The art of creating sculptures using shrubs and trees is known as topiary. Plants that are used should be evergreen with dense foliage, columnar growth, and preferably small leaves. Let's get to know some of the most common varieties that are widely used for this form of landscaping.
Commonly known as 'Boxwood' and 'Box' in North America and England respectively, the buxus consists of about 70 species. The height could range between 2-12 m. The buxus is native to following regions: southern and western Europe, Madagascar (and other parts of Africa), southwest Asia, Caribbean islands, and Mexico. Leaves are leathery in appearance, lanceolate to rounded in shape and grow opposite each other. Average length and width of leaves ranges between 1.5-5 cm and 0.3-2.5 cm respectively.
Having five species in total, two thuja species are native to North America, while the other 3 are found in eastern parts of Asia. These plants are also known as 'arborvitae' and their height ranges between 3-18 m. Leaves are flattened with erect and sharp apices. Lateral leaves are much smaller than the facial ones.
These are slowing-growing plants reaching up to 40 m in height. The lanceolate, dark green leaves are 2-3 mm and 1-4 cm in width and length respectively. Arrangement on the branches is spiral however, the bases of leaves are twisted to give them a lateral appearance.
This evergreen plants grows up to a height of 10-18 m and has Mediterranean origins. It is a large shrub with Laurus nobilis as the scientific name. The length and width of leaves is 6-12 cm and 2-4 cm respectively. The leaves have a wrinkled and serrated margin.
The plant is mostly used for growing hedges and in topiary preparation. The Ligustrum genus of privet consists of about 40-50 species which include deciduous, evergreen, and semi-evergreen plants.
How to Care for Topiary Plants
Activities like watering, fertilizing, and pruning play an important part in topiary plant care. It is very important to keep the leaves in a moist state so as to prevent them from wilting. The practice of misting the entire plant is recommended to maintain the green color of leaves. Filling gravel in the pot prevents plants from standing in water for a long time.
Fertilizers used should be those with a slow-release property. It prevents the excessive growth of leaves and plants as a whole. A slow-release fertilizer should be applied during spring. Pruning is carried out in order to make the plant bushy in appearance. Bypass pruners are usually used to cut the rapid growth of branches. To shape the plant properly, vines are trained back on to the frames.