How to Make a Topiary Tree

A topiary tree is a fun and elegant way to spruce up any yard space or garden. In this easy to follow guide I’ll teach you how to create your own topiary tree to help your garden come alive. While the process is fairly simple, the finished product will look professionally done and all your friends will wonder where you bought this amazing piece of art. Imagine how you’ll feel telling them you made it yourself.

What You’ll Need

  • At least one vining plant, two or three will add fullness and help the plants take form more quickly. A common choice is English Ivy; it’s fairly easy to take care of and produces beautiful topiary sculptures.
  • A pre-shaped topiary form or plastic coated electrical wire, I suggest it be around 19-gauge.
  • Sheers
  • Pliers (if you’re forming your own topiary shapes)
  • Sphagnum moss (optional)
  • Spool Wire (optional)

Step 1- Forming the Topiary Shape

If you are forming your own topiary shapes then now is the time to do so. Use your pliers to bend the electrical wire into the desired shape, for beginners I suggest something fairly easy like a heart, star or clover. If you do not wish to form your own shapes you can buy a pre-shaped topiary form from most craft or garden shops.

Step 2-Filling in the Form (optional)

Fill the form in with sphagnum moss as desired or needed. This will produce a fuller topiary sculpture faster as you won’t have to wait for the plant to grow into the center of the shape as well as the outside. Use your spool wire to form the moss to the topiary shape, securing the wire to the bottom of the topiary frame.

Step 3- Wrapping the Plant

Wrap your plant(s) around the topiary frame and, if you used any, sphagnum moss. You want to wrap the plant as tightly as you can without causing stress to the plant. Make sure the roots are close to the bottom end of the topiary frame.

Step 4- Planting the Topiary Tree

Plant your topiary frame and plant. Two things you need to pay attention to are the stability of the structure and the needs of the plant. You don’t want to bury the roots too close to the surface or vice versa. It’s important to make sure the structure is stable, you want to make sure it’s not easy to push over and that it’s planted well enough to resist the wind blowing it over.

Step 5- Further Care

Care for and trim your plant to keep it growing in the right shape. Any vines or shoots that stick out or will not wrap around the structure should be cut off.  As the plants continue to grow “train” them by wrapping them around the topiary sculpture.

Now the waiting begins, how long depends on the plants you chose to use, the size of the structure and how well you care for it. Before too long you should have a perfectly shaped topiary tree to turn your garden into a work of art.