Ficus petiolaris aka Petiolated Fig


Ficus petiolaris, also known as the petiolate fig and rock fig, is a fig plant that is native to Mexico, specifically from Baja California and Sonora to Oaxaca. It can grow up to 25 meters in tropical canyons, but can also remain dwarfed as a shrub or stunted as a dwarf shrub when freeze damaged at higher elevations. This plant is unique due to its bulbous base, known as a caudex, which persists for many years in cultivation. The leaves are heart-shaped and glaucous green above, with a tuft of whitish hairs on the vein axils underneath. The flowers and fruits are green with red and velvety spots. The foliage is evergreen, but can also be drought-deciduous. The bark of the plant is papery and yellow, while the leaves are purple-veined and cordate, giving it a striking appearance. Ficus plants are known to produce figs and are pollinated by tiny wasps that use the fruits as a safe place to raise their young. It should be noted that Ficus plants contain toxic latex, so it's important to be cautious if you have children or pets. Other common names for Ficus petiolaris include the Baja California rock fig, Palmer wild fig, and Brandegee wild fig. This plant grows best with moderate water and partial shade, and is often found growing on sheer canyon walls, cliffs, and mountain rocks, where its roots cascade down the surface as if melted and poured over the rock face. It can also be grown in desert vivaria and trained to look like bonsai.

Common names

Petiolated Fig, Petiolate Fig, Rock Fig, Ficus Palmeri

How to care for Petiolated Fig


Are you up for a challenge? Petiolated Fig will test your gardening skills and require extra care and attention to thrive.


Petiolated Fig should be watered regularly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.


Petiolated Fig loves a well-draining soil. Perlite and vermiculite help with drainage, while coco coir adds organic matter, so a good potting soil mix will have all three. You can improve store-bought soil by adding some perlite to it.


To ensure optimal growth, the Petiolated Fig prefers bright diffused light for 6-8 hours each day. Insufficient light can result in slow growth and leaf drop, so it's important to find a well-lit location for this plant. Place it near a window, within a distance of 1 meter (3 feet), to enhance its potential for thriving.


During the cold period, it is common for Petiolated Fig to go dormant and their growth may slow down, so waterings should be spaced out more during this period.


Ploi's records do not contain confirmed information on the toxicity of this particular plant. In the event of accidental ingestion of plant material with questionable toxicity by you, a family member, or a pet, it is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional.


The Petiolated Fig is not in need of supplementary humidity. Most water is taken in by plants through their roots, thus soil watering is the most efficient way to provide humidity to your plants.


The Petiolated Fig should be repotted either when it doubles in size or annually, whichever comes first. Providing new potting soil with all the vital nutrients annually is enough to support the growth of the plant, and thus, there is no need for fertilizer. Remember that plants derive their energy from the sun, not fertilizer.

Region of origin

Petiolated Fig’s native range is worldwide Tropics.

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