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New to topiari - how do I maintain it?

Posted by
Jen - SoCal-9/19
( on
Fri, Jan 26, 01 at 17:01

I received a topiari for Christmas. This is my first one and I have no idea how to maintain it. It's in a 10" pot and is the shape of a duck (or swan?). The tag doesn't identify the plant but I'm guessing it is Boxwood.

How do I maintain the shape of this plant? Can it remain in the pot? The wire frame is about the size of the pot so I'm wondering what will happen if I transplant it to the garden, or if that is necessary.

It was a Christmas gift so I want to maintain it just as it was given to me, but I'm new to topiari and need some help.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: New to topiari - how do I maintain it?

trim new growth as it develops so it matches surrounding growth to keep plant form. if you wait too long while plant is actively growing you can lose shape. use sharp cutting scissors to trim soft growth. if you trim every week or two
plant shouldn't be a problem. key is only trim active new growth. somewhere down the line the plant will need to be repotted or root pruned. try to find out exactly what the plant is to better care for it. once you i.d. the plant you may indeed be able to plant directly outside if in right growing location. then keep trimming as it grows to stay in shape of wire frame. indoors you should have plant situated as close to bright light as possible and rotate plant every couple of days to promote even growth.
big john

RE: New to topiari - how do I maintain it?

Maintaining your shape with regular pruning is a must. Don't be suprised this spring, if you come out and find new shoots reaching skyward out of your plant. There is a technique of pinch pruning which consists of actually pinching the tip bud of new growth off. This causes the plant to go into a sort of self defense mode and it will respnd by sending out new shoots lower on th branch. This is your ultimate objective as it will result in thich busy growth in your plant.
PS If you have a picture your display I would love to see it.
Hope this helps


RE: New to topiari - how do I maintain it?

Dear Mark: first of all thanks for the useful idea of the chicken wire(first buxus topiary).I want to know the difference between "pruning the tip" and "pinchpruning the tip. And Jen,.. luck with your duck!

RE: New to topiari - how do I maintain it?


In regards to "Tip Pruning vs. "Pinch Pruning" I believe the following is what you are asking for.

Pinch pruning is when you are physically pinching off new growth while it is still supple. Using the thumb and forefinger frequently pinch back soft growth throughout the growing season this will allow you to avoid future pruning. The benefits and reasons for pinch pruning are to redirect growth and to increase the plant density (if the plant can not grow upward it will start branching outward). Pinching is also used for dis-budding flowers and thinning fruit trees.

When you say pruning the tip I believe you are referring to the removal of terminal buds which will result in next lateral bud to become dominant on the branch. You want to prune near a lateral (side) bud that is pointing in the direction that you want to train the branch to grow. This is very useful in free form topiary when you have a bare spot in you display which you want to fill in.

PS If you have any in progress pictures of your display I would like to see.

Hope this helps.


RE: New to topiari - how do I maintain it?

just have anew garden with a topiari airaplane looking a bit frostbitten but still growing how do i do and when will look stunning in flite props in bloom ??

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