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How hard is it to create a living topiary?

I've seen a lot of artificial topiaries being sold, but I'd prefer a live one. How hard is it to create a living topiary?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

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:

  1. Fill the ceramic pot two-thirds full with potting soil, and insert the wire prong on the topiary frame into the soil.
  2. Remove the ivy from its pot. 
  3. Cut the root ball by slicing down between the stems using a sharp knife.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Clip off all the leaves on the trunk section.
  7. Repeat the procedure with the remaining stems until you've covered all the wires of the globe.
  8. As the ivy grows, pinch new growth occasionally, and clip off errant stems to keep the globe shape dense and round.

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