How to Make Topiaries


Ivy topiaries are created by wrapping ivy around metal forms. Tree topiaries are created by pruning the trees into a specific shape. Topiaries made from ivy are generally used in interior design, while tree topiaries are usually found in landscapes. Designing topiaries can be a somewhat daunting task for first-timers, but with a little dedication, the art of topiary can be a do-it-yourself project.

Ivy Topiary

Step 1

Select the shape of the topiary that you would like to create. Metal forms can be purchased at garden centers or craft stores, or you can bend your own simple shape with electrical wire and pliers.

Step 2

Plant the ivy in a container that you will want to keep it in. Depending on the size of the container, the ivy made not need an extra base, but if it does, add a mixture of potting soil and peat moss around the base of the plant.

Step 3

Fill in between the wires of the form with peat moss. This will make the form less noticeable when placed in the plant. Once filled, insert the form into the ivy plant.

Step 4

Choose a strand of ivy and wrap it around the metal form starting at the stem. Remove the leaves from the portion of the ivy that is wrapped around the form's stem, but keep the leaves on the portion that is wrapped around the decorative part of the form.

Step 5

Pluck off any dead or dry leaves to enhance the appearance of the ivy topiary. Leaves should be easy to remove with your fingertips.

Tree Topiary

Step 1

Choose a miniature tree with a good central branch that stands perfectly upright and has plenty of foliage. Select a design for the tree based on the original shape. A triangular-shaped tree will make a good cone, while a shrub-shaped tree will make a good globe-shaped topiary.

Step 2

Use sharp pruning shears to trim down branches into the chosen shape. If you are making a cone, start at the top and work downward. If you are making a globe or ball, cut around the middle of the ball shape first and work outward from the middle, curving the sides into a rounded shape.

Step 3

Take a step back and inspect your work as you are cutting the topiary tree. The majority of topiary cutting is done by sight alone.

Things You'll Need

  • Ivy plant
  • Container
  • Potting soil
  • Peat moss
  • Metal form or electrical wire and pliers
  • Small tree
  • Pruning shears


  • How to Make a Topiary
  • Topiary Joe
Keywords: tree topiary, ivy topiary, topiary pruning

About this Author

Alexis Lawrence has been writing professionally for six years and has been published on Associated Content. She is also a freelance filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. Lawrence attended the University of Central Florida where she earned a Bachelor of Science in English.