Topiaries and Standards
Topiaries and standards are living sculpures that first made their appearance in the 17th century when gareners employed by the wealthy raised pruning to an artform. Today you can purchase mature plants that have been trained for you. They make a wonderful addition to foundation plantings, entrance ways , patios and decks.
Eugenia (Eugenia myrtifolia) is a perfect substitute to the English boxwood, for classic topiary. This Florida native’s dense foliage takes pruning well. It is one of the best low maintenance plants and will grow in full sun or partial shade. It can take the summer heat but will not tolerate drought or freezing temperatures.
Crotons make wonderful standards. Bright sunlight will enhance the colors but overexposure can cause fading. They are best placed where they will receive full morning or afternoon sun but some protection during midday. The yellow leaved varieties do better in full sun, while those with pastel leaves prefer shade. Trim off any branches that develop along the stem to maintain the standard shape.