Creeping fig, a small-leaved, evergreen Asian creeper, climbs by means of clinging aerial roots and can fix itself like cement to the objects it climbs. Don't be fooled by the apparent fragility of this tiny vine. It can climb to 60 feet or more, and a single stem cutting can grow to cover the entire side of a large building in only a few years.
: Tiny, thin, heart-shaped leaves in medium green grow flat against the surface of the object it climbs. The stem, thin and weak-looking at first, becomes thick and woody as the vine grows. At maturity, the vine produces projecting branches and adult foliage -- larger, thicker, 2- to 4-inch hairy leaves -- and 2-inch pear-shaped figs.
: Grow in full sun to partial shade in any moist, well-drained soil. Prune off adult branches if fruit is not wanted. In cold climates it is often grown as a houseplant.
: This climber is a top choice for permanently hiding unattractive walls, tree trunks, and garden structures, or where a flat wall of greenery is desired.
Creeping fig related varieties: Ficus pumila Minima has small leaves, while the oak-leaved creeping fig (F. pumila Quercifolia) has equally tiny, quilted, maplelike leaves. There are also several variegated varieties.
: Ficus pumila