Wall Covering Creeping Fig Questions

gloveJune 20, 2005

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.

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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...

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 3:32PM
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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).

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 5:50PM
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watergrass(z9 CA)

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"

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 12:24PM
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Mine must be a slow grower then,lol. Its been in the ground 3+ years and has just begun to make a move.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 4:45PM
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thebigsee(L.A., CA USA)

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 . . .

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 4:50PM
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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!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 10:16PM
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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.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 3:12AM
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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.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 6:21PM
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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.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 6:03PM
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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

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 11:22AM
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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?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 12:10PM
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