Are you looking for an interesting addition to your home's décor? Try a houseplant topiary. They appear to be difficult to make and maintain, but beginners can create a beautiful inexpensive potted topiary in just a few hours. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.
Plants to Use
Many different plants can be trained and formed into a shape. The best types to use are those with long vines. Ivy, scientific name Hedera, is most commonly used for houseplant topiaries because of the lush green color, year-round beauty and fast growth. No matter which type ivy of you choose, with proper care it can grow into a full, luscious topiary.
Other Suggested Climbing Plants:
- Creeping Fig
The steps you follow to start a topiary differ depending on the type of frame you use:
- Three-dimensional topiaries require you to stuff the frame with sphagnum moss.
- Two-dimensional topiaries require you to train the plant to wrap around the frame.
Tools & Materials
- Snips or sharp scissors
- Topiary frame
- Nylon fishing line (12-14 lb.)
- Sphagnum (Peat) Moss (3-dimensional frame)
- Bucket of water
- Pot with a drainage hole
- Potting soil
- Black hairpins (3-dimensional frame)
Creating a Topiary
We'll use a traditional three-dimensional ball topiary in our example:
- Soak sphagnum moss in water for 15 minutes or until it's completely saturated.
- Fill the pot with potting soil. Place the topiary frame in the center of the pot. Tightly pack soil around the frame to secure — the topiary will be top-heavy once it's filled with moss.
- Squeeze some of the excess water out of the moss. The moss should be moist enough to make a ball. Pack the moss into the cavities of the frame. Hold moss in place by tightly wrapping fishing line around the form. The moss will be dripping wet. Don't worry — the moisture helps hold the moss together.
- Carefully separate individual vines from the main plant. Make sure to keep each vine's root system intact. Use your finger to make a hole in the moss before inserting the roots of each vine. Be careful not to push the moss out of the frame.
- Now it's time to give your topiary a hairdo. Use hairpins to secure the ivy to the moss as you wrap it around the form.
- Use shorter vines to cover smaller sections of the form. Use longer strands of the plant to place in the potting soil and wrap around the frame post to grow upward.
- Place your topiary in a partially shaded area. Most ivy does not do well in full sun.
Caring for your Topiary
Topiaries look best with only two inches of growth past the frame. Trim and pinch your topiary for optimal results. With proper care, your ivy should completely cover the topiary form in six months.
- Water and mist your topiary on a regular basis, but do not overwater. Overwatering causes root rot. Don't forget to water all parts of the topiary.
- Use hairpins to hold the vines in place as they grow.
- Maintain your topiary based on recommendations for the type of plant.
- Feed monthly with soluble plant food.
- Check for spider mites. Spider mites are ivy's most common enemy. Clear signs that you have spider mites are webbing in your topiary and small yellow spots on leaves. If you see any, spray with insect spray that kills mites and eggs for houseplants and gardens.