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Kokedama is a Japanese word and literally translated it means "moss ball". Indeed, these enchanting moss balls are lively compositions made from ferns, flowering plants, bamboo or succulents. In Japan they are called the poor man's bonsai, but these days kokedamas have spread all over the world and have become very popular with both rich and poor. A Kokedama can be created in no time at all and then also relatively easy to care for. In addition, the effect is more than impressive. See for yourself by making your own moss balls with ornamental plants.

Be inspired by Japanese garden art!

Making a kokedama can be a bit tricky, but if you scroll down you will find a step-by-step guide that explains in detail how to make a kokedama yourself! But first, get inspired and check out some stimulating pictures of finished moss balls!

Make Kokedama yourself - original ideas for hanging indoor plants

Create moss balls Asian style

What is Kokedama?

An ancient tradition in Japanese gardening, these small moss balls are associated with the accent plants often displayed alongside a bonsai, as well as with ikebana (Japanese floral arrangement). A kokedama can be created using a variety of plant species. By covering the root ball with a layer of sticky, moss-covered mud, one can create the distinctive round shape. The moss balls are traditionally displayed on a flat tray, but more recently they have also been presented as hanging plants.

What is Kokedama and how is it made?

How to care for a Kokedama?

Watering a Kokedama is a relatively easy task. The best way to tell if your moss ball needs watering is to feel how heavy it is. You can also check the moss. If it feels dry, must pour the kokedama. Soaking the ball in water for about 5 minutes should be more than enough.

Most ferns and succulents thrive indoors. Nevertheless, always consider your plant species and find the best place for your Kokedama.

You can fertilize your moss balls with a liquid fertilizer once a month.

Kokedamas are very easy to care for

What is required to create a Kokedama?

To make a kokedama yourself, you need some soil ingredients like peat moss (spaghnum), ketone soil, akadama soil, and water. Of course, your composition also needs a living plant. For your first try, it is best to use a fern. Then you need a string to tie it all together as shown in following pictures.

You will need the following materials - different keys

A small houseplant

Moss and Yarn

You will need the following for your first DIY Kokedama:

  • Soil ingredients: Akadama, Keto (a Japanese type of very sticky clay), Spagnum. However, you can use potting soil if you are not keto.
  • Water
  • a living plant - ferns are strong and good for beginners, but you can also use flowering plants, succulents or even bamboo
  • Some Moss - The moss can be collected from a variety of places such as your yard, a park, or a forest.
  • String.

Now we can start creating a living moss ball.

DIY Kokedama

Make Kokedama yourself - step-by-step instructions

  • The first part of your soil mix is dried keto (a Japanese clay that most bonsai shops also sell online). If you can't find keto, you can use potting soil, but this won't hold together as well as keto.

  • Add water to make the soil a muddy substance.

  • Add peat moss to mixture.

  • At this point you have a mix of potting soil, water and peat moss.

  • If you bonsai If you practice, you probably have Akadama available - a hard baked clay that will make your Kokedama earth mix a bit coarser. If you don't have Akadama you can use any type of baked clay or just add more potting soil.

  • After adding the Akadama, your Kokedama substrate should be able to hold together in a spherical shape.

  • Take the ornamental plant you want to use for your Kokedama.

  • Remove loose soil and try to form the roots into a round ball.
  • The next step is to add the prepared soil around the root ball, so make sure to reduce the size of the root ball so your final composition isn't too big.

  • Now use your mixed substrate and form it around the root ball of the fern. Ideally you should have a layer of the prepared substrate of about 5mm around the root ball.

  • This is the type of moss we are looking for to surround the root ball.

  • Clean the collected moss (remove leaves, stones, bugs, etc.) and place it around the substrate.

  • You will need some wire or twine to hold the moss in place.

  • Gently wrap the root ball with the thread to keep the moss in place.

  • This is your finished Kokedama! You can place it on a flat tray or even hang it to create a hanging garden.

Orchids designed as moss balls

Decorated with matching pebbles

Simple and very original

Bonsai trees with a difference

You can also turn citrus trees into kokedamas

You can add fresh accents with colored yarns

Create a natural atmosphere in your home

Japanese Garden Art

Japanese Style Hanging Indoor Plants

Small succulents are perfect for this

Kokedamas look very original and also look very natural

Apart from the type of plant, you can create a moss ball

Create Kokedama - necessary materials

Spring mood in the living room

Kokedamas are both original and very practical

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