The Q&A Archives: Problematic and out of control Trailing Ficus with figs

Question: We have a retaining wall behind our house. My neighbor next door years ago planted this species of Ficus with inedible figs that is growing out of control along the walls. It is impossible to tame. We have tried cutting it back. The roots that travel in and out of the wall are at least an inch in thickness and the branches sprawl out at least 6

Answer: Since the plant belongs to your neighbor you really can't kill it off (which would be the easiest solution) but you can place a barrier between the roots and your planting beds. There are several types of barriers available, especially from bamboo nurseries. Or, you can simply dig a trench between your property line and your neighbor's and set fiberglass or galvanized panels on edge in the trench. These panels are manufactured for use as patio roofing and are lightweight and come in 8', 10' and 12' long 24" panels. If you set them on edge they will stop roots from penetrating. Best wishes with your garden!

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