Ficus Pumila (Creeping Fig) Plant In Round Pot Held In Human Hand at Home

Cultivating Ficus Pumila Indoors: A Professional Care Overview

Ficus pumila, or creeping fig, is a vining plant with small leaves that densely cover its cascading vines, creating a lush and attractive display. The leaves of creeping fig can vary in shape and color, depending on the variety.

Some varieties have heart-shaped leaves, while others have more elongated or oval-shaped leaves. The colors can range from vibrant green to variegated patterns with hints of cream or white.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ficus pumila, or creeping fig, is a popular vining houseplant that is attractive, easy to grow, and relatively hardy.
  • Creeping fig prefers bright indirect light, regular watering, and high humidity levels. It can tolerate low-light conditions but may grow more slowly.
  • The plant prefers well-draining soil and should be fertilized monthly during the growing season.
  • Creeping fig can be easily propagated through stem cuttings.
  • Regular pruning is necessary to control the growth of creeping fig and prevent it from becoming invasive or damaging to nearby structures.

Appearance of Ficus pumila

Ficus Pumila (Creeping Fig) In Glass Pot at Home
Instagram @loopie00

The foliage of creeping fig is known for being dense and tightly packed, which gives the plant a full and bushy appearance. This makes it an excellent choice for providing coverage to walls, fences, or trellises, as it can quickly climb and form a green blanket. The vining habit of creeping fig allows it to cascade gracefully when grown in hanging baskets or planted in elevated containers.

VarietyLeaf ShapeLeaf Color
‘Snowflake’Variegated, deeply lobedGreen with creamy white markings
‘Minima’Small, ovateDark green
‘Quercifolia’Oak-shaped, deeply lobedGreen
‘Sunny Fig’Heart-shaped, wavy edgesGolden yellow

These variations in leaf shapes and colors offer gardeners a wide range of options when selecting a creeping fig variety to suit their aesthetic preferences. Whether you choose a variegated variety to add visual interest or a solid green variety for a classic look, creeping fig is sure to enhance the beauty of any space.

How to Grow Ficus pumila

Collage Photo of Ficus Pumila (Creeping Fig) Plant
Instagram @loopie00

Growing Ficus pumila requires attention to a few key factors in order to create an optimal environment for this plant to thrive. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you successfully cultivate your creeping fig:

1. Select the right location: Choose a spot that receives bright indirect light if growing indoors or partial shade to full sun if growing outdoors. Creeping fig can tolerate lower light conditions, but it may grow more slowly.

2. Prepare the soil: Use well-draining soil that allows water to flow freely, preventing the roots from sitting in wet conditions. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and regular potting soil works well for potted plants.

3. Planting and watering: Plant your creeping fig in a suitable container with drainage holes, ensuring that the soil is evenly moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant thoroughly and allow excess water to drain away.

4. Provide support: Creeping fig is a vining plant that will benefit from support such as a trellis or stake. This will help the plant to climb and create an attractive display.

5. Maintain consistent humidity: Creeping fig thrives in high humidity environments. Mist the leaves regularly or place a tray of water near the plant to increase humidity levels.

6. Fertilize regularly: During the growing season, fertilize your creeping fig once a month using a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for the correct dosage.


When planting creeping fig in a hanging basket or terrarium, choose a container with good drainage as excess moisture can cause root rot.

Creeping fig can also be grown as a ground cover, in which case support may not be necessary.

If growing indoors, consider using a humidifier to maintain optimal humidity levels.

Propagation Tips for Ficus pumila

Ficus Pumila (Creeping Fig) Plant Growing with Other Plants Observing LED Grow Light at Garden Area
Instagram @t4nklife

Propagating Ficus pumila through stem cuttings is an effective and straightforward method to expand your collection or share this beautiful plant with others. To propagate creeping fig, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select a healthy and mature stem from the parent plant. Look for a stem that is about 4-6 inches long and has several nodes.
  2. Using a sterilized pair of pruning shears or a sharp knife, make a clean cut just below a node. Nodes are the points on the stem where leaves or aerial roots emerge.
  3. Remove the lower leaves, leaving only a few at the top of the cutting. This will encourage the cutting to focus its energy on root development rather than maintaining foliage.
  4. Prepare a small pot or tray with a well-draining soil mix. Insert the cutting into the soil, making sure that at least one node is buried and that the stem is secure in the soil.
  5. Water the cutting thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain away. Place the pot in a warm and bright location, preferably with indirect light.
  6. Maintain a consistent level of moisture in the soil, but be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Mist the cutting regularly to provide humidity, which will encourage root growth.
  7. Within a few weeks, roots should start to develop. You can gently tug on the cutting to check for resistance, indicating that roots have formed.
  8. Once the cutting has established a strong root system, you can transplant it into a larger pot or the desired location in your garden.
Propagation MethodTime to Root DevelopmentSuccess Rate
Stem cuttings2-6 weeksHigh
Air layering6-8 weeksModerate
Division4-6 weeksModerate

Quick Care Overview for Ficus pumila

To ensure the healthy growth and vitality of your Ficus pumila, here’s a quick overview of its care requirements.

Light RequirementsSoil and PottingWateringFertilizingPruningPest ControlCommon Problems
Bright indirect light indoors, partial shade to full sun outdoorsWell-draining soil, pots with drainage holes, repot when necessaryKeep soil consistently moist but not soggy, allow excess water to drainFertilize once a month with a balanced houseplant fertilizer during the growing seasonRegular pruning to control growth and prevent invasivenessKeep an eye out for common pests and use natural remedies or insecticidesAddress issues like leaf drop, yellowing leaves, and fungal diseases

Light Requirements for Ficus pumila

Providing the right amount of light is crucial for the healthy growth and development of Ficus pumila, whether grown indoors or outdoors. This versatile plant thrives in bright indirect light indoors, making it an excellent option for adding greenery to your home. Place your indoor creeping fig near a window where it can receive ample sunlight, but avoid direct exposure to intense sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.

If you choose to grow Ficus pumila outdoors, it can tolerate partial shade to full sun. However, it is important to acclimate the plant gradually to direct sunlight to prevent leaf burn. Start by placing it in a shaded area and gradually move it to a spot with more sunlight over a few weeks. This will help the plant adjust to the increased light intensity without experiencing stress or damage.

One of the fascinating features of Ficus pumila is its adaptability to low-light conditions. While it may grow more slowly in dimly lit areas, it can still thrive. If you have a room with limited natural light, consider placing your creeping fig near artificial light sources, such as fluorescent or LED lights, to provide the necessary light energy for photosynthesis.

  • Indoor creeping fig prefers bright indirect light near a window.
  • Avoid exposing indoor creeping fig to direct sunlight to prevent leaf burn.
  • Outdoor creeping fig can tolerate partial shade to full sun but needs gradual acclimation to prevent leaf burn.
  • Ficus pumila can adapt to low-light conditions but may grow more slowly.
  • Supplementing with artificial light sources can help indoor creeping fig thrive in low-light areas.
Light Requirements for Ficus pumilaIndoorOutdoorLow-Light Adaptability
Bright Indirect LightYesN/AYes
Direct SunlightNoPartial Shade to Full SunNo, gradual acclimation needed
Low-Light ToleranceYes, slower growthYes, slower growthYes, slower growth
Artificial Light SupplementFluorescent, LEDN/AFluorescent, LED

Soil Requirements for Ficus pumila

The right soil composition plays a vital role in supporting the healthy growth and overall well-being of Ficus pumila, also known as creeping fig. This vining plant thrives in well-draining soil that allows excess water to escape easily, preventing issues such as root rot.

When potting or repotting your Ficus pumila, it is important to choose a soil mix specifically formulated for indoor plants, ensuring it provides adequate aeration and moisture retention.

One suitable soil composition for Ficus pumila consists of a blend of potting soil, perlite, and peat moss. Potting soil provides the necessary nutrients for the plant’s growth, while perlite improves drainage by keeping the soil loose and preventing compaction.

Peat moss helps retain moisture and promotes healthy root development. The ideal ratio is approximately 2 parts potting soil, 1 part perlite, and 1 part peat moss.

When selecting a container for your creeping fig, ensure it has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. Without proper drainage, the soil can become waterlogged, leading to root rot and other issues.

The frequency of repotting will depend on the growth rate of your plant. It is generally recommended to repot every 1-2 years or when the roots outgrow the current container.

Soil Requirements for Ficus pumila 
Soil Mix Composition2 parts potting soil, 1 part perlite, 1 part peat moss
Container TypeContainer with drainage holes
Repotting FrequencyEvery 1-2 years or when roots outgrow container

Potting and Repotting Ficus pumila

Potting and repotting Ficus pumila is an essential aspect of plant care that contributes to its overall health and growth. When it comes to potting this vining plant, it’s important to choose a container with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.

The use of a well-draining soil mix is also crucial to ensure proper moisture levels. A recommended potting mix for Ficus pumila consists of equal parts of potting soil, perlite, and peat moss. This mixture provides good aeration and moisture retention for the plant.

During the repotting process, it’s recommended to choose a slightly larger pot to accommodate the plant’s growth. Gently remove the plant from its current pot, being careful not to damage the roots.

Inspect the roots for any signs of decay or overgrowth, and trim them if necessary. Place the plant in the new pot, ensuring it is centered, and fill in the gaps with fresh potting mix. Lightly press the soil to secure the plant and water thoroughly.

Potting and Repotting Tips:
1. Choose a container with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
2. Use a well-draining soil mix consisting of equal parts potting soil, perlite, and peat moss.
3. When repotting, select a slightly larger pot to accommodate growth.
4. Inspect and trim any damaged or overgrown roots.
5. Center the plant in the new pot and fill gaps with fresh potting mix.
6. Water thoroughly after potting or repotting.

Pruning and Shaping Ficus pumila

Pruning and shaping Ficus pumila is essential to control its growth, maintain its desired form, and prevent it from overtaking other plants or structures. Regular pruning helps promote bushier growth and encourages new shoots to develop, resulting in a fuller and more attractive appearance. It is best to prune creeping fig in early spring or late winter, before the new growth emerges.

When pruning, use clean and sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts and minimize damage to the plant. Start by removing any dead, damaged, or diseased foliage. Then, selectively trim back the vines to the desired length or shape. You can also prune to remove any tendrils that are attaching to nearby surfaces or structures, preventing potential damage.

To maintain a neat and compact form, trim the tips of the growing vines regularly. This will help control the overall size of the plant and prevent it from spreading too aggressively. Additionally, you can shape creeping fig by training the vines to grow in a specific direction or pattern. This can be done by gently bending or securing the vines with plant ties or stakes.

Pruning Tips:

  • Always wear gloves when handling Ficus pumila, as the sap can cause skin irritation
  • Avoid heavy pruning during the winter months when the plant is in a dormant phase
  • Remove any fallen leaves or debris around the plant to prevent the spread of pests or diseases
Benefits of Pruning and Shaping Ficus pumilaPruning Techniques
– Controls growth and prevents overgrowth– Use clean and sharp pruning shears
– Maintains desired form and appearance– Remove dead, damaged, or diseased foliage
– Prevents damage to other plants or structures– Trim back vines to desired length or shape
– Promotes bushier growth and fuller appearance– Prune in early spring or late winter
– Trains vines to grow in specific directions or patterns– Gently bend or secure vines with plant ties or stakes

Temperature Requirements for Ficus pumila

Understanding the temperature preferences of Ficus pumila is crucial for providing the optimal growing conditions and ensuring its well-being. This versatile plant can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor cultivation.

When grown indoors, creeping fig thrives in temperatures between 60°F and 75°F (15°C-24°C). It prefers bright indirect light but can also tolerate low-light conditions. However, if the temperature drops below 50°F (10°C), the plant may experience stunted growth and leaf loss.

For outdoor cultivation, creeping fig can tolerate temperatures as low as 30°F (-1°C) during short periods of cold weather. However, prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can cause damage to the plant. In regions with milder winters, creeping fig can be grown outdoors year-round. It enjoys partial shade to full sun and benefits from the warmth provided by direct sunlight.

Temperature RangeConditions
60°F – 75°F (15°C-24°C)Ideal temperature range for indoor creeping fig
Below 50°F (10°C)Can cause stunted growth and leaf loss
30°F (-1°C)Lowest tolerance for outdoor creeping fig
Partial shade to full sunIdeal light conditions for outdoor cultivation

Humidity Requirements for Ficus pumila

Providing the right humidity levels is essential for the health and vitality of Ficus pumila, especially when grown indoors. This tropical plant naturally thrives in high humidity environments, so replicating those conditions is crucial for its well-being.

When growing Ficus pumila indoors, it’s important to create a humid microclimate around the plant. One way to do this is by placing a tray filled with water near the plant or using a humidifier to increase moisture in the air.

Misting the leaves regularly can also help maintain humidity levels. Another option is to group your creeping fig with other plants, as they release moisture through transpiration, creating a more humid environment.

If you choose to grow Ficus pumila outdoors, it’s important to consider the natural humidity of your region. In areas with high humidity, such as coastal regions, the plant can thrive without additional measures.

However, in drier climates, misting the leaves or using a garden sprayer to provide occasional water showers can help increase humidity levels. Mulching around the base of the plant can also help retain moisture in the soil.

Indoor Humidity LevelsOutdoor Humidity Levels
40-60% relative humidityVaries by region, but higher than 60% is ideal

Watering Ficus pumila

Watering Ficus pumila correctly is crucial for its overall health and vitality, as improper watering can lead to various problems. To ensure that your creeping fig thrives, it is important to find the right balance between not overwatering and not underwatering the plant.

As a general guideline, you should water your Ficus pumila when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. During the growing season, which is typically spring and summer, you may need to water more frequently to keep the soil consistently moist. However, it is essential to avoid waterlogged conditions, as these can lead to root rot and other issues.

One effective watering technique is to water your creeping fig thoroughly, allowing the excess water to drain out of the pot. Empty the saucer or tray underneath the pot to prevent the plant from sitting in standing water.

Remember that different factors such as temperature, humidity, and pot size can influence the watering needs of your creeping fig, so it is essential to monitor the soil moisture levels regularly.

  • Water your Ficus pumila when the top inch of soil is dry.
  • Avoid overwatering and waterlogged conditions.
  • Water thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain.
  • Monitor soil moisture levels regularly to adjust watering frequency.
Tip:Consider using a moisture meter to accurately gauge the moisture levels in the soil. This can help you determine when your creeping fig needs watering.

Fertilizing Ficus pumila

Fertilizing Ficus pumila is an essential aspect of its care routine, ensuring it receives the necessary nutrients for optimal growth and vibrancy. These plants have moderate nutrient requirements and benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season. Here are some important points to keep in mind when fertilizing your creeping fig:

  1. Choose a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with a formulation of equal parts nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), such as a 10-10-10 or a 20-20-20 fertilizer.
  2. Apply the fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually diluting it with water to the recommended concentration.
  3. During the active growing season, which is typically spring and summer, fertilize your creeping fig once every four to six weeks. This will provide a steady supply of nutrients to support healthy foliage growth.
  4. Reduce or stop fertilization during the fall and winter months when the plant enters a period of dormancy and growth slows down.
Fertilizer TypeApplication FrequencyApplication Method
Balanced, water-soluble fertilizer (10-10-10 or 20-20-20)Once every 4-6 weeks during the active growing season (spring and summer)Dilute according to manufacturer’s instructions and apply to moist soil

Pest Control for Ficus pumila

Keeping Ficus pumila free from pests is crucial to ensure its healthy growth and prevent any damage or decline in its overall appearance. While this plant is relatively hardy, it can still be susceptible to common pests that can hinder its development. By implementing effective pest control measures, you can protect your creeping fig plant and maintain its vitality.

Common pests that may affect Ficus pumila include spider mites, scales, and aphids. These pests can feed on the plant’s foliage, causing discoloration, leaf drop, and stunted growth. To combat these pests, it’s important to regularly inspect your creeping fig for any signs of infestation and take immediate action.

One effective method of pest control is to wash the foliage of your Ficus pumila with a mild soap solution. This will help to remove any existing pests, their eggs, or their sticky residue. Remember to rinse the plant thoroughly afterwards to prevent any soap residue from accumulating.

If the infestation is severe or persists despite your efforts, you may need to resort to using a commercial insecticide. Before doing so, carefully read the instructions and follow the recommended dosage and application method. Take precautions to protect yourself, other plants, and the environment while applying the insecticide.

Common Pests of Ficus pumilaControl Methods
Spider Mites– Regularly wash the foliage with a mild soap solution
– Increase humidity to deter mites
– Use a commercial miticide if necessary
Scales– Scrape off scales with a soft brush or your fingernail
– Wipe the affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol
– Use a commercial insecticidal soap or oil if the infestation is severe
Aphids– Spray the plant with a strong stream of water to dislodge aphids
– Apply insecticidal soap or neem oil to control infestations
– Introduce natural predators, such as ladybugs, to feed on the aphids

Common Problems with Ficus pumila

Despite being a relatively hardy plant, Ficus pumila can face a few common problems that may require attention and prompt action from its caretakers. Understanding these issues and knowing how to address them can help ensure the health and vitality of your creeping fig.

Common ProblemsPossible CausesSolutions
Leaf DropOverwatering, underwatering, sudden changes in temperature or lightingAdjust watering schedule, maintain consistent conditions
Yellowing LeavesNutrient deficiencies, overwatering, improper lightingCheck lighting and watering, consider fertilizing if necessary
Root RotOverwatering, poorly-draining soilEnsure proper drainage, repot if necessary
Fungal DiseasesHigh humidity, poor air circulationAvoid overwatering, improve air circulation, treat with fungicide


To ensure the health and vitality of your creeping fig, remember to provide it with bright indirect light, regular watering, and high humidity levels. Although it can tolerate low-light conditions, it may grow more slowly. Well-draining soil and monthly fertilization during the growing season are also essential for its optimal growth.

When it comes to managing your creeping fig, regular pruning is important to control its growth and prevent it from becoming invasive or damaging nearby structures. Additionally, be aware that creeping fig is toxic to humans and pets, so it’s essential to handle it with gloves to prevent skin inflammation and irritation.

Overall, with proper care and attention, your Ficus pumila can be a long-lasting and attractive addition to your garden. Explore the different varieties available, such as ‘Snowflake,’ ‘Minima,’ ‘Quercifolia,’ and ‘Sunny Fig,’ each offering unique leaf shapes and characteristics. Enjoy the beauty and charm of this wonderful plant!

Make sure to check out our article on Ficus microcarpa Green Island Care Guide. And after reading that Ficus article, check out our article on Ficus pumila Variegata Care Guide.


Q: How often should I water my creeping fig plant?

A: Creeping fig plants prefer regular watering, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. It is important to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Test the moisture level of the soil by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil – if it feels dry, then it’s time to water.

Q: Can I grow creeping fig in low-light conditions?

A: While creeping fig can tolerate low-light conditions, it prefers bright indirect light for optimal growth. If you are growing it in low-light areas, such as north-facing rooms, it may grow more slowly and have less vibrant foliage. Consider placing it near a window with filtered light or provide supplemental grow lights to enhance its growth.

Q: How do I propagate creeping fig?

A: Creeping fig can be easily propagated through stem cuttings. Take a healthy stem cutting, approximately 4-6 inches long, and remove the lower leaves. Dip the cut end in a rooting hormone (optional) and place it in a well-draining potting mix or water until roots develop. Keep the cutting moist and warm, and within a few weeks, you should see new roots growing.

Q: Is creeping fig toxic to pets?

A: Yes, creeping fig is toxic to both humans and pets. It contains sap that can cause skin inflammation and irritation if handled without gloves. If ingested, it can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and may be toxic to pets. Keep the plant out of reach of children and pets, and if any symptoms occur after contact or ingestion, seek medical attention immediately.

Q: How often should I fertilize my creeping fig plant?

A: During the growing season (spring and summer), fertilize your creeping fig plant monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength. This will provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Reduce or stop fertilizing in the winter months when the plant’s growth slows down.

Q: How do I control the growth of creeping fig?

A: Creeping fig can be a fast-growing and invasive plant if left uncontrolled. To manage its growth, prune the plant regularly, removing any excess or unwanted vines. You can also trim it to maintain a desired shape and prevent it from damaging nearby structures. Be mindful of where you plant creeping fig, as it can attach itself to walls, fences, and other surfaces.

Scroll to Top