Things Are Getting Creepy
|Ficus pumila, or creeping fig on a wall.|
We had the problem: What is a fast growing, low profile, self adhering vertical climber that can tolerate acidic soil and is not toxic? The answer ended up being Ficus pumila, or creeping fig!
How Creeping Fig GrowsCreeping fig can be grown as either a ground cover or a vertical cover. The creeping fig grows
|Ficus pumila, creeping fig fruit|
That is, until it reaches the limit of it's vertical potential. When the creeper is done growing tall, it starts sprouting side shoots, which produce fruit.
Many sites will say that the ficus pumila fruit is toxic, but that is not true. EatTheWeeds has an article that details the preparation and consumption of the creeping fig fruit.
|Espalier apple tree|
Come spring, the trees should bloom, leaf out and grow to provide some shade for the creeping fig as the temperature rises. In turn, the creeping fig reduces reflective heat during the blazing summers which should benefit the trees.
When the trees return to dormancy in the fall, the creeping fig will receive more sunshine in the cooler weather. At least, that's the plan. We're crossing our fingers!