Making a topiary is the ancient art of creating shapes out of plants and dates back to the Egyptians. Shaping plants with garden shears is the known way of creating a topiary in the garden, yet using topiary forms found in most garden stores is desirable when making a topiary for indoor use or for quick results. Using ivy for a topiary is preferred since it grows quickly and vines can be trained onto the form from the start. Make your own ivy topiary to save money and use as a home decoration, placed on a patio or for decorating dinner tables for special events.
Select a container that is approximately 12 inches in diameter to allow enough room for the ivy to grow. Any size container can be used depending on how large or small the ivy topiary will be.
Add potting soil to the container to within 1 inch of the rim. Dig a hole that is twice as large as the ivy's root ball.
Plant the English ivy plant in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the top of the soil. Fill in the hole and water well to moisten the soil.
Add a topiary form to the container by spreading apart the bottom of the form to open it up, then placing it over the ivy plant. Push the form down into the soil at least 4 to 6 inches deep to secure. Tamp the soil down around the form to firmly hold in place.
Wrap the ivy stems around the topiary form by pulling one stem up at a time and winding it loosely, in and out, through the wire. Use floral ties if necessary to help hold the stems in place. As the plant grows, continue winding the stems upward and around the form, covering it completely.
Keep the ivy topiary in a sunny location, watering about two to three times a week just to keep the soil moist. Add a liquid balanced fertilizer, 5-5-5, once a month and water in well. Trim off any side shoots that do not wind around the topiary form well.