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Why Is My Creeping Fig Dying

Creeping figs (ficus pumila) is a plant that can be grown indoors or outdoors as a vine or a potted plant. It has attractive foliage covering walls, fences, or hanging baskets. However, creeping fig vine plants can also suffer from problems that can cause them to die. One of the main reasons for your creeping Fig dying might be improper watering. Creeping fig vine plants need moist but well-draining soil to thrive. If you overwater these potted plants, you can cause root rot and soggy roots. If you water them too little, you can cause dry soil and wilting leaves.

To avoid these problems, check the soil moisture regularly with your finger or a moisture meter. Another reason your creeping Fig might die is insufficient light. Creeping fig plants prefer bright but indirect sunlight to grow well. They can get sunburned and turn yellow if exposed to direct sunlight for too long. To prevent these issues, place your creeping Fig near a window that receives morning sunlight or artificial light and avoid harsh afternoon sun or doesn’t expose them to very cold climates outdoors.

A third reason your creeping Fig might die is low humidity. Creeping fig plants are native to tropical regions where there is high humidity. In our guide, you can learn more about the common reasons your creeping Fig might be dying and how to fix them. By the end, you’ll have many tips on how to stop your creeping Fig shriveling (Ficus pumila) and help it recover and start spreading growth and fresh leaves. (Read Japanese Maple Leaves Wilting – What To Do)

Dying Creeping Fig

Why Do I Have A Dying Creeping Fig?

There are many reasons why a creeping fig plant, or Ficus pumila, may die. One common cause of decline is insufficient light. Creeping fig plants prefer to grow outdoors in full sun or partial shade, but if they are grown indoors, they need plenty of bright indirect sunlight to thrive.

The leaves will turn yellow and fall off the stem without sufficient light. Poor drainage can also cause this plant to suffer as too much water leads to root rot and eventual death of your plant.

It’s essential to let the soil dry out between watering sessions and use a well-aerated potting mix that drains quickly and a pot with an extensive drainage hole. Improper fertilization is another factor that can lead to a declining creeping fig plant; too little or too much fertilizer will stress the roots and result in poor growth or even death.

Lastly, temperature fluctuations should be avoided as much as possible; sudden temperature changes may shock the roots and stunt their ability to absorb nutrients from the soil, resulting in a weakened state and the eventual demise of your beloved houseplant.

Causes of Creeping Fig Plant Dying: Overwatering, Poor Drainage

Overwatering is a common cause of Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila) dying. If the plant’s soil remains too wet or moist, it can cause a decrease in oxygen levels, stunting root growth. This will prevent the plant from absorbing essential nutrients and moisture, leading to its decline. Overwatering can also lead to root rot, killing a Creeping Fig quickly.

It is best for indoor plants grown outdoors never to be over-watered as they are more susceptible to this issue because of their lack of established roots and low soil quality compared to outdoor garden plants. Poor drainage is another potential cause for a Creeping Fig’s death as it causes standing water around the roots, which prevents them from accessing air and nutrients needed for growth.

To avoid this issue when growing an indoor plant outdoors, ensure that any potting mix used has good drainage properties and that there are holes in the bottom of any planters used so that excess water can easily flow away from the roots.

Symptoms: Wilting Leaves, Soft Stem

Wilting leaves and a soft stem are common symptoms of an unhealthy Creeping Fig (ficus pumila) plant. It is essential to identify the cause of the wilting leaves and soft stem as soon as possible to prevent further damage or death to your indoor plant so that you can offer the proper Ficus pumila care.

Incorrect watering, inadequate light, pests, disease, or temperature fluctuations can cause wilting leaves.

Soft stems may indicate root rot because of over-watering or poor soil drainage. It is also important to note that if your Creeping Fig is grown outdoors, it may be exposed to environmental factors such as extreme temperatures, cold drafts, windy conditions, or even too much sun that could cause the same symptoms.

When you suspect these issues with your Creeping Fig Plant, it is essential to take action quickly to save it from further damage. (Read Philodendron Silver Stripe Vs Brasil)

Preventing Creeping Fig from Dying

Prevention: Dry Soil, Well-Drained Location

When it comes to preventing a ficus pumila from dying, one of the most important factors is its soil. The soil should be kept dry and well-drained to ensure the plant’s root structure remains healthy and can absorb water. It is important not to overwater, as this can cause root rot, which can lead to the death of the plant.

For potted plants, ensure holes in the bottom so excess water can drain. When planting a creeping fig outdoors, select a location with good drainage, such as an area on higher ground or near a slope. This will help keep water away from the roots and reduce their chances of becoming waterlogged or over-saturated.

As for the light requirements for creeping Fig, they are moderate to low. They do best in indirect sunlight, where the plant receives some direct sunlight. Those living in less sunny areas can be moved outdoors during the spring and summer months.

Solutions: Fertilizer, Pruning

Fertilizer is often used to help revive a dying creeping fig. The fertilizer should be applied according to the instructions on the label and tailored to your plant’s specific needs. It’s also essential to ensure that your soil has enough nutrients for your creeping Fig, so check with a local gardening center if you’re unsure.

Pruning is another solution for reviving a dying creeping fig. Pruning can help encourage fresh growth and remove dead or diseased branches that can prevent new growth from occurring.

When pruning, it’s essential not to damage the plant’s root structures or root ball, as this could cause further damage and harm its health. Prune at an angle rather than straight across so that water does not collect in cuts on leaves or branches, which could lead to rot or disease.

If you have a creeping fig plant that isn’t responding to care and is struggling, your plant likely has some disease or insects. If this is the case, the best thing to do is to dispose of the entire plant.

Creeping Fig Pests

Various pests can attack the creeping fig plant, including aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. By thoroughly examining the plant, you can spot the pest/disease.


Small insects called aphids to appear in a variety of hues. On the distorted/curled leaves, aphids can be seen. Eventually, these affected leaves turn yellow. The sap of the creeping fig plant is sucked through the leaves by aphids. The honeydew that these pests then emit draws a variety of fungus (Sooty mold).


Scale insects are related to mealybugs. On the affected plant’s branches, these insects appear as cottony clumps. Mealybugs secrete honeydew, which leads to sooty mold and causes the creeping fig plant’s leaves to turn yellow by sucking the plant sap from it.

Creeping Fig is severely harmed by an infestation. Bugs sucking plant sap out via the leaves cause the leaves to turn pale or yellow. (Read Polka Dot Plant Life Span)

Spider Mites

Little insects called spider mites to produce webcasts on the host plant. The primary indicator of their presence is this. A significant spider mite infestation can severely harm the Creeping Fig. As soon as you notice early indicators of an infestation, take action.

How can pests on creeping figs be treated?

Natural remedies will help you eliminate pests on your creeping Fig. These techniques have been tried on plants by many plant owners, so they are proven as part of Ficus Pumila care.

  • Spritz the affected plant or plant components with water to eliminate the insects. In case of an early infestation, this works well.
  • To find infestations early, hang yellow sticky cards around your creeping Fig.
  • To effectively eliminate the pests, spray the affected plant with a horticulture oil like neem oil. Spray more than once if necessary.
  • In case of a severe infestation, spray insecticidal soap on the affected plant.


When consumed, the milky sap from the creeping ficus plant is poisonous to people and animals. Thus, keep the potted plant as far away from them as you can.

Contact a qualified health expert when you realize a child or animal has consumed anything from the Ficus pumila. And keep an eye out for new symptoms, such as skin irritation.

Problems for Creeping Fig

Creeping Fig Problems


Creeping fig plants prefer a bright area of your home but do not appreciate direct sunlight because it can scorch and burn the leaves.

Aim to give your plant six to eight hours of diffused, indirect light daily. They can also endure periods of low light, although they will undoubtedly grow more slowly and perhaps lose some of their leaves.

One thing to highlight is that the light isn’t sufficient if your plants are not absorbing water as fast.


Plants that produce creeping figs can grow in various soil types as long as the land is well-draining. Any professional, store-bought potting mix is usually a choice.


Maintain consistent moisture in your plant, but avoid letting the roots soak in water. Before watering again, the soil needs to be allowed the surface of the soil be bone dry.

Throughout the creeping Fig’s growing season, you should deep water approximately once per week, but you should reduce your frequency in the fall and winter when the plant goes into partial dormancy. It’s probably getting too much water if you see the plant’s leaves turning brown or falling off.

Temperature and Humidity

True to its tropical heritage, creeping Fig prefers a warm, moist environment. Indoor temperatures should never go below 55 degrees Fahrenheit and should always be maintained between 65 and 85 degrees.

The plant enjoys higher-than-average humidity levels, so either keep it in an area of your home that is already humid, like the kitchen or bathroom, or get a space humidifier.


While creeping figs don’t need to be fertilized to thrive, you can feed them to help their growth rate. If you decide to feed your plant, use a weak liquid fertilizer and apply it once a month in the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter, reduce the frequency to every other month.

Types of Creeping Figs

The Ficus pumila plant’s basic species features green leaves that initially appear as reddish or bronze and progressively turn a deeper green. But because of the hardiness of the climbing fig, growers have developed different varieties, seeking more attractive elliptical shape leaves.

Here are some cultivars to consider:

  • With wide white borders, “Snowflake” has variegated leaves.
  • The leaves on “Minima” are small and ideal for hanging baskets and indoor containers.
  • Small leaves of “Quercifolia” resemble oak leaves in miniature.
  • The leaves of “Sunny Fig” have wide, white edges and are variegated.
  • Formosan creeping Fig (Ficus vaccinioides).


Indoor plants of the Ficus genus should be kept well pruned, so trailing stems are no more than 3 feet long. Be aware that even indoor creeping Fig grow up walls and other structures if you don’t pay attention.

Major pruning for indoor and outdoor potted plants is best done in spring. Outdoor fig ivy can develop scorched leaves because of sun-scald. Lightly “prune” such plants by brushing your hand over the dead leaves to dislodge them.

Growing Creeping Fig

Propagating Climbing Fig Ficus Plants

These Ficus Pumila plants rarely flower indoors, so collecting seeds for propagation is impractical. (Learn How Long To Run Soaker Hose For Tomatoes)

However, Creeping Fig is easy to propagate through stem cuttings. Wear gloves before handling creeping fig plants, leaves, or stem cuttings.

Here’s how:

  1. Take a 4- to 6-inch cutting from a new growth of this pretty hardy plant early in the spring and summer when the plant starts active development.
  2. In a small pot with sterile potting soil, plant the clipping. (The rooting hormone is not required.)
  3. Place the pots in a warm, humid environment with enough light that is bright but indirect.
  4. Put the new plants pots in a transparent plastic bag. You can also use a frame covered in plastic wrap to maintain higher humidity and stop the creeping fig leaves drying out.
  5. When fresh growth appears, you can transfer to a longer-lasting container for a few months.

Potting and Repotting Ficus Pumila Creeping Fig

Creeping Fig grows typically well in any well-draining pot filled with standard commercial potting mix. Any pot material will do, though lightweight plastic is a good choice for hanging plants.

Repot the plant whenever the plant’s roots are evident growing through the drainage holes—this may be necessary as part of your annual repotting task.

Instead of potting up to a larger container because these plants do best when they are root-bound, you can cut the root ball back into the original container and fill it with new potting soil.


When fig ivy freeze and the plant goes into a semi-dormant stage during the winter, feeding should be withheld. Throughout the winter, even a plant inside, such as your potted plants, slows their growth. Less watering is also recommended, but not where mature leaves start falling.


Provide as much warm, humid air, lots of even moisture, and a strong indirect light source as you can for a healthy creeping fig plant (but not direct sunlight). Although it’s unlikely that your indoor plant will ever bloom, even highly healthy and well-cared-for plants will probably only last a few years in their pots. This is because their root structures are built for aggressive and spreading growth.

If you want to keep your creeping fig plant around for longer than its natural indoor life, propagate it every other year. That way, a new one will wait to take its spot when one plant declines.

If you choose to plant it in your outdoor garden, you must prune creeping Fig consistently to ensure it doesn’t take over nearby plants.

Why Is My Creeping Fig Dying