Carpobrotus acinaciformis (Sally-my-handsome) is a fast-growing succulent that forms a dense mat of trailing stems with yellowish to grass…
In its natural habitat, this plant is only pollinated by the fig wasp. However, you can easily propagate the Creeping Fig through stem cuttings. Since the plant has a very fast growth rate, the cuttings catch roots fast and can be transplanted in individual pots in only a few months.
For the best results, propagate the plant in early spring. Make sure to water the plant well the day before propagation to ensure that the cuttings are well hydrated. The best soil for propagation should contain 2 parts of sand, 1-part compost, and 2 parts perlite. Saturate the mixture well and make sure that the new pot has good drainage.
The cuttings should be about 10 cm long and they should be cut just below a set of leaves. Cut the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting completely. For the best results, dip the end of the cutting into rooting hormone powder. Stick half of the cutting into the soil, allowing the leaves on the upper half of the clipping to rest above the surface. Press the soil around the cutting to ground it well.
Since the creeping fig loves humidity, you will need to create a humidity chamber with the help of a plastic bag. Place the pot in a bag and close the bag around the cutting. Make a one-cm cut into the bag to allow slight air circulation and to allow excess moisture to evaporate.
If the outdoor temperature allows it, you can place the plant outside, preferably in a shaded spot. Indoors, place the pot in front of a window that faces east, or give it indirect exposure from a growing lamp. Water and mist the new cutting regularly to keep it hydrated.
The new plant should grow roots in about six weeks, at which point you should remove the plastic bag. Allow the plant a few months before transplanting it to a bigger pot. If you plan to transplant it outdoors, autumn is the best season to do this.
Creeping fig plants grown outside and allowed to produce mature foliage will often yield fruit in the form of 3-inch pale green bells that ripen to a dark purple color. They are frequently listed as inedible but in fact the figs can be processed into a gel that is canned and sold in Asian markets as grass jelly or ai-yu jelly. One variety, Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang, is known as the Chinese Jello Vine. Its fruit can be eaten out of hand and it too can be processed into a gel. Known as ice jelly, it is a popular snack in Taiwanese markets when mixed with sweeteners and lemon or lime juice.
Trying to choose the right vine or climber for your garden? Read more:
Finally, get more ideas on how to successfully plant, grow, and care for a creeping fig with our Creeping Fig: A Field Guide.
Finally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various vines and climbers with our Vines & Climbers: A Field Guide.
Creeping fig vine is often sold as a houseplant. The small leaves and lush green growth make for both a lovely table plant or a hanging plant.
When growing creeping fig as a houseplant, it will need bright, indirect light.
For proper indoor creeping fig care, the soil should be kept moist but not overly wet. It is best to check the top of the soil before watering. If the top of the soil is dry, it needs to be watered. You will want to fertilize your creeping fig in the spring and summer about once a month. Do not fertilize it in the fall and winter. In the winter, you may need to provide extra humidity to your creeping fig plant.
For extra interest, you can add a pole, a wall or even a topiary form to your creeping fig houseplant container. This will give the creeping fig vine something to climb and eventually cover.
If you live in USDA plant hardiness zone 8 or higher, creeping fig plants can be grown outside year round. They are often used as either a ground cover or, more commonly, as a wall and fence cover. If allowed to grow up a wall, it can grow up to 20 feet (6 m.) tall.
When grown outdoors, creeping fig like full or part shade and grows best in well-draining soil. In order to look its best, creeping fig should get about 2 inches (5 cm.) of water a week. If you do not get this much rainfall in a week, you will need to supplement with the hose.
Creeping fig is easily propagated from plant divisions.
As creeping fig vine gets older, it can get woody and the leaves will get older. To bring the plant back to the finer leaves and vines, you can heavily prune back the more mature parts of the plant and they will regrow with the more desirable leaves.
Be aware before planting a creeping fig plant that once it attaches itself to a wall, it can be extremely difficult to remove and doing so can damage the surface that the creeping fig attaches to.
Creeping fig care is easy, whether you are growing it indoors or outdoors. Growing creeping fig can bring beauty and a lush backdrop to its surroundings.