kill the tree. It was almost like a tree within a tree. As far as the exterior of the house, if you don't keep up on a regular basis, it will make it onto the soffit and rip the paint off when you pull it off. Our master bath is directly behind the wall where some were planted. We had an issue with an ant infestation; turns out they were nesting in the ficus repens. Our toilet is not flushing properly; I fear the roots ar... read more


On Oct 13, 2016, rossbynum from Houston, TX wrote:

I bought a house and the neighbor, who didn't take care of the yard, had this planted along a shared fence. The vine proceeded to take over a brick wall at my home, the rest of the fence, and anything else in its path. This plant is a pest and has still not been eradicated despite literally dumping gallon jugs of RoundUp on it. It refuses to die. It's like an aggressive cancer. I hate it so much that it has overtaken Sweet Gum Trees as my most hated plant. I think it should be banned. Period.


On Oct 22, 2015, hstark from Orlando, FL wrote:

Grows like a weed once established, but very easy to trim and keep nice. Will grow into cracks in masonry, but fantastic on a shed, pumphouse or wall. It's got very small leaves, so does a great job hiding ugly raw masonry.


On Jun 25, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

According to BONAP, this species has naturalized from Texas to South Carolina and south. The LadyBird Johnson Wildflower Center warns that it's invasive of wild areas, and can smother the trees it grows on. But it does not seem to appear on the invasive plant list of any state.


On Jun 24, 2015, TongueThaied from WhyAsk,
Thailand wrote:

Wow, I was thinking about planting this stuff on a front wall. I have never seen such love/hate comments on a plant. There seems to be no middle ground on this one. Depending on one's outlook, creeping fig is either a miracle plant handed down by the gods or a scourge from hell.

I get the feeling that one's outlook depends on how much work he or she is willing to to. People that do not want to do a lot of maintenance hate this plant because it quickly goes out of control, while people willing to do some regular pruning love it because it is beautiful and effective.

My landscape water comes from a well laden with iron. I have a yellow painted concrete front wall that is isolated on both sides by lawn. The spray from the inground lawn sprinklers creates ho... read more


On Nov 8, 2014, Hutcho from The Channon,
Australia wrote:

It is sub tropical where I live and a lot of native forest.
My neighbour had this Ficus growing over an old tree stump in front of her house which became a 2 meter (sorry I'll use feet and inches) 6 foot diameter mass.
Someone painted a face on a board and placed it so it looked like a head with a huge afro.
This has now been cut down and mostly removed but I see tiny trailers in the grass 6 foot out all around.
I think someone must have dumped some clippings from this down by the giant old dead tree quite a number of years ago and it has now climbed 60 feet up and well established.
My fear is that soon this rotten old tree will break off and fall down into the forest below. All the fragments of the ficus will get going and a nightmare will occur in the ... read more


On Oct 17, 2014, slacanfora from Torrance, CA wrote:

It has taken over the patio and the walls. It looks good but is out of control; I don't know where it came from but it is also on my neighbors wall and as far down the walls as far as I can invasive, definitely. The comments on control are helpful. It provides shade, needs nothing and the hummingbirds and butterflies like it.


On Feb 27, 2013, Mom2D_M from Turlock, CA wrote:

We have an ugly concrete block wall seperating our backyard from a main street. Our neighbors had been growing Creeping Fig on their part of the wall and it grew over and covered our part, it looked beautiful! In almost 5 years I never had to trim and it never took over any other plants or nearby trees. My neighbor had someone trim his for him and accidently cut along the bottom and severed all the plants from the main roots so they all died including the part that had grown over and covered my ugly wall! So I just planted 2 plants of my own to cover the wall, I hope it grows fast!


On Jan 28, 2013, kyotowest from Lake of the Pines, CA wrote:

After reading all the previous posts, I must say I agree with everything positive and negative, with one exception. Creeping fig was taking over the outside of my house when we moved in 3 years ago. The plants I didn't want were tough to pull down and dig out, but not impossible. The plants I removed have not come back, the ones I kept are easy to control, and we enjoy them. Its evergreen, takes very little water, the deer don't bother it, the hot summers don't bother it, the cold winters don't bother it. A pretty tough plant.


On Jan 12, 2013, lallen08 from Tampa, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I am so very sorry that I planted this beast. It has "creeped" up the trunks of my trees and side of my house and has formed a thick mat in the yard. It's awful, it's damaging everything and I can't get rid of it. I spend obscene amounts of time just trying to contain it. If you live in Central Florida DON'T PLANT IT!! You'll regret it, I promise.


On Jan 4, 2013, spiderAnne from Pretoria,
South Africa wrote:

Some people have commented that Glyphosate (Roundup etc.) does not kill the plant. Glyphosate is a systemic herbicide which must be applied to actively growing green material so that it can be translocated throughout the plant (most importantly to the roots). Cutting off some or all of the leaves and shoots first and then applying it is exactly the wrong way to go about it and is the direct opposite of the manufacturers instructions. It should also be applied during the period when the plant is actively translocating metabolites to the roots, that is midsummer to late summer. Do not remove leaves and shoots before application, spray to cover the entire plant and wait at least 14 days for any results to become visible. Wait until the plant has died and dried out (a few weeks) and then remo... read more


On Nov 21, 2012, umaka from Nairobi,
Kenya wrote:

Am I glad I read this post tonight before planting the creeping fig on my compound !

Was contemplating to do so but opted to do some research which landed me on your website

The plant is alive and well too in Nairobi and folks seem to be having similar issues getting rid of it


On Oct 8, 2012, SVCDeserts from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 6b) wrote:

I bought the plant in a small pot, then transplanted it. I have no intention of using it outside. I like the "fragility" of the leaves. I find it great for a potted plant or planter, although mine has a long way to go since I bought it as a "baby." However. I can see that it would not be advisable for any kind of plant on the outside wall of a house. In fact, I would never advise ivy on any kind of house exterior, no matter how enchanting it looks.


On Apr 7, 2012, stevenreiley from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Had the vine on the northside of my home for nearly 20 years. Never had a problem with it taking over. I trim it regularly. It is a beautiful green color and really gives the house some style. I read the negative comments and I simply have never encountered any of those problems. I have a defined area where I want it grow and with a little maintenance, it grows exactly where it is suppose to grow. A little maintenance and this vine looks great and in twenty 20 years it has not taken over anything.


On Jul 29, 2011, gm_letty from Lancaster, PA wrote:

Ummm... I used some concentrated Miracle Grow in my neighbor's potted creeping figus and KILLED it. Then I found out it was her mother's day gift. Have only been able to find 3 tiny ones & am trying to get them to grow up alot quickly.

It would figure though, I love to garden but what can you do when you kill unkillable plants ???? My daughter can grow anything & my daughter-in-law is worse than me. I am going to buy fake flowers; they may fade but I can't kill them, LOL


On Jun 10, 2011, CentralCoastGardener from Pismo Beach, CA wrote:

First time planting a creeping fig. This is a silly question, I know, but am I supposed to remove the ties that keep the fig fastened to the stick they're growing on in the nursery pot? I put them in the ground and left them bound to the original stick. I figured I'd cut them loose when they attached to my wall, but they haven't yet. I cut one loose and it just flopped all over the ground and is creeping away from the wall. Help!


On Jun 6, 2011, Florence1149 from Denham Springs, LA wrote:

Has anyone seen a fruit from the creeping fig? If so, please describe. Thanks


On Mar 23, 2011, krixtina from Redlands, CA wrote:

ok, Yes it can get out of control. I used a tree stump killer and that worked after I pulled all I could out. Otherwise it is a beautiful plant, but we call it Jumanji!


On Aug 4, 2010, onecoolshe from Highland, CA wrote:

It's green, and SoCal heat keeps it under control. Once a year I have a tree trimmer trim it as well as trees that need it. People stop and take pictures of it on my house it looks so pretty.


On May 10, 2010, deeleegee from Houston, TX wrote:

I am one who hates this plant!

It grew from the neighbor's yards on both sides of my house, climbed up the brick and privacy fence, making both more asthetically pleasing and providing more privacy. I usually keep it trimmed close to the wall because I think it looks prettier that way. Then last year when I had back problems was unable to trim it, so this year decided to cut it all down and start over, since it was so out of control.

You may THINK you have this vine under control, when all you actually have under control is the foliage above the ground.

I discovered. it covered the ground, just below the grass, not allowing the grass to root, so I pulled up the surface roots. I eventual... read more


On Mar 29, 2010, nomosno from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

People seem to love of hate this plant. I used to love it ...

I still like it but it begins to outgrow my ability to control it and it makes me worried.

One thing for sure tho: contrary to what the "Dangers" section of the plant files say, this plans has no sharp edges or spines. It is actually quite pleasant to handle because it is mildly fuzzy. I just cut down a huge amount with an electrical shearer and fed the cutting thru a chipper.


On Oct 8, 2009, englishsoup from Hemet, CA wrote:

I bought a house 2 months ago and have this 'triffid' growing over from a garden on the other side of the wall.

It has been hell. I started trimming it back 2 weeks ago and have managed to remove a pathetically small amount of it.

I hate it, hate it, hate it.

I've just spent another 45 minutes removing another small section. It's literally made a crack in a solid wall, I've never seen anything like it and I never thought I would be snipping away with loppers.

I tried to get a gardening company to come in and do it and they walked away saying YOU COULD OFFER A BILLION DOLLARS WE AREN'T FIGHTING THAT MONSTER.

This vine is enough to make a grown man cry. I wonder if a herbicide liberally sprayed on the vine would... read more


On May 5, 2009, giftgas from Everson, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I've heard from various people, that this plant can take years to climb - I didn't find this to be true. It's climbing right now, and I've only had it in the ground for a month.

I'm really enjoying's going to be a shame if it gets blasted back to the ground on the first frost.


On Apr 29, 2008, cosmiccat from Fullerton, CA wrote:

We bought a house 3yrs ago with the side brick wall shared with my neighbor completely covered in it. It seems like the original owners planted it 20yrs ago when they moved in and never attempted to control it. It has gone through little cracks in the wall over to my neighbors, climbed over and down his side of the wall and extended itself an additional 2ft up in places to make the privacy between us, well, more private.

I had thought that there were two plants in there, as the mature leaves are broader and the branches produce figs. This is obviously not the case. And I believe it's currently flowering.

As for the poster that asked about the plant living although he had cut it from the trunk/root (and I know this is late), the plant self roots. I believe... read more


On Jan 2, 2008, growin from Beautiful, BC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I planted a small plant over 20 years ago on the south side of my folks home. It would grow up the side of the house, and, if the winter was cold enough, defoliate or die to the roots. Every year it'd grow back up and never got to the mature leaf stage. In my zone, 8b, it is a die-back perennial vine that seems to be kept under control by winter. I think it's survived for so long as it gets protection from the house as its planted right against the house and the south facing gives it the seasonal sun it needs.


On Nov 6, 2007, tvbart from Corpus Christi, TX wrote:

I love the posting earlier that includes the updates months later... "still no success", "still no success". That's great.

Hopefully, I will have a better story to tell, but I fear I will be fighting this for years to come, as it appears well established in the home we just moved into.

I do, however, want to contradict an earlier posting. Our creeping ivy grew from the ground up the trunk and branches of a tree, and had literally choked part of the tree before we got to it. Rather than work for a month to try and get all the individual vines from the top down, we decided to cut every main artery at the bottom of the tree and see what happens. Sure enough, all the vines above died, which makes it look like half the tree is brown, when in reality the tree's ... read more


On Jul 2, 2006, ShelfLife from Clearwater, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I HATE this plant. Previous owners of my current home planted it... I don't know how long ago, but it has "runners" with a 3"-4" diameter.

And roots under the house. When allowed to grow freely (for just ONE season), it severely damaged wood siding and a brick chimney.

And it will not die. I have seen runners send out shoots AFTER the runners have been cut off from their roots. I find small shoots of it 20-30 feet away from where the main infestation is and I dig and dig and it always comes back. It laughs at both Roundup and Othro Brush B-Gon.

I will NEVER plant this anywhere, anywhere, anywhere.


On Oct 16, 2005, weatherguesser from Battle Ground, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

The folks who lived in our house before us constructed a brick pedastal to hold a potted plant and planted creeping fig at the base. It has grown up to make a very nice cover for the pedastal. We've lived here for about 6 months, and so far I've had no negative experiences with this plant -- it's easy to control and not nearly as invasive as some of the other vines in my yard.


On Aug 6, 2005, trois from Santa Fe, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

A great plant if you have room and need something covered. It will cover anything. I use it to cover some PVC pipes that are unsightly.


On Jul 21, 2005, artcons from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I have had this plant for better than ten years. I clipped a cutting from the wall of a mall entrance in Boca Raton after having seen this plant used in various topiary displays at Disneyworld. For several years I had it growing on an alligator wire frame filled with sphagnum moss hanging on an stucco wall on the East border of my yard. After a few years the moss disintegrated, and the plant began to root to, and climb on the wall. I cut it down and put it in the Sable palm where it has done very well for a long time. In the palm it's easy to keep it under control.
It is a great plant for making topiary, or for use on a trellis, but it can get out of control if not watched on a regular basis.
It will work it's way into cracks of stucco and wood, so it should not be... read more


On Sep 5, 2004, nick89 from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

A nice fast grower. Up towards the northern limits of their hardiness they aren't so invasive. I grow them as a climber in the shade of my garage. In their second year they have doubled in height and keep on growing!


On Aug 27, 2004, ocpws from Riverside, CA wrote:

I love this plant for its close growth to the wall and its spread.

A couple of inconsistencies I would like to correct though... Above it is said to be poisonous, but in China and neighboring Asian countries, the figs are used as an ingredient in a drink called "Grass Jelly." I would confirm this before attempting to ingest it though... You can eat the puffer fish, but if any parts of the stomach are ingested, it can be deadly... Must be an asian thing, or an acient Chinese secret...

Also, it does have one pest that I am aware of: snails like to eat the tender tips of the new growth...


On Apr 1, 2004, GreenG wrote:

I have the misfortune to have this plant growing the back yard of the house I just bought. The plant is mature, producing the large leaves and fruit. The large leaves grow on stems that extend out from the main vine stem, making the vine bush-like.

It is a fast grower and has taken over a nice shade tree, which it is choking out. I have tried to cut the stems near their base with a saw, but that had no effect on the rest of the vine high up in the tree. Does anyone have any idea why? Is it parasitic?

I may have to have the entire tree cut down as it appears to be weakening.

Avoid this plant!


On Feb 23, 2004, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx.

I have been trying to kill this plant for years due to the damage it has done to the brick and wood on my house. I had to cut the base of the vines with a chainsaw because they were so large. I dug and dug and dug last year and thought that I had all of the roots. But as the photo I posted today shows, it has emerged once again. :0( . I have tried all types of plant killers, but it always comes back. It spread all over my house from a 4 inch pot transplant. Be careful where you plant it and be sure you want it there. I have to cut it to the ground every year and it is difficult to remove when it has attached itself to brick. I have not been able to remove all of the suckers that attach the vines to surfaces.

Update 12/2/04 Thought I had killed... read more


On Nov 9, 2003, skjoldhus wrote:

I have been growing Creeping Fig for years as an indoor plant. It has several excellent qualities. I use it in terrariums with live animals in the terrarium enclosures. It is a robust grower; given adequate light and water it swiftly makes a ground cover and a climbing vine. I keep snakes and all my tanks are set up as naturally as possible.

Over the years creeping fig has distinguished itself as a durable plant that is unaffected by the traffic of snakes, and in point of fact actually "adapts" to higher traffic of more active species by growing a longer stem on ground-born vines, allowing snakes to move under the leaves without disturbing them.

This plant is easy to trim back, although like many plants cutting it back creates a fuller, bushier plant with lar... read more


On Aug 16, 2003, Lance_of_HB from Huntington Beach, CA wrote:

I'm sorry I let it grow from one side wall of my house, across the back wall and to the other side. In addition to spreading by suckers (which stain or take the paint off any painted surface), it turns woody and goes through the crevices in any wall. The woody vine-branches can get over 1/2 inch thick requiring a lopper to cut back. It exudes a sticky sap which likes to muck up my pruning shears.

The leaves do make a great addition to my mulch pile. When I asked my local nurseryman when to prune he grinned and said "Butcher it anytime!" This is a classic case of an invasive plant that does its job too well.


On Jun 3, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

You can have an entire house covered with this plant.


On Aug 11, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Also called "Creeping Fig Vine, it makes a wonderful groundcover.