Experts and BHG readers answer.
How hard is it to create a living topiary?
Topiary is an elegant way to dress up even the most common houseplants, and you can create one in a couple of hours. If you choose one of the more easy-care houseplants, your topiary will require minimal maintenance. For your first topiary, use ivy as your base plant. To make an ivy topiary, you'll need the following:
- Potted ivy with at least five 24-inch stems
- Wire globe topiary frame
- Sharp knife
- Heavy terra-cotta or ceramic container
- Potting soil
- Clippers or scissors
Follow these easy steps to create your own topiary:
- Fill the ceramic pot two-thirds full with potting soil, and insert the wire prong on the topiary frame into the soil.
- Remove the ivy from its pot.
- Cut the root ball by slicing down between the stems using a sharp knife.
- Reassemble the divided root ball around the base of the frame so the trunk of the frame is centered. If needed, add more potting soil.
- Twine one of the long ivy stems tightly in a spiral up the trunk of the frame, then wind it through the globe at the top.
- Clip off all the leaves on the trunk section.
- Repeat the procedure with the remaining stems until you've covered all the wires of the globe.
- As the ivy grows, pinch new growth occasionally, and clip off errant stems to keep the globe shape dense and round.