How to Make a Vine Topiary


Topiary is the ancient art of forming plants into shapes. Vine topiaries are made using pre-formed wire frames and usually grown as small house plants. Ivy is most commonly used to create vine topiaries because the plant is green year round and grows quickly. Creating a vine topiary is easy, a little messy and fun. You can make a vine topiary and keep it indoors to enjoy all year long. Use a frame of any shape that you like for your vine topiary.

Step 1

Fill the planter pot with all-purpose potting soil. Place your topiary frame in the center of the planter pot, packing the soil tightly around it.

Step 2

Soak the sphagnum moss in water for about 15 minutes. Squeeze the excess water out of the moss, and then pack it inside the topiary frame. Use string or fishing line to hold the moss in place.

Step 3

Make a hole with your finger in the sphagnum moss. Insert the roots of the vine into the hole. Repeat this for all of the individual vines until you have enough vines to begin covering the topiary frame.

Step 4

Plant the longer vines in the potting soil at the base of the topiary frame. Wrap the vines around the frame. Secure the vines to the sphagnum moss as you wrap them using hair pins. Wrap the shorter vines to cover the smaller sections of the topiary. Wrap the longer vines upward to train them to grow up the topiary frame and cover the larger sections of the topiary.

Step 5

Water your vine topiary once per week or as needed to keep the sphagnum moss and potting soil most. Do not over-water, this may lead to root rot. Mist the vine topiary three times per week using a spray bottle filled with water. Feed your vine topiary once per month with a liquid plant fertilizer, following the dosing instructions on the package.

Step 6

Pinch back and trim your vine topiary regularly to maintain only 2 inches of growth past the topiary frame. You'll likely need to begin trimming your vine topiary after about six months, when the vines have covered the topiary from completely.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you're using ivy vines, be sure to place your topiary in partial shade, as ivy doesn't tolerate full sunlight. Never let the vine topiary to dry out.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium-sized pot with drainage hole
  • All-purpose potting soil
  • Topiary frame
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Ivy plants
  • Hair pins
  • Liquid plant fertilizer
  • Water spray bottle


  • Lowe's: Making a Houseplant Topiary

Who Can Help

  • University of Wisconsin: Creating a Topiary
Keywords: make ivy topiary, ivy topiary tips, create ivy topiaries

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.