A Kokedama is a really cool Japanese garden method that uses moss as container for the plant and is bound by string. Traditionally used with bonsai, you can actually use it for all sorts of plants!
I love these things, they look super cool, and so easy and CHEAP to make. After I had made a bunch to hang in my garden I saw someone selling them at the markets for $50 a pop, they do look great so I can see the value in it if getting your hands muddy ain't your thing.
I made one of these babies for a grand total of $2 a pop. Obviously using some of my own resources, and if I had of chosen a more expensive plant it would have been a little more.
What you need
- A plant (I used Lobelia Flowers for this but I have since used it for Jade and it looks fantastic)
- Sphagnum moss
- String (I used Jute but get creative with different colours)
- A handful of good quality potting mix
- Worm castings or Clay mixed with coir peat
- Scissors + a bucket or bowl + newspaper
How you do it
Pull out a couple handful of the sphagnum moss and put it in the bucket, cover it in water. You'll notice it will expand, but the amount will depend on how big your plant root system is.
Now this is like making mud pies, so put some newspaper down if you don't want to get mud everywhere.
Remove your plant from it's pot and if it has come from a larger pot shake off the excess dirt place on the newspaper and put some fresh potting mix followed by your worm castings or clay mix.
Work the castings so it encloses the root system and extra potting mix so it forms a sphere.
Once you have a nice sphere shape, pull out the moss and lay it flat on the ground. Place your mud pie directly in the center and wrap the moss to cover the entire clay ball (you may need to add some more moss to the water.
Kokedama is getting dressed
Grab your ball of string and start wrapping to secure the moss. There is no technique, just keep wrapping until it's a tight little ball.
Kokedama wrap it up
Cut your string and loop through one of the side loops and back around to create your hanger.
Depending on what plant you have these are great indoor plants, but I placed these around my veggie patch to bring bees. I've also got a couple of Jade plants inside.
Caring for your moss ball
These guys don't have a great deal of space to grow so you need to make sure you keep the water up to them. Soak them in a bucket of water once a week and also have a spray bottle handy to spray the leaves regularly.
The worm castings are packed full of nutrients but eventually, depending on the plant variety, you may want to add some liquid fertiliser to your water bucket every couple of weeks.
Whilst you could go crazy with different plant varieties, herbs, flowers, etc if you want to keep your moss ball for a long time go for long living plants that don't require a lot of food or root space.
If you end up making one of those please share it with me!