Kokedama is a creative Japanese botanical technique that transforms small indoor plants like pothos, ferns and spider plants into a suspended green oasis.
The name “kokedama” translates to “moss ball” (koke = moss, dama = ball), and its style is loosely akin to bonsai.
With origins in Japan since the early 1900s, kokedama is not necessarily a new practice; however, its popularity is growing, taking over homes, social media accounts and workspaces worldwide.
The process of creating Kokedama involves using a moss ball as the supporting and focal point for a tree, shrub, or plant. In other words, it consists of wrapping the plant’s roots in a ball of soil which you then cover with moss. The moss ball is then either fixed to a platform, like a dish or a bowl or suspended in the air with a string.
Want to incorporate kokedama plants into your home? Here’s what you need to know.
How to make Kokedama
Whether you’re passionate about DIY, looking for a creative décor idea for your home, or simply need a therapeutic activity for a rainy Sunday, Kokedama can be a fun and easy activity. They are straightforward to make yourself as they don’t require any particular material or gardening skills.
Choosing the right plant for your kokedama is vital. They should be slow-growing, relatively small and tolerant to various growing conditions. We’ve seen the most success with plants that do well in bright, indirect indoor sunlight, such as Bromeliads, Peace Lilies, Dracaena, Philodendron, Spider Plants, Ferns and even certain herbs.
If you’re interested in creating your own Kokedama from home, you can purchase one of our DIY kits.
Each kit contains everything you need to transform a simple plant into a work of art, including;
- 2x House Plants - Asparagus Fern and Indoor Ivy
- Indoor House Plant Compost
- Brown string for wrapping
- Nylon Thread for wrapping
- A layer of Irish moss
Not for you? You can also purchase a pre-made Kokedama ready to showcase in your home from just €20 on our online plant store.
How to care for your Kokedama
The maintenance of kokedama is very different from that of a classic indoor plant. This is because it is exposed to the air on all sides, especially when hanging, which makes it prone to drying out quickly.
Generally, a moss ball can survive up to 2, 3 years. However, the period can be shorter or longer, depending on the plant you use and the level of TLC it receives. To keep your kokedama looking and feeling its’ best, we recommend the following key care tips:
💧Water: Watering frequencies vary greatly depending on the size of the ball, the size of the plant, the season, the humidity, among other factors. Generally, it’s best to water once your kokedama is dry to touch or once the moss turns paler. To water, place your kokedama into the bowl of water. Let it soak for a few minutes until thoroughly soaked. Remove from water and let drip dry or place on a saucer for about 20 minutes before returning to its home. Repeat every 2-3 weeks.
☀️Light: Kokedam does not like direct sunlight because this will only make them dry out quickly. It is best to place your kokedama near windows but in a place where they get a partial shade or are protected from direct sunlight.
🌡️Temperature: Keep your kokedama away from any source of extreme heat, such as a radiator, because high temperatures also make them dry out quickly. It is best to make sure that you keep your moss balls in areas with the most humidity. If your indoor environment highly lacks humidity, you can spray your plants with water once weekly.
✂️Pruning: To promote growth and maintain their shape, we recommend pruning your kokedama by half, from time to time. Keep an eye out for dead leaves and clip them off as soon as you spot them.
How to display your Kokedama
Kokedama can inject a powerful dose of green in your home, office, or even a covered outdoor space such as a patio. They make great focal points and are the perfect plant solution for those lacking in space.
Traditionally, Kokedama adorns driftwood or handmade pottery; however, today, we have seen these beautiful moss balls used in many creative ways.
Kokedama can be displayed on trays or vintage teacups to even from simple clay saucers. Some kokedama enthusiasts love topping their plants with a cloche, both for aesthetic appeal and conserving moisture. Another popular method of kokedama display is hanging them with simple twine or macrame plant hanger.
When choosing a spot for your moss ball, remember to ensure that you don’t place it in an area with too much direct sunlight or next to a source of extreme heat.
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- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Plant Propagation
- 7 Best Houseplants for Beginners
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