Creative Houseplant Makeover: How to Make a Topiary



Learn how to create a topiary in this step-by-step guide easily on how to make a topiary. Give your houseplant a stylish upgrade! Perfect for beginners, this project adds a unique flair to your indoor décor.

Do you have a houseplant that’s looking a little leggy or overgrown? Don’t toss it out!

You can transform it into a stunning topiary. It will add a touch of elegance and whimsy to your home décor. This project is perfect for both beginners and experienced plant owners.

You need some basic tools, a houseplant, and some patience! Let’s get started on giving your houseplant a fabulous makeover.

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Types of Indoor Topiaries:

  • Wireframe Topiary: Uses a pre-made wireframe (the frame can be metal or other organic material such as grapevine). The plant is woven or secured around it. This method is perfect for beginners. It allows you to make creative shapes.
  • Stuffed Topiary: A wireframe is stuffed with sphagnum moss, where small plants are planted directly into the moss. Note this requires more maintenance but offers better control over shaping.
  • Pruned Topiary: This method involves regularly pruning a single, well-established houseplant to maintain a desired shape. This is best for experienced plant owners.

This project will be using wireframe topiary. The wireframe will be substituted using a grapevine wreath for a more organic appearance.

Selecting The Right Houseplant:

  • Suitable Varieties: Highlight easy-to-care-for plants with small leaves that respond well to pruning, such as:
    • Angel Vine (Muehlenbeckia complexa)
    • Boxwood (Buxus)
    • Creeping fig (Ficus pumila)
    • Dwarf schefflera (Schefflera arborical ‘Compacta’)
    • English ivy (Hedera helix)
    • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Growth Habit: You should consider the plant’s natural growth habit when choosing a shape for your topiary. For example, ivy is ideal for spirals or cascading shapes, while a bushier plant like Dwarf Schefflera can be shaped into spheres or cubes.

Basic Tools and Materials:

  • Pruning shears or sharp scissors
  • 7″ Pot (your choice of size if you want a larger topiary)
  • 7″ double grapevine wreath (your choice of size if you want a larger topiary)
  • Stick or wooden dowel
  • Potting mix (if using a stuffed topiary)
  • Spanish moss (optional)
  • Twist ties, floral wire, or garden twine (optional, for securing vines)
  • Houseplant
  • Watering can
  • Liquid plant food for indoor plants

1. Add Soil

Add a good potting mix to your pots suitable for indoor plants.

Add a good potting soil mix for indoor plants to your container. Fill the container leaving approximately 2″ from the top.

2. Create Your Form

A double grapevine wreath found at Hobby Lobby works great for this project. A stick from the yard was broken and pushed between the two grapevine wreath. Floral wire is used to attach the stick to the wreath. You can use a thick dowel instead of a stick.

Grapevine wreath 7 inches and using a stick to create a topiary form.

Push your topiary form into the potting soil.

3. Add Plant

Adding plant to a pot to begin creating a topiary.

I am experimenting using a Pearls Pothos. My plant has been divided into four sections. Place two plants in the front and two plants in the back. The plants should be close to the topiary form.

4. Attach Plant To Form

Begin to wrap the vines around the form. Use the grapevine pieces to help secure the vine. You will be weaving the vine through the opening center and wrapping it around the grapevine form.

Continue to repeat working each of the vines (you should have four) around the grapevine form. You can use garden ties or floral wire to secure the vine to grapevine. I found that tucking the vine under the previous vine held fine.

5. Shape & Trim

You will need to secure the four vines bottoms to the stick or dowel at the base of the topiary. Remove any leaves at the bottom. You can use scissors or small pruning shears to cut unnecessary leaves or stems.

Add potting soil to cover any roots. Try to leave 1/2 inch to 1 inch from the top of the container.

You will need to trim as new growth appears to keep your shape. Prune the leaves at the bottom each month. Watch your topiary begin to take shape.

6. Water

Add liquid fertilizer specifically for indoor plants to water in the watering can. Follow the instructions for the amount on the bottle. The topiary will need good watering by soaking the dry soil.

How To Make A Topiary with a houseplant.

Consider simple geometric shapes like a sphere, climbing cube, or trellis.

Indoor circular Topiary made using a stick and grapevine in a terracotta pot.
  • Bright, indirect sunlight
  • Regular watering (depending on the plant)
  • Fertilizer according to the requirements of the plant
  • Maintaining consistent moisture
  • Proper drainage
  • Regular misting (optional, for some plants)
  • Continued pruning or shaping as needed

You can transform your houseplant from ordinary to extraordinary! Your new topiary will be a conversation starter and a unique focal point in your home.

Have fun with it! Be sure to get creative and experiment with different shapes and sizes. Remember, topiary care is similar to regular houseplant care. If you care for it then your topiary will thrive for many years. They also make wonderful gifts too!

Make it a great day, sweet friend!

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