Forming plants into various geometrical shapes either by cutting or training along a shaped wire is gaining popularity among gardeners. Although silk plants can be used in making topiaries, the use of living plants gives such energy and natural beauty to a topiary that it is well worth the extra time spent in creating these masterpieces. Ivy is the most commonly used plant in creating topiaries because it is easy to work with and grows quickly, therefore allowing you to see the results of your efforts more quickly.
Choose a container for your ivy topiary. Typically a four to six-inch ceramic flower pot works well. Fill the container with a good quality potting soil that is well draining, remove your ivy plant from it's container and plant in the new flower pot. Water to keep the soil moist but do not over water. Ivy does not like to stand in water.
Carefully place an 8-inch wooden dowel into the soil slightly off center of the ivy's root ball; push the dowel clear to the bottom of the flower pot so it is well secured. Place a four-inch floral foam ball onto the top end of the wooden dowel so it is centered. Be careful not to push the dowel through the ball.
Wind a couple of the ivy stems up around the wooden dowel; secure at the base of the ball with floral pins. Wind another couple ivy stems around the wooden dowel the opposite way of the first ones; secure these stems with floral pins.Continue winding more stems around the dowel, two at a time and going in opposite directions of the ones before; secure the stems to the base of the ball with floral pins.
Cover the foam ball with the loose ends of the ivy by wrapping them across the ball and securing on the other side of the ball with floral pins. Continue crossing the loose ends over the ball until it is covered. As your ivy grows you will be able to work more stems up around the ball making it fuller as the plant grows.
Keep your ivy plant in a sunny location such as in front of a picture window. Water when soil feels dry and be careful of over watering. Mist your plant once a week to keep the humidity high helping it to grow better. Use a liquid all purpose fertilizer once a month to feed your plant.