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Instructions to Make a Wire Topiary Frame

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

Topiary frames allow you to grow plants, indoors or out, into ornamental shapes that the plant isn't capable of on its own. Made of wire, the frame offers a form for quick growing plants to climb on where they eventually take on the shape of the frame. English ivy and other quick-growing vines are suitable for this purpose, as they are simple to train to the frame. Create your own topiary frame with heavy wire or a coat hanger and begin experiencing the art of training vines.

Mix one part sand with one part potting soil and fill a clay planter with the mixture. Choose a large planter with a larger topiary and a medium-sized planter with smaller topiary.

Bend the wire into a simple shape, such as a circle or heart. Leave a 6-inch length of straight wire on one end of the shape to make a stake, so you can push it into the soil.

Push the straight wire into the potting soil and firm the soil around it so it is stable. Add more soil if needed to hold the topiary frame in place.

Dig up the roots around each strand of ivy you are using. Plant the ivy strands around the base of the wire frame to the same depth they were planted at in their previous pot. Water thoroughly immediately after transplanting.

Wrap each strand of ivy around the frame. Tie the strands to the topiary frame loosely with cloth twine.

Guide the ivy around the frame as it continues to grow. Trim off side shoots with a pair of gardening shears to maintain the topiary shape. Pinch off the tip of each vine once the topiary is covered in ivy to encourage fuller growth and inhibit further twining.

Fertilize with a houseplant fertilizer every three weeks, following label instructions for application. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, watering as necessary.


Things You Will Need

  • Pot
  • Sand
  • Potting soil
  • Wire
  • Ivy
  • Plant ties
  • Fertilizer


  • Use planters that have drainage holes in the bottom. Clay or stoneware work best as they are heavy enough to support the topiary frame.
  • If using a coat hanger, bend the hanger hook straight to use as the stake and bend the rest of the hanger into your desired shape.
  • Create fuller frames with chicken wire. Make the basic shape from wire then cover in chicken wire so the plants have more surface to grow over.

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.