By: Pam Murdock
English Ivy Topiary
Hedera helix, also known as English Ivy, has been around since the times of the Babylonians. They used them in their famous hanging gardens. Today, people have a vartiety of uses for it. A popular use that is both easy and aesthetically pleasing, is to make topiaries.
Topiaries can come in any shape and in any size. Even the type of ivy that you can use varies greatly. There are over 400 varieties currently available. They can come in a plain green, white or cream variegated and pink or purple variegated or speckled. No matter what variety you choose, they all can be trained into some kind of shape.
Some of the most popular shapes are cones, hearts, circles and globes or a series of globes. English ivy is easy to train into any one of these shapes. All you need is a plant that has at least five stems that are
24-inches in length, a wire frame shaped as a globe or any other shape, a terra-cotta pot, potting soil and clippers or scissors.
Remove the plant from its original container and cut root ball into four equal pieces. Put your wire frame into the terra-cotta pot and plant the ivy aound the base of it. Add potting soil as needed. Take one of the long stems and twine it up or around the frame that you have choosen. Do this until the frame is covered with ivy stems. You may want to use a hairpin to secure the ivy until it is trained around the frame. The excess ivy can be left at the base or you can trim it off.
These topiaries are easy to take care of as well as to make. The ivy requires bright light to retain the color of the foliage. The optimal temperature for it is, 65 degrees during the day, and 50 degrees at night. To maintain the shape, just trim off any new growth that is growing where you don't want it to. Also, prune out any weak or spindly growth.
If you follow these easy steps, you too can have English Ivy growing in your house.
Horticulture and Home Pest News
The New York Botanical Garden
Indoor Gardens, by Better Homes and Gardens