Monday, October 18, 2010

#249...creeping fig, friend or foe

A few years ago, I went to the garden center for advice on what type of ivy to grow on my chimney brick. I left sceptical with 4 tiny 2" plants of creeping fig, wondering how long it would take to cover my brick. It took about 6 months to grow from the ground into a thick carpet of green extending up about 9 ft. And as you can see from the above picture it does not stop creeping. Every two to three weeks I have to trim it to keep it in shape, otherwise it looks like above, which is about 6 weeks of growth.
Here it is after I spent 1.5 hours trimming it
and here it is again before, spreading onto the house. While trimming it, I wondered if others have had issue with it, and if there were any tricks to keeping it trained. It was wishful thinking, but I did find this funny article by a local Houstonian, who describes it as a plant for the wealthy....or those wealthy enough to hire gardeners to trim it weekly. He made the point that if kept up with, it would only be a 10 minute job....and I do like how it looks when manicured, so I guess I just need to be more diligent and a better slave to my plant. Here are some more examples of creeping fig on buildings.

To trim my creeping fig, I use small clippers and hedge trimmers. I am fairly disappointed with how rusted my Corona hedge trimmers got within a few months of ownership, as I store them in the garage. They were the more costly of my two choices at my neighboorhood hardware store, and I picked them because they are light weight.


melifaif said...

So charming. Love the feel it exudes.

Julie said...

Yes. This is exactly what I'm talking about!

Obamaisgay said...

I have this growing on a brick patio in Columbia South Carolina. It hides some poor mortar work and looks great. But it does require constant care. I have to trim mine every weekend. Worth the effort.

Unknown said...

Hi I have just purchased a house where this plant has taken over the fence and garden.

I have removed most of the huge tree like roots and branches, but it still has quite a few small roots and trailers everywhere. Do I need to try and kill, cut these back to get it to be able to be controlled? Or am I better to kill it all and use a clombing vine instead/

Would I be able to grow both the creeping fig and climbers on this are together, or would the fig invade the flowering climbers?

Really not sure what to do the fig looks lovely trimmmed, but I have given myself RSI with all the cutting and trimming I have done.