The Complete Guide for Creeping Fig (Ficus Pumila) Care

The Creeping Fig, otherwise known as the Ficus Pumila or Climbing Fig, Creeping Rubber Plant, Ok-Gue, Ficus repens, is a well-known climber plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low to average maintenance and fast growth, this climber will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green-colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, taking care of your Creeping Fig is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Creeping Fig Care Guide. Now let’s get started.

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Creeping Fig can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Creeping Fig needs at least weekly watering, or more in extreme heat, preferably with regular water.
  • Light: Keep your Ficus Pumila in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Creeping Fig in soil with moist but well-draining properties; so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Creeping Fig is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Creeping Fig belongs to the Moraceae family, the genus Ficus and the species Pumila, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Ficus Pumila (FYE-kus PU-mi-la).

As with other Ficus’s, the Creeping Fig is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year-round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Creeping Fig is a plant native to the Central and Southern China and Eastern Asia.

Knowing your plants native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Creeping Fig. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Ficus Pumila will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 12 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a and the ideal climate zone is between 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Creeping Fig is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.


But, what size of Creeping Fig are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…

The Ficus Pumila can grow up to 10′ – 15′ (3m – 4.5m) in 10′ – 15′ (3m – 4.5m) and 3′ – 6′ (90cm – 180cm) in 3′ – 6′ (90cm – 180cm). 


In terms of watering, the Creeping Fig is a fairly simple plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Ficus Pumila needs at least weekly watering, or more in extreme heat, preferably with regular water.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Creeping Fig in soil with moist but well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage and moist properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Creeping Fig is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Creeping Fig prefers to have soil with good drainage, and moist properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Creeping Fig requires soil with high organic matter, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Placement

In terms of light & exposure, the Creeping Fig, requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this climber will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun and it will be able to grow properly. 

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Ficus Pumila in from little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to dappled or moderate shade (under other plant’s canopy), to full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being an evergreen plant, the Creeping Fig will be present year-round in your garden. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and even during the winter.


The leaves from the Creeping Fig have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with an alternate organization in its leaves. You can expect the leaves from your Ficus Pumila to be around (3-6 inches) in size.


Does your Creeping Fig have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Ficus Pumila owners agree that this climber will look great in most Mediterranean, contemporary cottage, and rustic gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they compliment well most gardens of Mediterranean garden styles. 

In particular, the Creeping Fig’s best location within your garden is in patio and containers, ground covers, and in walls and fences; others use it for landscaping in a privacy screen, mass planting, houseplant, ground cover, espalier, container, coastal exposure, or an urban garden.

Companion Plants

Creeping Fig’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Bignonia, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Passiflora will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your Creeping Fig to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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