Last updated: November 18, 2021

What Does Creeping Mean?

Creeping is a term that applies to a plant’s growth pattern. A creeping plant grows low to the ground, and sends down roots at intervals from its main body. These anchor the plant, and also provide additional nourishment and access to water.

Most vines have a creeping growth pattern, but other plants do as well. Other examples of plants that creep include creeping thyme, phlox, mint, bamboo, potentilla, strawberries, honeysuckle, sweet potato vines (ornamental), wild ginger, plums, and wild roses to name only a few.


Maximum Yield Explains Creeping

Plants may have any number of growth patterns. Some are upright, standing alone and unaided. Others form very close to the ground. Yet others have a creeping growth pattern. This refers to a plant that grows vertically along the ground, sending roots down periodically from the stem into the earth.

There are many different examples of plants with creeping growth patterns, as well as plants that can adopt a creeping growth pattern depending on environmental conditions. For instance, poison ivy can grow as a vine, but it can also grow as an upright plant depending on where it is growing. With that being said, most plants that creep are considered vines – morning glory, for instance.

It should be noted that not all creeping plants spread by growing aboveground. For instance, some can spread through stem growth, while others spread by roots (brambles actually spread by roots). Others spread by runners. Some begin with an upright growth pattern, but then drop to the ground and creep.

Eliminating creeping plants can be problematic simply because it can be impossible to locate and remove all of a plant’s root structure. In these instances, dangerously strong herbicides are used in an attempt to kill a spreading/creeping plant’s parts.


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