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made with love: potted topiary

by amym

I’ve been dreaming of training a creeping houseplant to grown along a frame for years, thinking that it was going to require the ultimate crazy green thumb skills. Good news, it doesn’t. In fact, once I had all of the supplies assembled, I was done the basic frame in a flash, with no missteps along the way. Now I’m just a little bit closer to achieving my goal of turning my apartment into a secret garden/alice in wonderland/edward scissorhands mash up!

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What you’ll need:

– 2 small trailing plants, if in doubt, ask your local garden center for recommendations (I used or angel vine here)
– a wire hanger
– wire clippers
– planter of your choice
– potting soil

1. At my local nursery, I purchased two small trailing plants. Any houseplant that can grow long tendrils should work, I chose muehlenbeckia (or angel vine) but many types of ivy, creeping fig, jasmine could also fit the bill.


2. I try to keep metal hangers out of my closet, Mommy Dearest style, so it’s always a treat to find something to do with those pesky dry cleaning freebies. Clipping the hook off, I shaped the base into an oval to be used for my topiary frame. You can make any shape you’d like; a circle, heart, globe etc… I bent the oval’s feet to create makeshift “stakes” to add some stability once stuck in the soil.


3. Remove your plants and repot into a single larger planter, loosening the surrounding soil and adding more if necessary. If you’ve never repotted a plant before, is a good guide. Tuck each end of your topiary frame firmly into the approximate centers of each separate plant.


4. Gently wind tendrils of your plant loosely up each leg of the frame, taking care to not tear off the leaves. Depending on the type of plant you won’t need to even tie up the tendrils, as the leaves will keep it in place. Slowly wrap your frame until your two plants meet in the middle.


5. A little water and sun as necessary will encourage your topiary will fill out over time and all it takes is a little wrapping of the new growth to maintain your shape.


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