Making Kokedama

Kokedama, or moss ball, is a super stylish and fun way to display your ornamental plants!

Kokedama is a Japanese art form of gardening such as Bonsai. The English translation literally means “moss ball” and has become popular worldwide for their cool appearance and easy maintenance. It is a fairly easy project to try and multiple kokedama can me made in one sitting.

Here Is A Quick Video

What You Will Need

  • A plant or plants of your choice (I prefer using epiphytic plants)
  • Thin fishing line
  • Scissors
  • A large bowl filled with water
  • A large bowl for soil
  • A glass of water or small watering can
  • Spoon
  • Assorted decorative moss
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Bonsai soil (Peat moss soil, potting soil, sand, perlite

Getting Started

Be sure to prep your work area. This project can get somewhat messy, so I suggest laying down a table cloth or trying this project outside where you might not mind some mess.

First thing I recommend doing is moistening your moss. It is much easier to work with once it is nice and wet. In a large bowl filled with water, place your sphagnum moss and decorative moss in until thoroughly soaked. Set aside.

Making The Soil Ball

You can purchase Bonsai soil in stores or online. If you don’t have Bonsai soil available, you can make it yourself. Bonsai soil is basically sandy, rocky soil. You can mix peat moss soil with some potting soil, perlite, and some sand. You want your soil to hold a ball shape but still provide some aeration. If you have purchased epiphytic plants, you can actually skip the soil all together and just cover your plants roots with moss.

In a large bowl, mix equal parts soil, peat, sand, and perlite. If you need to add more peat or more soil, please feel free to do so. Once the Bonsai mix is made, slowly add in some water to the soil and mix. You want the soil to be moist so that it can hold a shape but not too wet that it becomes soggy.

Once the consistency is just right, you can now start to form a ball with the soil. Add more soil and form the ball with your hands. Once you have a soil ball made you can now set aside.

Forming Your Kokedama

Carefully remove your plant of choice from it’s pot and gently remove the soil away from its root system. You could also run a hose over the roots to gently remove any excess dirt.

Once your plant is prepped you can now reach for your pre-made soil ball. Carefully break the soil ball in half and place the plant between the two halves. It may fall apart a little bit but you can add a little more soil and continue to shape the soil into a ball.

Once the plant and soil have a decent ball shape, you can now start to wrap it with your moss. Be sure to squeeze out any excess water from your moss before placing onto your soil ball.

Stringing It All Together

Once your soil is covered with moss you can now tie it with the fishing line. Tie a double knot with your line and carefully wrap the line repeatedly around the moss. Be sure to fill any gaps with moss that may have fallen off. Make sure your string is wrapped tightly around the moss. You don’t want it too tight that the roots below would be constricted but not too loose that the moss will come apart.

Once you feel your moss is wrapped securely you can now tie a knot and cut the string. You can hide excess string underneath the moss and the wrapped string to give it a neat appearance.

Caring for You Moss Ball

Yay! Your project is now complete! Kokedama are fairly easy to care for. Place you plant in an area where it will get bright indirect light.

To water your kokedama you can fill a sink up with water or a bowl with water and let your kokedama soak for a few minutes. Kokedama tend to dry out fairly quickly so you may need to soak your plants 2-3 times a week.

Once your plant is finished soaking, remove from water and gently squeeze out any excess water from the moss. You can showcase it in a nice decorative dish or planter. Some even hang their kokedama near a bright window.

If you would like to fertilize during the growing months (Spring to Fall) sprinkle some water soluble fertilizer into the water basin before soaking your plant. Be sure to fertilize only once every 2-3 weeks.


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