Training a Topiary to a Form - Knowledgebase Question

Mamaroneck, NY
Question by gerard5
December 31, 1999
I have a wire reindeer form that I decorate with lights at Christmas time outside my home. I want to make a outside topiary figure like the kind they have in Walt Disney World. I plan to cut the horns off to make it look like a deer. I have sort of an idea how to start but I don't know what bush to use. It would be great if this bush can be quick growing. Any suggestions on where to start or recommended books to research this project would be appreciated.


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Answer from NGA
December 31, 1999

0

keep it indoors for the winter and set it outside for only the summer, then the tropical houseplant called creeping fig will cover it very nicely. (I believe this is what is often used in Florida.) You can plant this in pots inset into the frame as well as set each leg into a larger container holding a few plants. Creeping fig grows quickly if it is kept well fertilized and watered, and is misted frequently. Be sure to acclimate it slowly when moving it in and out of doors. (You could also do the same thing with English ivy.)

For both vines, line the frame with a material such as sphagnum moss from the craft shop to help the topiary look better while it is "in progress". When you water the plant, make sure to water this liner material also. This will give the vines more to cling to while they grow, and provide extra humidity and moisture.

Have fun with your project! keep it indoors for the winter and set it outside for only the summer, then the tropical houseplant called creeping fig will cover it very nicely. (I believe this is what is often used in Florida.) You can plant this in pots inset into the frame as well as set each leg into a larger container holding a few plants. Creeping fig grows quickly if it is kept well fertilized and watered, and is misted frequently. Be sure to acclimate it slowly when moving it in and out of doors. (You could also do the same thing with English ivy.)

For both vines, line the frame with a material such as sphagnum moss from the craft shop to help the topiary look better while it is "in progress". When you water the plant, make sure to water this liner material also. This will give the vines more to cling to while they grow, and provide extra humidity and moisture.

Have fun with your project!

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