7 Tips on How to Care for Your Creeping Fig (Ficus Pumila Infographic) – Suburbs 101

Suburbs 101
Insider's Guide to Living in the NY Suburbs
The Creeping Fig (Ficus Pumila) is a woody vine with attractive heart-shaped leaves. It’s a fast growing houseplant. It’s not uncommon to discover the vine covering the surface of the container and climbing over the edges of the pot. When planted outside, Creeping Fig vines can cover stone walls and houses. If you are looking for a robust, easy-to-grow houseplant then the Creeping Fig may be the plant for you! Here are some helpful tips for caring for your Creeping Fig.
Bright, filtered sunlight is ideal for your Creeping Fig. Filtered light from a South, West, or East window is good. Use sheer shades or sheer curtains to filter the light. Keep your Creeping Fig out of the hot afternoon sun. 
Your Creeping Fig has moderate watering requirements. Make sure that soil is not too damp or too dry. The amount of water you need depends on the sort of pot you have and how dry your environment is. Before watering your Creeping Fig, allow the soil to dry halfway.
Creeping Fig needs a well-draining, organic potting mix. Only buy organic soil mix because the fertilizer is not as concentrated in organic soil. Non-organic soil should really only be used for outdoor plants.
Creeping Fig will benefit from a once a month application of fertilizer. When the plant is actively developing, fertilize it. Feeding should be avoided during the winter months when the plant is dormant and not growing.
You will need to repot your Creeping Fig once it looks like it is outgrowing its current pot. Purchase a larger pot, about 4 inches larger in diameter than the current one. Make sure the pot you buy has drainage holes at the bottom so that water doesn’t build up and cause root and stem rot.
Your Creeping Fig needs proper drainage otherwise it might suffer from stem rot. Make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom to ensure optimum drainage. Don’t let your plant sit in the pool of water that has gathered in the saucer after watering it. Pour the water out of the saucer.
Your Creeping Fig is a houseplant that prefers moderate humidity. Avoid placing your Creeping Fig too close to a HVAC vent, since this may cause the soil to dry out. If the air within your home becomes dry, turn on the humidifier to enhance the humidity.
The common problems for Creeping Fig plants are mealybugs, spider mites, scale and aphids.
Problem: Your Creeping Fig’s leaves and stems have cotton-like fluffy white growths on them.
Cause: Mealybugs are most likely to blame for the fluffy white growths between the leaves and stems of your Creeping Fig. These insects are common pests of houseplants.
Solution: If you suspect a mealybug infestation, wash your Creeping Fig with water or soapy water right away. Rubbing alcohol, insecticidal soap, or horticultural oil can also be sprayed over it.
Check out our articles on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap
Problem: Your Creeping Fig’s leaves and stems are encrusted in spider-like webbing. Your Creeping Fig’s leaves are covered in yellow and brown patches. The entire leaf can then turn yellow and fall off the plant at some point.
Cause: Spider mite infestation can be identified by these symptoms.
Solution: Spray the leaves of your Creeping Fig with water from a garden hose to get rid of spider mites. The spider mites will be washed away from the leaves as a result of the force. You can also use soapy water or rubbing alcohol to clean the leaves. Another option is to spray horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps on your Creeping Fig, which are both effective spider mite treatments.
Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap
Problem: If your Creeping Fig’s leaves and stems have small brown bumps on them, it could be an indication of scale. Pick the bumps off with your fingers; if they come off easily, it’s a sign of scale. The little lumps might also be gray, yellow, or black in color.
Cause: Scale, which is caused by scale insects, is a common problem on houseplants.
Solution: Scale can be removed by picking them off one by one. Alternatively, you can use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to spray your Creeping Fig.
Check out our articles on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap
Problem: On the underside of your Creeping Fig’s leaves, you notice a lot of tiny green, gray, and brown insects. On the leaves and stems, there are sticky transparent residues, and the tips of the stems have curled up and appear deformed.
Cause: Aphids may be the culprit, but you should double-check by inspecting the insects closely. On the backside of the insects, there should be 2 tubes. To help you identify aphids, use a magnifying glass.
Solution: Aphids are a common pest in indoor plants. Aphids can be removed by washing them with water or soapy water. Rubbing alcohol is another option. Another effective way to get rid of aphids is to treat your Creeping Fig plant with insecticidal soap and horticultural oil.
Creeping Fig is also called Climbing Fig, Creeping Ficus or Creeping Rubber Plant.
When the soil gets dry, water your Creeping Fig. Sticking your finger into the soil 1 inch deep is the easiest way to tell when it’s time to water. It’s time to water your Creeping Fig if the soil feels dry. 
Watering frequency will be determined by the type of pot your Creeping Fig is in. Unglazed pots, such as terracotta, are porous and will dry out faster than plastic, metal, or glazed ceramic pots for your Creeping Fig. Because these pots do not breathe, they will keep moisture for a much longer period of time. Watering your Creeping Fig is also influenced by the environment. Even if your Creeping Fig is indoors, hot summer days will necessitate more watering.
Do not water your Creeping Fig with direct cold water from the faucet. Watering your Creeping Fig using tap water is fine, but keep in mind the temperature of the water. The Creeping Fig prefers cool, not hot or cold, water. Add a little warm water to the cold water when you turn on the faucet. Alternatively, you can fiill a watering can or pitcher halfway with water and let it out overnight until the water is at room temperature.
Use organic fertilizers with a higher ratio of nitrogen content. 
Your Creeping Fig can grow 8 to 15 feet long and 3 to 6 feet wide. However, it is much smaller as a houseplant.
Creeping Fig Plant is easy to propagate. Below are steps on how to propagate your Creeping Fig Plant.
Pick a stem with a node. Cut below the node.
Place the Creeping Fig stem in a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots. To help it focus its energy on growing roots, make sure your stem has a maximum of 2 leaves. Cut off extra leaves as needed.
Another way to stimulate root growth is to dip your stem cutting in root hormone and plant it in moist sand. I personally prefer the jar method so you can easily see the roots come out. Know that not all stem cuttings of your Creeping Fig will grow roots, so to be safe, have a few stem cuttings so you will at least get one with roots.
Once enough roots have emerged, plant the stem cuttings into a new pot. Water the new plant immediately after planting. Then water every 2-3 days until the roots are established.
Place your new Creeping Fig plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight.
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