Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila) is a beautiful, evergreen vine. It is native to East Asia and is found on Japan’s southern islands, eastern China, and Vietnam. This vine is a popular landscape item in many warm climate areas. The seeds and other portions of the creeping fig are poisonous. Keep them away from pets and children. If ingested, contact poison control authorities immediately.
Creeping fig is an enthusiastic climber able to scramble up vertical surfaces 3 and 4 stories tall with the aid of a powerful adhesive. This vine coats surfaces with a tracery of fine stems that are densely covered with small heart shaped leaves that are 1 inch long by about 2 cm wide, they are held closely to the surface creating a mat of foliage that extends barely 2.5 cm from the surface.
The creeping fig is uncontained and left to grow, it can become highly invasive. It will choke out nearby plants if given the opportunity. That makes this fig suitable for containers or areas where you don’t mind the overgrowth.
Most experts warn against allowing the climbing fig to attach itself to your home, garage, or other valuable buildings. This winding vine will peel paint, pop screws, and otherwise wreak havoc on fences, buildings, and any other structure. It can also attract insects and mold that cause costly damage. The worst part is that you won’t be able to see this happening because of the dense cover provided by the fig. By the time you become aware of what’s going on, damage could be extensive.
The root system is huge and intricate, and extremely hard to remove. Climbing fig is very difficult to kill and will grow back from even a small portion of roots left behind. The woody roots can easily break through concrete, putting sidewalks and even structural foundations at risk.
Be courteous to your neighbors. Because of its extremely prolific nature, these plants should be planted far from property lines. You may love the way climbing fig cascades over a fence, but make sure your neighbor feels the same way.
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