Ultimate Guide to Topiary

How to Make Sphagnum Topiary

A topiary bunny made of trailing plants and sphagnum moss.
© iStockphoto/Liza McCorkle

You can use sphagnum topiary out­doors or indoors, so the first step in planning a sphag­num topiary project is to decide where you want to put your creation. Sphagnum topiary frames are available in a variety of sizes and are appropriate for use in yards, gardens and even end tables.

Next, consider the type of design and plants you want to use for your sphagnum topiary and how much work you want to put into the project. Many animal-shaped frames are available, and if you can't find the design you're looking for, you can bend and twist galvanized or stainless steel wire into the shape you want. You can buy empty frames as well as frames stuffed with moss or pre-filled with both moss and plants. If you're planting your sphagnum topiary in a container, choose one that complements the topiary design as well as the space where it will be displayed.


Finally, choose your plants -- fast-growing creeping plants, succulents and grasses work well with this type of topiary. In addition to your plants, frame and moss, you'll need potting soil, florist's wire, scissors and a stick or other pointy tool to make holes in your moss. Here's what to do:

  1. Soak your moss in water to prepare it to go into your frame.
  2. Secure your frame into the ground or a pot. Begin tightly stuffing it with the wet moss. Fill the center of the piece with potting soil.
  3. Wrap the frame with fishing line or florist's wire to hold the moss in place. Trim stray pieces of moss that are hanging through the wire.
  4. Poke holes in the moss and insert your plants into the holes. These plants will spread out as they grow, so don't worry about entirely covering your structure.
  5. If necessary, use florist's wire to hold plants in the moss.