The Q&A Archives: Indoor Spiral Juniper

Question: I want to have indoor topiaries that will survive with little maintnenance. How well will potted spiral junipers live indoors? What type of containers wil work best?

Answer: In my experience, most shrubs that require full sun outside -- such as juniper or rosemary -- do not do well indoors on a long term basis. For a lower-maintenance topiary indoors, I would suggest using English ivy (Hedera helix) trained to a wire form. This plant will tolerate low, medium or high light and is quite easy to keep and train and can eventually grow to cover quite a large frame. You can use a utilitarian plastic pot suited to the size of the plant, and then hide that inside a more decorative container that suits your decor (This would also allow you to move the plant into a bigger pot to accommodate growth over time). You will need to allow for drainage out the bottom each time you water the plant, and for turning the plant periodically to expose it evenly to the light source. Make sure too that the wire form is anchored securely and/or the container is heavy enough so that it will not tip over accidentally. Finally, if you need a large and imposing topiary, you might be happier using an artificial tree or a combination of plants in tiers, there are much more realistic-looking imitation foliage plants and false topiaries on the market now than in the past. Good luck with your project.

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