Topiary Planting Instructions


Topiaries can be a beautiful addition to the inside or outside of your home. They are not a certain species of plant, but rather the art of creating shapes using living plants. They have been around for hundreds of years. By placing a form in a container, you can shape and prune plants to wind around the forms until you have the desired shape. It takes a long time to create them, but making a topiary plant can be very rewarding. The best plants to use are holly, ivy, hydrangea, boxwood and rosemary, because they respond well to trimming.

Step 1

Get a plant pot that will be able to handle the topiary plant's expected height. Use the topiary form as a tool to determine the size of the container. If you're making a topiary that is at least 4 feet tall, put it in a 24-inch container.

Step 2

Spread enough compost and potting soil in the bottom of the container to hold up the form. Set the topiary in the center, straight up and down. Wiggle it to make sure the soil holds the topiary form steady.

Step 3

Fill the rest of the container with soil, leaving the top 3 inches clear. Bury the roots of the topiary plant at the bottom of the form. Cover the roots with soil.

Step 4

Water the topiary until the soil is moist. Check with your finger to see if the soil is damp all the way down to the roots.

Step 5

Feed the plant a liquid fertilizer. This promotes faster growth. Follow the application instructions on the label.

Step 6

Wrap the vines around the topiary form to control the direction of growth. You want to encourage its growth without pulling too tightly. If it won't stay in place on its own, tie the plant to the form with green dental floss.

Step 7

Water the topiary plant whenever it feels dry to the touch. You can either spray it with a hose or dunk it in a pail of water. Make sure it remains moist, but do not let the plant sit in water.

Step 8

Put the topiary in a place where it will get bright sunlight. It can be stored on a windowsill or outside during the warm weather.

Step 9

Keep the topiary pruned. Cut off stems that are growing outside of the desired form. This will help it form the correct shape, while also keeping the topiary dense.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not put topiaries in dark spots, because they will not get the light they need to grow. Avoid overwatering topiary plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant pot
  • Topiary form
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Shovel
  • Vining plants
  • Hose or kitchen sprayer
  • Liquid fertilizer
  • Green dental floss


  • Potted People and Their Potted Pets: How to Make a Topiary
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  • P. Allen Smith: Making an Ivy Topiary
Keywords: topiary planting instructions, plant a topiary, grow a topiary

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.