This Is How You Can Shape Your Plants Into Cute Designs
Tending to a garden is a great way to exercise creativity. You can turn simple shrubs into works of art by learning the skill of topiary. Whether you’re a hobbyist with a green thumb or an expert horticulturist, you can easily trim your plants into a spiral, cube, or even an animal.
Here’s a quick guide on which plants you can shear, and how you can shape them into cute designs and maintain them for longer.
WHICH PLANTS CAN YOU TURN INTO A TOPIARY
Not all plants can be sheared into a topiary, even if it’s just a ball shape. You’ll need a shrub that is dense with bushes and branches, grows fast, and ideally has small leaves. Lillypilly and boxwood are the most popular choices for topiary. You could also look into hedging plants, privet, and yew.
HOW TO SHAPE YOUR PLANTS INTO CUTE DESIGNS
To shape your plants, you’ll need a pair of garden shears to prune the leaves. There are two types of pruners available — anvil-style that have a plastic blade on one side and bypass pruners which are shaped like a small scissor.
Anvil pruners are robust and work great with cutting up wood. On the other hand, bypass pruners are sharper and have a cleaner cut. Since we will be trimming thin stems and leaves, it’s better to opt for bypass pruners.
Here’s how to trim shrubs using bypass pruners:
- For flowering shrubs, lightly cut unbranched stems beyond the bud so the lower branches can grow into a healthy bunch without disturbing the flowering process.
- To renovate an old shrub, hard prune the old and dead branches to stimulate the young stems to grow and start flowering. Progress will take at least three years but it’s worth the wait.
Always make sure to trim beyond the bud and keep the bypass pruners at a 45-degree angle. Unless it’s an older shrub, do not prune during the fall or winter as they’ll be flowering offshoots in the spring. Make sure to trim the old branches regularly so the plant can get more sunlight and grow healthily.
TIPS TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR TOPIARY
Topiaries aren’t high-maintenance but they do require consistent care. Make sure to water it daily, prune the weeds often and feed it good nutrition regularly. Also, keep the topiary away from the wind, always in the sun, and rotate it every two weeks so it grows evenly.
HOW TO SHARPEN BYPASS PRUNERS
To sharpen bypass pruners, you’ll need a long-pointed sharpener that is preferably shaped like a diamond. Run it along the front curved edge of the bypass blade. Keep it in one direction and sharpen until you start to see the silver shine then test it.
CAN REGULAR SCISSORS PRUNE PLANTS?
Yes, you can use regular scissors to prune plants. Sharpen them extensively as dull scissors and shears can damage the health of the plant. It’s better to use regular scissors to cut off dead twigs. Use garden shears to trim flowering plants.
In a few situations, however, such as the case with bonsai trees, you might need proper shears to do the job.
WRAPPING IT UP
Now that you know what topiary is and how to select the shrubs to trim, you’re one step closer to trimming your own masterpiece. Don’t forget to take proper care of it and maintain it regularly for the best results. Plants can add so much character to a space. When you start playing with different designs, shapes, and varieties, it becomes a game changer. You can also play with different vines, style a hutch, try a tall tree, and more!