When you think of topiaries, you may imagine formal English gardens with hedges that have been carved in fanciful shapes worthy of Alice in Wonderland. Topiaries date back to Roman times, when landscapers were known as topiarus. Although topiaries were once only enjoyed by the very wealthy, today almost anyone can train an ivy plant into a topiary.
Clean and sterilize your decorative container with a solution of bleach and water. Rinse the pot thoroughly.
Cover the drainage hole of the container with mesh screen. The screen will allow the water to drain from the pot while still holding the soil in the container.
Fill the pot with sterilized potting soil.
Remove the ivy from the original container. Break up the root ball with your fingers. Using your garden trowel, remove the potting soil from the center of the container. Place the root ball in the hole, and cover with potting soil.
Water the plant well. Allow the soil to dry out in between watering.
Insert the topiary form into the center of the decorative container.
Wrap the ivy around the topiary form. Secure the ivy to the form using floral tape, floral twists, or floral wire. Cut the ends of the floral wire with wire cutters.
Continue to wrap new growth around your topiary form as it grows. Pinch off dead leaves and unwanted growth where it occurs.