How to care for your topiary in 3 easy steps

Topiary trees come in a variety of different species and shapes, and look wonderful decorating both traditional gardens and gardens with a more modern twist. Whether you’re using topiary standards as a feature either side of a door way; adding texture and shape to a border with Box balls; punctuating hedges with a topiary lollipop or giving your balcony or patio some added aesthetic value, topiary is the perfect choice all round, and by following these 3 simple steps, your topiary will be healthy and handsome all year:

  1. Replanting your topiary

The first, most important thing you need to do is remove your topiary from its original pot after delivery. This is because 95% of UK topiary is ‘pot-pressed’ – this means that the topiary is field grown until ordered and then planted in a pot for delivery, but this pot is often too small to leave your topiary in permanently, as the roots are restricted. Transplant your topiary, into either the ground or a larger pot, as soon after delivery as possible.

35cm topiary Ball

  1. Feeding & Watering

As with all plants, this is particularly important after planting. A foliar feeder such as Seaweed feed, or a slow releasing fertiliser like Bone meal, are great for encouraging healthy growth and a strong root system, and will provide your topiary with the essential nutrients and minerals it needs to succeed. Always follow the instructions and quantities given on the packet to achieve the best results.

We recommend watering your topiary often, even during winter, as the density of the foliage can cause rainwater to run straight off and not reach the soil. Water your topiary directly at the base, and remember that pot grown topiary can quickly run out of nutrients and dry out, so may need to be watered slightly more often than topiary planted in a garden.

watering topiary tree

  1. Pruning

Topiary shapes do not require much maintenance to keep them looking great. Both pot grown and garden grown topiary should be pruned annually in early or late summer, as this is when your plant will recover the quickest, however, some faster growing topiary species may require a second trim. Always consider the growth rate of your chosen topiary species before purchasing to ensure you can manage the upkeep.

Pruning topiary


If you have any questions about this topic, or anything else relating to your garden, please tweet me @best4hedging and I’ll be happy to help.

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