Wall Covering Creeping Fig Questions

15 years ago

I am considering covering up an ugly old cinder block walls that surround my back yard. The ground that butts up against the wall is concrete. Now I was told I can drill holes in the concrete and stick the plants in the holes and let them "creep" up the walls.

My questions are: Will this work? And how big should the holes be and how far apart should I place the plants for them to be able to cover a 6 foot tall wall? I would appreciate any help.

Thank you.

Comments (24)

  • julia_123
    15 years ago

    I would recommend planting a scarlet runner bean vine...they grow like crazy and love to cover things. :) Plus, butterflies love the flowers and I believe that the beans are edible. I would get 2 or 3 big pots and plant the vines in there. My only concern with drilling holes in concrete and sticking the plants in there is that there is no possibility for the roots to grow and spread and there would be no drainage...

  • Ron_B
    15 years ago

    The bigger the better, using spacing recommended for creeping fig planted in open ground. This plant will definitely cover masonry, even growing upside down (on a ceiling).

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  • watergrass
    15 years ago

    I just want to add a note of caution if you decide to go with the creeping fig - this plant is a monster! One year, I planted 3 vines along a 5' high by 60' wide wall, in about 2 seasons, they managed to cover my entire wall, turned the corner to the adjacent wall, AND they jumped over to completely cover my neighbor side of the wall, too. Nothing can beat the look of a creeping fig covered wall, but unless you plan to trim it regularly, it can get pretty messy. It took us (and the neighbor) days to take out the middle vine. I understand a single creeping fig vine can cover an entire castle. No wonder the description says that its growth is "indefinitely"

  • thebigsee
    15 years ago

    I planted creeping fig on my cinderblock walls -- it was strange as it started to grow but never would grab onto the wall and would fall down -- then, about 3 years in, it started grabbing and has covered about 60% of my original plan. It is growing vigorously now but not kudzu-like -- I'm in L.A. so it gets limited water. If I was in someplace where it rains alot, I can only imagine how fast they could grow.

    Question -- does this plant form from cuttings easily? I'd like to plant it in another area and thought I'd give it a shot . . .

  • jeanneckelly
    14 years ago

    I'm in LA as well and my creeping fig won't attach either. Does anyone have any advice on coercing it to attach itself and/or how to realistically keep it up until it does grab hold on it's own. We have a mesh net up now but it's hard to keep it close enough to the wall to really work and it completely prohibits edging. Help! Thanks!

  • padilla90242_AIM_COM
    12 years ago

    I also live in L.A. and ourS is also growing slowly.

    You need to water the wall that you'd like them to attach to. Preferably in the evening.
    We have two walls and the one that has the least sun exposure is the one that we've succeeded with.

  • jcf3682
    11 years ago

    I live in the San Joaquin Valley just North of LA in California. My father and I have been messing around with Creeping Fig Vines for about 8yrs. Here are a few FAQs that might help people out. Here in California things like block walls get VERY hot this doesn't entice the vine to cling, also the lye in the masonry repels the roots/vine. So that might be why some have had successes with constantly watering their block walls down, keeping it cool and washing that chalky white layer of lye away. We have found that the best way to promote growth on a block wall is to use cement anchors and attach 2x4's to the wall then bolt wire mesh or fencing to the 2x4's. This gives the plant something to hang on and extends the life of the wall (somewhat). For the person who asks about drilling holes in her cement; my father did just that about 5 yrs ago in almost the exact type of situation. As long as you use a coring machine and drill about 6" to 10" (bigger = better) diameter holes that go all the way through the cement to the soil you should be fine. Check first to make sure there arenÂt any GAS LINES, or any other lines where you plan to do this. As for wooden fencing, that's different. I have it on my wooden fence and I love it. My fence is also supported by steel pipes not wooden 4x4's. The vine is 'eating' the fence and promoting deterioration. So my wooden fence shouldn't last more than 5-6 yrs before a good wind takes it down. I accept this and plan on replacing it anyway with a vynle fence. If you want to keep your wooden fencing as long as possible don't plant vines on it. Hope this was helpful.

  • cactusgardener
    10 years ago

    I have a question: I planted creeping fig on block wall fence about 7 yrs. ago and it grew like Topsy; now this summer it just died! Will it come back or should I chop the dead stuff down and start all over? I live in Tucson and baby, it's hot this summer! But newer creeping vines on another part of the wall are doing great and they all get the same amount of water from a drip.

  • lspires001_cfl_rr_com
    9 years ago

    i planted 30 of these for ground cover last march and they were just starting to take off when we had a 1 day freeze. i thought these were cold hardy plants but they all turned brown down to the ground

  • peter_shair17_gmail_com
    9 years ago

    Question; I have an old rusty metal fence (wire is about spagetti thickness), with metal wire approx. 2" x 2" on center. If I plant creeping fig and intertwine the existing vines through the fence, should the vines be expected to grab hold, grow, and eventually cover the fence?

  • Justin Wiley
    4 years ago

    Suggestions on how to have creeping stick and grow on a vinyl privacy fence?

  • bethcorcoran
    4 years ago

    I have an ugly midcentury modern decorative cinder block wall that someone put in front of my Med Miami Beach home. I want to plant fig on the inside and have it creep through to the street side, hoping that it will eventually cover this like panels. My landscaper believes that creeping fig will only grow on solid wall and won't work on this type of open application. Any comments or suggestions? Im open to other vines also.

  • Kelley Dockrey
    4 years ago

    Ithe should have no problem growing on your cinder blocks. Is it not a solid surface? You may want to help it attach to the wall by using screws and nylon filament. The filament is strung between two screwa and then one pokes the vine between the filament and the cinder block.

  • Kelley Dockrey
    4 years ago

    Do people use electric hedgers to trim their creeping fig? My gardener trims it with a hedge. While it does work, the leaves of creeping are left damaged and unsightly until I go in and trim the vine with shears and the dead leaves. I have about 150' of a 6' block wall covered in creeping fig. I'm adding another 80' of a 6' block wall for the creeping fig to cover.

    Since the new 80' wall is not connected to the other wall, I will be starting with new creeping fig plants. In respect to thsee new plants, I want to plant them in 6" PVC pipe that will extend into the soil about 4'. My intent is to have the roots grow down and then out. Ibe noted that the roots of of my existing creeping tend to grow out and pretty close to the soil surface, which is not an issue given where they are. The new wall is along a drive way where the roots could damage it unless they grow down first.

    Has anybody used any method to control the creeping fig roots?

  • alleda
    last year

    Will Creeping Fig ruin Hardie Plank concrete siding on my house?

  • Olivia and Mark Shipp
    5 months ago

    I have a 6 foot tall concrete wall, the bottom of the wall is a concrete ground level surface. At the top of the wall is soil- hence the wall is holding up the dirt behind it. Can I plant creeping vine in the soil above the wall with the intent of the vine climbing down the wall?

  • Kelley Dockrey
    5 months ago

    you can. it will help if it is a sunny location. it will take longer and you'll need to direct it to grow over the ledge and down the wall. it will take longer than if we're growing up the retaining wall.

  • Kelley Dockrey
    5 months ago

    yes, creeping fig will grow grow down a retaining wall as you have described. I replied earlier to your message and it does appear here.

  • ruthann56
    4 months ago

    We have a creeping fig that was attached to our house. We had to take it off in order to paint as it was pulling off the paint. We killed it and let it die attached to the wall and then pulled it down. However, there are still marks all over the house. Is there any way to remove these? We have been using a pressure washer but it is taking forever and it pulls off everything down to the plaster. Is there a chemical that will remove the sticky base from the wall? Thanks

  • Kelley Dockrey
    3 months ago

    Try scrubbing the surface with a mixture of TSP and water.

  • Brian Lorber
    2 months ago

    I live in warm dry San Diego and planted 4 creeping figs approximately 15 feet apart to cover a cinder block wall. The first year the growth was slow and the creepers were not attaching to the wall. I waited for the second year thinking that the "First Year It Sleeps, Second Year It Creeps" thing was the cause. However, I found that there is a direct correlation to growing and attaching to the amount of water it receives. This year instead of running the drip irrigation on that zone often I took a cheap plastic storage bin that you can get from a home improvement store for $5 and drilled a small hole (3/16 ish) in the bottom of it, filled it with water and have been using it to deeply water each plant. The results have been miraculous. I saw new reddish growth within a few days of initial watering.

    For the limbs that were not attaching I taped them to the wall at the very tip of the limb with Gorilla Tape. I found the adhesive for this brand works better than generic duct tape. I put a piece of paper towel under the part of the tape that would touch the plant so as not damage the plant as it grew and during removal. I was blown away that the plant corrects it's growth pattern very quickly. I only needed to leave the tape for about 2 weeks. All plants are growing aggressively now and I am very pleased with the results. Once fully established I feel the drip irrigation will be able to keep up with water needs of the plants.

  • Kelley Dockrey
    2 months ago

    you may want to use some screws and fishing line to help the vine attach to the wall. i sud this and it helped. However, I'm in the process of removing the creeping fig that i helped attach to my wall. The vine is never really attached to the stuccoed cinder block wall. Ive be able to just peel it off after clipping the fishing line. Now, the roots are firmly in place and some have a 4" diameter. I found it odd that vine I could roll it like sod. the reason that I removed the vine is because it became too thick after 15 years.