Potted Topiary Trees for Winter
Try It Inside
Fill the void once occupied by holiday decor with this quick fix from your garden center. English ivy topiaries that are pretrained on metal forms, like the lollipop and globe shapes above, take up little space but add big flair.
Choose the Right Pot
Craft a harmonious display by planting in a well-proportioned container. With topiaries, you can toss out the rule about center-pieces being less than 12 inches tall. Slender trunks won't block guests' views. China saucers offer more protection than terra-cotta because they don't wick moisture.
Create an Ideal Environment
Condition myrtle topiaries with bright light and a moderate temperature. Mist plants often. Heating systems can dry out air and plants.
Rotate Your Collection
Keep plants healthy, no matter where they're displayed. It's a good idea to have two pairs, because while one is on show, the other can be pampered.
Try a Rosemary Topiary
Rosemary prefers to live outside but can last the winter indoors. Bright light and good drainage are musts. Allow plants to dry out slightly between waterings, and don't let them stand in saucers of water. Good air circulation and cool nights lessen pest problems. Move them outside as soon as all chance of frost has passed. Feed once in late spring with a controlled-released fertilizer such as Osmocote.
Repeat a Shape
Go bold with elegant ivy orbs by the door. Depending on the size of your space, use them alone, as a pair, or even as a trio. Stagger sizes. Elevate simple globes by planting in classic cast-iron urns with pedestal bases.
Mix and Match Topiary Tree Sizes
Combine several English ivy topiaries and a clipped lemon cypress to accent a garden table. Mix spirals, globes, columns, and lollipop shapes of varying heights. Unify the look with terra-cotta pots.
Another Fine Vine to Train
Most topiaries at garden centers are created from English ivy (Hedera helix), but if you would like to make your own, start with an angel vine (Muehlenbeckia complexa). It does well in bright-to-low light, indoor warmth, and slightly moist soil. Plant a 4-inch pot of angel vine in a premoistened soilless potting mix, such as Miracle-Gro Potting Mix. Insert your topiary frame on top of the plant. Wrap the plant around the frame to train it, snipping away the excess. If aphids become a problem, spray with Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap.
Note: The container shown is from Napa Home & Garden and available from Collier's Nursery; 205/822-3133. Look for topiary frames at your local garden center or online at topiaryinc.com.