What is Kokedama?
The Japanese tradition of Kokedama is a centuries old garden art where a plant's roots are placed in a mixture of clay, peat and soil, and then wrapped with soft green moss to create a living vase that is both distinctive and unique.
Which Plants Are Suitable For Kokedama?
In general, the ideal plants for Kokedama are those that require or can easily tolerate being in a ball of wet soil. As it is difficult to check the soil for mold, root issues and over/under watering when then plant is wrapped in moss, the ideal plant should be hardy and easy to care for.
In our experience, pothos, philodendron, peace lily, anthurium, dracaena, and ferns are all good candidates. You should avoid succulents and cacti, as the soil ball will remain too moist for these types of plants.
How To Make Your Own Kokedama
You can make your own Kokedama with just a few items and minimal skill.
What You'll Need:
- Garden snips or scissors
- Twine or string
- A spray bottle
- A bucket or a bowl
- Clay substrate
- Sheet moss
- Rubber bands
Step-By-Step Kokedama Tutorial
1. Mix the clay soil (85%) and peat (15%) in a bowl or a bucket, add warm water a little at a time, and massage to create a thick consistency. Set aside to allow the water to be absorbed, and massage again. Spray or soak the moss with water to moisten, prevent dust, and make it more malleable. Set aside. Layer the plate with cellophane. Scoop the clay mixture onto the cellophane and make a pancake about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick and 8 inches (20 cm) across
2. Unpot your plant, remove excess soil (to keep the moss ball in scale with the plant), and set the root ball on top of the clay pancake.
3. As if you're wrapping a gift in cellophane, enclose the soil with the clay, leaving the plant exposed. Create a ball shape with the clay. Let any extra water drain onto the cellophane. Remove the cellophane to expose the intact clay ball shape. Set aside the plant, and clean the cellophane.
4. With the green side down, lay the moss on the cellophane. Set the plant's clay ball in the center of the moss. Repeat the gift wrap movement with moss.
5. Wrap the ball with rubber bands to temporarily secure the moss. Tidy the moss, trimming around the base of the plant. Secure the moss with twine by wrapping it gently yet securely around the moss to form a ball shape. Tie off the twine or tuck it near the stem. Snip the rubber bands and remove them.
6. Keep out of direct sun, mist once a day, and soak in a bowl of water occasionally. Give the ball a gentle squeeze before returning it to its vessel - it shouldn't sit in a pool of water all day.
Congratulations, you have now made your first moss ball!