To get a creeping fig growing on walls doesn’t require much effort on your part, only a little patience. In fact, many people find this plant to be a pest, as it grows quickly and takes over all kinds of vertical surfaces, including other plants.
If attaching creeping fig to a wall is your desire, the first year of growth can be slow, so have patience and use a few tricks to get your fig clinging to the wall in subsequent years.
How Creeping Fig Attaches and Grows
Some vines need a lattice or fence to cling to and grow, but creeping fig can attach to and grow up any type of wall. They do this by secreting a sticky substance from the aerial roots. The plant will put out these little roots and stick to anything in the vicinity: a trellis, a wall, rocks, or another plant.
This is why some people consider creeping fig to be a pest plant. It can potentially damage structures when the roots get into cracks in walls. However, creeping fig on a wall can be manageable if you trim it back and grow it in a container to manage its size. It also helps to fill in any cracks in a wall before growing a creeping fig there.
Initially, in the first year, creeping fig will grow slowly, if at all. In year two, it will begin to grow and climb. By year three you may wish you hadn’t planted it. By this time, it will grow and climb in leaps and bounds.
How to Get Creeping Fig to Climb the Way You Want
Attaching creeping fig to a wall shouldn’t really be necessary, but you may want to take some steps to encourage growth in a particular direction. For instance, you can attach eyehooks in the wall using masonry shields. The downside to this is damage to the wall, but hooks make it easy to direct growth.
Another option is to attach some type of trellis or fencing to the wall. Use floral wire or even paperclips to hook the plant to the structure. This will allow you to determine the direction of its growth as it gets bigger.
To grow creeping fig on a wall takes a little time and patience, so just wait a year or two and you will see more growth and clinging than you ever imagined.