Pruning ornamental or Topiary | Garden Care & Maintenance.

Pruning ornamental or Topiary is to create and maintain a shrub or tree with a certain form, regularly cutting the sprouts exceeding the established profile. This type of pruning is very characteristic in geometric formal gardens and the Japanese Gardens. In many cases, they are true works of art sculptures.
We can also include in this type of pruning to the geometric hedges.
In private gardens, are striking elements isolated as focal points that quickly attract the eye. Where they are better is in the formal gardens, but in most situations go well as an element of a space enhancement. Its major drawback is that they give more work to other plants because they require a regular pruning. The fact is that either they are perfectly shaped or better not make Topiary, since neglect is too noticeable.
Japanese garden


Gardening centres or nurseries plants already formed into cones, spheres, obelisks, etc. can be purchased, but it is also possible to make them yourself by purchasing a "normal" shrub and guiding it from scratch.
Normally should have enough patience because it is a process that requires several years to consolidate it.
A gardener with lots of practice with scissors can cut "to eye", both the training and maintenance cuts, but commonly used frameworks of wood, iron or wire, ropes and boards. Wires are used to give the right direction to branches.
The forms of fantasy, for example, animals, usually make preparing a frame of metal mesh covering the entire figure. Once full of vegetation, can be cut smoothly everything that jut out from the frame.
The maintenance is based on not to leave the shoots that protrude more than 15 cm of profile. This is the recommended.
Straight shapes, e.g., pyramids, are cut with the help of taut ropes or with a framework of wooden slats. You must turn the frame around the plant and go pruning which protrudes.
The cut-off frequency will depend on the speed of growth of selected plant species. For example, the yew or boxwood are growing very slowly and according to the climate and conditions of growth, with 1 or 2 cuts per year, it is enough; other fast-growing species, require practically a monthly review except in winter.

Species to which it applies

The following species are good for doing Topiary art:


  • Ligustrum lucidum (Ligustrum japonicum): ball, cone...
  • Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens): Cone, Obelisk...
  • Ficus benjamina (Ficus benjamina): ball
  • Ficus nitida (Ficus microphylla = Ficus nitida): ball, umbrella...
  • Laurel (Laurus nobilis): ball, Obelisk...
  • Leilandi (x Cupressocyparis leylandii): Cone, rings, spiral...
  • Cheesewood (Pittosporum tobira): ball, umbrella...
  • Yew (Taxus baccata): Cone, Obelisk, cubes...
Ligustrum lucidum (Ligustrum japonicum ))
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens ))
Ficus benjamina (F. benjamina ))
Ficus nitida (Ficus nitida ))
Laurel (Laurus nobilis ))
Leilandi (x Cupressocyparis leylandii ))
Cheesewood (Pittosporum tobira ))
Yew (Taxus baccata ))


  • Holly (Ilex aquifolium ))
  • Ligustrum lucidum (Ligustrum ovalifolium ))
  • Ligustrum lucidum (Ligustrum jonandrum ))
  • Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ))
  • Euonymus (Euonymus japonicus ))
  • Ivy (Hedera helix ))
  • Laurel (Laurus nobilis ))
  • Lonicera (Lonicera nitida ))
  • Mirto (Myrtus communis ))
  • Cheesewood (Pittosporum tobira ))
  • Yew (Taxus baccata ))
  • Teucrio (Teucrium fruticans ))
Holly (Ilex aquifolium ))
Ligustrum lucidum (Ligustrum jonandrum ))
Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ))
Euonymus (Euonymus japonicus ))
Ivy (Hedera helix ))
Laurel (Laurus nobilis ))
Lonicera (Lonicera nitida ))
Mirto (Myrtus communis ))
Cheesewood (Pittosporum tobira ))
Yew (Taxus baccata ))
Teucrio (Teucrium fruticans ))
Published for educational purposes

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