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how to keep indoor topiaries alive

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April 21, 2016

growing indoor topiary lavender rosemary

i like to think that i have a green thumb. however keeping plants alive indoors is a different thing. i suck at it. i forget to water them. mother nature helps me out with that when plants are outdoors. regardless of the numerous plant murders i have committed over the years i still buy obsessive amounts of topiaries each spring. and they usually live for like a month before i either forget about them or leave for an extended period of time. not this year! my two small topiaries are going into month two now. i have started with rosemary and lavender that i picked up from horrocks. however in the summer there is a fantastic woman that sells at the holland farmers market and she’s my favorite source to buy topiaries and other interesting planters. but that is a few weeks off.

i did some investigating on rosemary first. rosemary was EVERYWHERE when we were in california last week. some shrubs were growing about as big as the beetle we were driving around. that will never happen in michigan due to our freezing winters but we can still enjoy it year round. i found this great article on pinterest about keeping your rosemary alive indoors.  and i never knew or even thought to think that rosemary was known as the “upside down plant” meaning it likes to draw water in from it’s foliage rather than it’s roots. this article suggested watering it every two weeks and misting it every week. however i find that with topiaries (rosemary) they need a little more water because of the way they are staked up. i have been watering mine every other day and by day two the leaves look a little wilty. i am going to start implementing this misting idea and see how it goes. i do find that the foliage of rosemary is a bit heartier than that of lavender.

growing indoor topiary lavender rosemary

lavender. i love lavender in fact i dreamt of lavender ice cream last night. i was very much enjoying it until my husband decided i need to move over and kicked me in the back of the leg. lavender dream over… reality that i have no ice cream sets in.

anyway. lavender loves sunlight. i figured that out without any reading because after one day on my kitchen table (which has a north facing window) the foliage of the topiary are reaching for the window. it’s important to continuously rotate your plant so you dont end up with a lopsided topiary.

i have found too that lavender requires much more water than the rosemary does. if i forget to water the lavender even once the leaves sag and shrivel. if you catch it in time they will perk right back up with a bit of water. i usually give mine a big drink every morning after i feed the dogs. i bought a variety i believe is called wooly lavender.. but that is speculation and google research.

i read this morning on a few different sources that since air in houses is typically dry (especially ours because of the wood stove) plants can get moister by filling a tray with rocks and water underneath them so that when the water evaporates it is directly under the plant and the foliage can soak it up.

stay tuned if my plants make it to month three! anybody else have a hard time growing indoor herbs/topiaries?

growing indoor topiary lavender rosemary

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  1. Erika says:

    I tried to start my own topiary last summer, but I ended up killing it with some out of date organic fertilizer. ☹️ Maybe this year! I’ve seen some topiaries online, but not at any of the nurseries around here.

  2. Amy says:

    Wow. This was something to read. I guess it’s not for everyone. Happy planting and good luck with your indoor plants

Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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