How to Make a Topiary Vine


A topiary is a plant, usually a shrub, trained by frequent pruning until it resembles a particular shape. Another way of making a topiary is to train a vine over a three-dimensional wire structure that resembles an animal or geometric shape and is hollow inside. A three-dimensional frame makes a topiary that can be viewed from all sides. You can make a three-dimensional wire structure or you can buy them already made. Vines appropriate for making three-dimensional topiary vines are English ivy, honeysuckle and bittersweet. Topiaries are easy to create and they add visual interest to gardens.

Step 1

Place the three-dimensional topiary frame in the garden. A shady or partial sun location is best for a topiary vine because the topiary must stay damp as the vine begins to root within the sphagnum moss that fills the hollow area inside the three-dimensional topiary frame.

Step 2

Soak the sphagnum moss with water mixed with the recommended amount of water-soluble fertilizer in a bucket.

Step 3

Fill the hollow area of the three-dimensional topiary frame with wet sphagnum moss. The hollow section of the three-dimensional topiary frame should be completely stuffed full of saturated sphagnum moss when you have finished filling the frame.

Step 4

Plant the topiary vine at the base of the topiary. Insert sections of the vine that have developed roots into the sphagnum moss. Secure the vine with more damp sphagnum moss by pushing the sphagnum moss into the frame around the roots of the vine sections.

Step 5

Wrap and intertwine new vine growth within and around the topiary form as the vine grows around and within the topiary. Once the topiary form is completely covered with the topiary vine, the vine will begin to grow outward.

Step 6

Use garden shears to trim the vines growing within and around the topiary form as needed to keep the topiary vine in shape and clinging to the topiary form. Insert additional sphagnum moss into the form as needed for stability.

Step 7

Add water to the topiary frame covered with vines and filled with sphagnum moss as often as needed to keep the topiary vine and sphagnum moss inside the frame damp.

Step 8

Soak the vine and sphagnum moss every two weeks with a mixture of water and water-soluble fertilizer at the standard strength recommended on the fertilizer label.

Tips and Warnings

  • Growth of the vine will stop or decline if the sphagnum moss inside the topiary frame is allowed to dry out.

Things You'll Need

  • Three-dimensional topiary frame
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Bucket
  • Vine
  • Garden shears
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Wooden stakes (optional)
  • Wire (optional)


  • Hortikids: How to Make and Grow a Topiary
  • Miramar Nurseries: Topiaries Require Work, but are Worth the Effort
  • Thrifty Fun: Plant Art: Topiary Design
Keywords: topiary vines, making a topiary from a vine, vining topiaries

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.