magine a houseplant that mixes the tropical attract of a rubber plant (ficus elastica) and the climbing vines of an English ivy plant. It seems that such a plant exists, within the type of the creeping fig, or ficus pumila.
In case you’ve had the possibility to go to Kew’s Princess of Wales Glasshouse or the Barbican Conservatory, you might have seen this plant hiding within the undergrowth or disguising a wall beneath a carpet of inexperienced.
It produces an abundance of small, dimpled, heart-shaped leaves that hug the floor it climbs on. Every new leaf unfurls a golden-bronze color, earlier than fading by many shades of inexperienced, growing in darkness over time.
It’s appeal, colors and progress sample make it one in every of my favorite vegetation.
take care of creeping figs
Ficus pumila is a comparatively simple houseplant to take care of. In its native setting – the tropical forests of China, Japan and Vietnam – it’s a plant that begins rising on the darkish forest ground till it finds a tree trunk to climb. It quickly ascends to the cover and spreads itself extensive, competing for mild with the timber and offering a framework for forest animals to go from tree to tree.
At residence it’s not fairly so dramatic in its take over of the kitchen, however these variations means it’s blissful in a variety of circumstances. It’s going to tolerate low mild and shiny sunshine, dry and humid environments. Analysis this plant and also you’ll study it will not have the ability to survive outdoors in our chilly winter local weather.
However I’ll allow you to in on a little bit secret. London is totally different, and when you look fastidiously, you’ll discover it rising fortunately outside at each the Chelsea Physic Garden and, after all, Walworth Backyard, in addition to a variety of different London gardens the place this has been found maybe accidentally.
There’s one essential issue to the success of a wholesome creeping fig, and that’s watering. They actually don’t prefer to dry out. Your creeping fig will in a short time let if it is sad as a result of it isn’t getting sufficient water. First the leaves will wilt and begin to curl upwards.
At this stage, all isn’t misplaced: plunge the pot in a container of water for a couple of hours till the foundation ball is saturated, and permit it to empty. Left for much longer, the leaves change into crispy – at this level, it’s recreation over.
Propagating creeping figs
The creeping fig is among the best ficus vegetation to propagate at residence. Not like lots of its large-leaved cousins, its minute foliage and stems imply that it’s much less more likely to dry out earlier than they’ve rooted. Not solely that, however the bushy nature of the plant means you get loads of stems to follow with.
Begin with sharp scissors or secateurs, and take a piece of the stem with 4-6 leaves connected. This may be from any a part of the plant, however works greatest with barely older progress. You possibly can root the cuttings in water or in peat-free natural compost, eradicating the leaves from the underside half of the chopping, and inserting half the chopping beneath the bottom or within the water. For the cuttings in water, pot as soon as the roots are 2-3cm in size.
Your cuttings won’t do a lot rising to start with, as they get used to their new roots, however be affected person. As soon as they’re settled, you’ll have extra plant than what to do with.