What is an Artificial Topiary?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2019
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Topiaries are carefully designed foliage or flower arrangements that are fashioned to resemble specific shapes. A topiary may have a particular geometric shape or have the appearance of animals, letters, numbers, or any other design that is desired. While many topiary plants and trees are designed using live flora and fauna, the artificial topiary is also a common option.

Artificial topiaries are created to resemble the topiaries constructed with living greenery. The difference is that the elements used are all artificial. It is not unusual for silk plants as well as carefully crafted plastic elements to be incorporated into the design of an artificial topiary.

Depending on the quality of the elements employed with this type of fake topiary, the final look can be so close to that of natural foliage that it is impossible to tell the difference without actually touching the topiary trees or plants. This is particularly true of the silk topiary, in that the greenery normally captures the exact hue and construction of natural greenery, and may even move slight in the breeze in a manner reminiscent of live plants.


There are several advantages associated with an artificial topiary. Unlike natural foliage, fake plants do not require watering in order to retain a healthy appearance. The elements of the topiary will not begin to decay over time and it is possible to position the greenery anywhere within the home without having to consider the amount of sunlight entering the space. There is no need to trim the greenery from time to time, as the elements will not grow and cause the topiary to lose its desired shape.

While the elements of any artificial type of topiary do require cleaning from time to time, they are normally much hardier than live foliage. This means the homeowner does not have to be quite as careful when cleaning the greenery, and may use common household cleaners to remove dust from the topiary.

Some drawbacks to the artificial topiary should be noted. Topiaries created with cheap greenery will begin to look faded and worn much faster than live creations. While attractive, the topiary will not add the same amount of life to the space that any real plant is capable of bringing to the space. This means some of the charm of the topiary is exchanged for practicalities, a move that may not be considered acceptable by some people.

A truly lifelike artificial topiary is usually somewhat expensive. However, in comparison to the cost of replacing and caring for live foliage, a high quality silk topiary will easily pay for itself over time. Along with purchasing a pre-assembled topiary, consumers with an artistic flair can purchase individual elements and create their own unique topiary designs. Most hobby and craft stores will provide everything required to create a credible topiary of any size or shape.


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