Head in the Clouds – Clouds and Pom-Pom Topiary

Head in the Clouds – Clouds and Pom-Pom Topiary

Cloud Pruning is a traditional Japanese method of pruning topiary that is said to ‘depict the distilled essence of the tree’ (RHS).    Cloud pruning is traditionally used on Ilex crenata types, Taxus and Pinus.  Cloud shapes and pom-poms are very similar in structure with clouds or pom-poms on bare stems. 

Ilex crenata is a small leaved Holly that lends itself perfectly to the art of cloud pruning.  It is evergreen, slow growing and the small leaf and compact growth ensures a tightly shaped cloud.  The small leaf is also less prone to any damage when pruning.  Ilex crenata is easy to grow and does prefer a slightly acidic soil to really thrive.  The leaf is also glossy in appearance and so in total this is the perfect choice for cloud pruned topiary. 

Popular Ilex crenata types for cloud and pom-pom topiary include:

  • Kinme which has particularly dense foliage cover and dark green leaves
  • Buxifolia resembles Buxus but has a slightly more spreading habit with dark green leaves
  • Convexa is as tough as old boots but much more attractive! The leaves are mid-green in colour and slightly curved under at the edges
  • Green Hedge has very dense growth making it a great choice again
  • Hetzii has small narrow leaves and tiny white flowers which are great for attracting bees.  It has a dense branch structure perfect for cloud topiary shapes
  • Maxima has compact growth with oval, shiny leaves and forms a well branched choice for cloud
  • Green Lustre is another compact choice with glossy green leaves

We have some excellent plants in stock and huge range of cloud and pom-pom shapes to choose from.  Come in, have a look and see if there is just the right plant for the right place. 

Clouds and pom-poms are sold by height and usually come in decorative terracotta style plastic pots or even in shallow bowls.