The ficus repens or climbing fig is an evergreen vine. It is a hearty plant and once it attaches itself to a wall or fence it completely covers the area. The leaves are a dark green to medium green color and they are small and simple. It produces hairy pair like fruits that can be seen throughout the year. The ficus repens is perfect for trying to cover a trellis or wall and this plant can add character to your home and garden area.
When the ficus repens is young the small leaves grow and cling to a wall or trellis. But when the plant matures, the stem starts to resemble bark and sticks out from the rest of the vine. This climbing plant can reach up to 40 feet in height and it grows at a very fast rate. If you are interested in keeping a ficus repens, you should know that this plant can completely take over an area in a few months. The mature bark like stem is able to attach itself to anything, and it holds on firmly.
You can purchase a small climbing fig from any garden center. Before starting any plant, the soil should be tested to make sure that it has the proper acid level and nutrients to grow healthy plants. If you do have a slight problem with soil, you can simply enrich it by using a specific type of fertilizer for your particular problem. Mix the fertilizer in the soil and water it completely. You should wait at least a week before planting in the area.
Dig a hole large enough to place the small plant into and make sure that the roots are covered. You can sift through the soil and remove any rocks or larger pebbles that can do damage to the root system. Cover the roots with soil and make sure that they have an ample area to grow.
This plant can grow almost anywhere and it thrives on a mix of sunlight and shade. In direct sunlight, it will grow faster. But being in shade will not harm or damage the plant. This plant is known for growing at an alarming rate, so if you prefer a plant that grows slower you can place it in the shade on purpose.
You can probably never over water this type of plant. It thrives on a lot of water and the soil should never be allowed to dry out and become sandy. Unlike many plants that require special watering techniques, this plant does not. This is probably due to the heartiness and growing power of this plant.
The ficus repens is not for everyone. You have to want a plant that covers an entire area like a wall or fence. Once the plant takes hold, it can be difficult to remove. The wooden stems this plant produces have been known to damage the siding on houses and even crack drywall if someone attempts to move or prune it. These stems are also pointy and sharp and can be dangerous if someone is poked by them. If you do not want to spend a lot of time pruning back these plants or if you do not want a plant that takes over an entire area, this may not be the right choice for you.
If you have toddlers or children that will be around the ficus repens, you should be aware that this plant is poisonous if it is ingested. Just handling or pruning the plant can cause an allergic reaction. This is just another thing to consider before you purchase this plant.