Topiary for beginners

Topiary for beginners
Topiary for beginners

A topiary for beginners is an important and necessary feature in the garden.. out of so many basic features which should be in the garden, the topiary is one of them. 

Topiary means to shape a particular plant’s morphological growth by pruning scissors or secateurs. Like a square, Triangle, any bird shaped like a peacock, or an animal shaped like an elephant, etc. 

One thing as a beginner you should know is that all plants are not topiary friendly we need to select a plant that has an optimum dense growth of the branches.

So whenever we shape the plant we don’t see any Hollow cavities or see-through parts in between branch areas. Because the uneven look will not satisfy proper topiary appearance. 

There are some plant varieties that are topiary-friendly. Among them, some grow very fast or regularly like ficus, Duranta, etc.

Where some grow very slowly like Ixora dwarfs but they give an excellent appearance after pruning or shaping them in a long run. 

How to do good topiary or proper pruning or shaping of plants

For a good topiary, you need to have well-grown plants for it. Now, which plant do you need for a topiary, list of plants is provided below.

Why all plants are not able to make topiary because we select plants that grow dense their branches grow very close and have bulky leaf growth. Such plants are ideal to train for the desired shape.

Topiary for beginners
Topiary for beginners

First, you need to have basic tools like pruning scissor secateurs or petrol-run pruning shears, etc.

While pruning after a certain time spent scissors get sticky or have some plant material on them. This may result in uneven cuts or shapes. Hence you need to clean your cuttings tools in between ongoing work with a wet cloth or you can wash it with water also and alcohol can be used.

We should apply proper lubricant in the joint for the free moving of the tools while pruning.

It’s always good to buy standard tools for pruning like scissors, and long pruners,s, etc because tools from good brands come with nicely tempered Edges.

They give the desired cut and don’t have dents in the edges too quickly.

One can properly maintain such tools by oneself by learning from experts.

But we need to be careful while doing so. because these edgy tools may cut or harm your body during maintenance. Keep children away from these tools.

When these tools are not in use you can put them in a proper place or cupboard. But don’t forget to apply pruner oil on them, to avoid oxidation/rusting of that tools.

Top tools for pruning

Pruning secateurs

Hedge Shear

Long cutter/ Branch cutter

Pruning-friendly Topiary plants for beginners in India



Vad Mehndi

Acalypha varieties

Malpighia emarginata

Thuja (Mayur Pankh)

Casurina – It’s basically a tree variety but due to its small leaflets, you can train it in a good shape like entry gates, peacocks, etc.

Some hybrid varieties of Hibiscus with dense growth can be used for topiary pruning.

Nowadays people are also Using Conocarpus ( But it sucks more underground water so select wisely)

Mehndi plant ( Lawsonia inermis )

Tecoma- For Big wall flowering hedges Road facing walls (plant Tecoma inside the wall )

Some of the above plants are also useful for the hedges. These plants are good for topiary for beginners

Why pruning is necessary/what is pruning a plant

As one of the gardening practices pruning seems a small practice but it’s very important. It’s very effective in both large trees and shrubs or plants or in young or small plants.

But you must know which plant needs pruning and how much percent of pruning is needed. Hafezard pruning may lead to damage to plants or trees.

It’s safe and healthy for the plant/tree and shrubs.

Benefits of topiary making

So as management of topiary is concerned, indirectly it also helps good health and look of the plants.

It improves structural integrity.

As you start shaping the plant it also removes the excess weight on the particular plant.

Which stops plants from becoming imbalanced.

As rodent pests and insects are more common in unpruned plants. So topiary practice helps reduce the risk of diseases of infestation.

How to maintain (clean)/Topiary pruning tools

It consists of cleaning, getting all the sap off, sharpening, oiling, and disinfecting tools.

To disinfect your tools you can use alcohol or a bleach solution, We can use alcohol while ongoing pruning to make plant twigs infestation-free.

After cleaning you can use oil for better working and to stop tool rust. Usually, people use palm oil or available oils at home. But it’s better to use WD-40 or Prunner oil for the good life of tools.

Apply this oil on the joints, edges, and springs of the pruning tools.

At last, when you don’t have clear cuts with your tools do check for sharpening of the edges, you can use hand files to edge the tools.

For more pruning guidelines click here

Here we elaborate on the topic of Topiary for beginners as simply as possible still you have queries or need help pruning your plants you can reach us by clicking on the Contact Us menu.

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