The Indoor Topiary

“Dolphin Topiary and Flowers” by Karyn Christner

The topiary has been in use in gardens throughout the world since ancient Roman civilization first began creating them and are often associated with formal European gardens. However, an article from Topiary Organization on the history of the topiary states:

“…there is an ongoing revival in the art of topiary.
It maybe nostalgia, a sentiment common to every generation, that explains our interest, or it may also be the visual impact topiary creates.”

Topiaries are an elegant touch to many plantscapes. They can be large outdoor sculptures that line stately walkways. Topiaries can be the central focus of a garden or they can be small accents in little pots placed strategically to catch the eye.  Topiaries can be some work to maintain the precise shape, but they maybe the interesting touch your clients are looking for.

Two Types of Topiaries

Topiaries can be made in a variety of shapes from simple circles to more complex shapes such animals.  There are two ways topiaries can be shaped.  Two dimensional or hollow topiaries are shaped around a wire frame that could be bought or made with an old coat hanger or other wire. Vining plants are typically used for this type of topiary.  The three demensional topiary is made from a frame that is filled with sphagnum moss in which the plants grow instead of soil.


According to an article by Cindy Haynes of the Iowa State University Extension Service:

“Besides regular pruning to control unwanted growth and maintain the basic shape, most topiaries require about the same amount of care as typical houseplants.”

The work comes in keeping the topiary trim so that the form stays recognizable and neat. It is also important that you monitor the water level in the topiary as it can dry quickly.

Best Plants for Topiaries

Topiaries can be made from any number of vining plants. An article from Cornell Universityhas excellent step by step instructions for creating and caring for both types of topiaries. The article also includes and extensive list of houseplants that are ideal for indoor topiaries. The article suggests that herbs are especially advantageous as topiary plants because they fill the air with fragrance as they are pruned. Rosemary and Lavender are listed among the plants that work particularly well as topiary plants.  English Ivy and other creeping plants are also ideal as they are easy to train to climb the frame.

Topiaries Indoors

To bring your topiaries indoors you will need to find the perfect container that compliments the size, shape and style of your creations.  Consider the Lechuza Classico line of containers from NewPro Containers, for their sleek design. They are available in a variety of sizes, finishes and with sub-irrigation systems to help maintain the proper moisture for your arrangement.

The topiaries can add elegance and a sense of identity a variety of plantscapes.   Have you tried a topiary in your plantscapes? What plants have you found work best for topiaries? Have you faced any challenges in trying to use topiaries indoors? Let us know what your experience has been in the comments section.

Photo Dolphin Topiary and Flowers” courtesy of Karyn Christner

Melanie is a plant enthusiast and expert contributor at and Melanie's experience in internet marketing, business management, and horticulture allows her to bring a unique perspective to the community. Melanie received a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership from Purdue University and is the Marketing Director at NewPro Containers.

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