You may have noticed the large stock of healthy potted ivy at your local nurseries, home improvement centers and even in your local grocery stores recently. The new shipment of potted ivy is due in part because fall is the perfect season to plant ivy. With healthy new potted ivy readily available, it’s also the perfect season for creating that ivy topiary that you’ve been wanting.
Creating an ivy topiary is simple, basically just twisting and twirling English ivy around a wire or wooden form. A topiary form can be purchased or you can design and create your own topiary form. Here are some tips for creating an ivy topiary.
Start by purchasing a pot of ivy with healthy, green leaves and a few long stems.
Next, decide upon the shape you want your topiary to grow into and purchase or build the desired topiary form. Match the planting pot size with the size and height of the topiary. Ivy topiaries will become top heavy over time and a good planting pot selection is a large, terra cotta pot that can support both the ivy’s root system and topiary height. A good rule of thumb here is to choose a planting pot half the size of your topiary form.
Place a small piece of window screen inside the planting pot over the drainage hole to prevent the potting soil from coming out, then fill the planting pot half way with potting soil. Mix in your favorite brand of time-released fertilizer according to package directions. Gently remove your potted English ivy and place in the center of it’s new planting pot. Finish filling the planting pot with potting soil, firm the soil to ensure that all of the ivy roots are in contact with the soil and water the ivy in well.
Fit the topiary form into the planting pot and secure. Separate all the ivy stems and allow them to hang over the sides of the planting pot.
Begin creating the topiary by gently wrapping one ivy stem around one of wires of the topiary form. Don’t force the ivy stem, they snap easily. Take a second ivy stem and wrap it around the same wire, going in the opposite direction. Tie the ivy stems to the topiary form loosely with florist’s wire or raffia. Continue this method of wrapping until you have wrapped and tied all the ivy stems around the topiary form.
Place your ivy topiary in indirect light and water when the top inch of potting soil becomes dry. Snip the ivy leaves as needed to retain the shape of your topiary. When spring arrives and all danger of frost is past, you can place your ivy topiary outdoors but avoid a location that receives direct sunlight.