Kokedama Instructions & Care
What is Kokedama?
Kokedama is a centuries old Japanese garden art in which Moss ball is used for supporting the growth of a garden plant or sculpted trees. The Moss balls are either fixed on a platform or suspended using strings with the plants growing out from the Moss ball. In Japanese ‘Koke’ means Moss and ‘Dama’ means ball. In this art work, the plant with its roots are suspended in a mud ball which is then covered using soft green coloured Moss. You can use the Moss ball as a planter or as a display piece to enhance the beauty of your space. You can create a string garden by hanging many Kokedama pieces.
Materials needed for Kokedama
You will need the following items to create Kokedama or the Moss balls. Traditionally the Japanese uses akadama soil and peat Moss to create Kokedama. You can use the bonsai soil available in garden stores or a mixture of clay and peat Moss (15%) to create the base of the ball. You will also need the following items:
- A plant
- Sphagnum Moss or Peat Moss
- Some Akadama soil optional
- Spray can
- A bucket
- A sheet of newspaper
How to make Kokedama?
You need to select the ideal plants to grow in the Moss ball, according to your climate, light availability and ease of care of the plant. Ferns, ivy, lucky bamboo, hostas, grasses or even the Australian plant the kangaroo paw. These plants are all suitable to make Kokedama.
Step- 1 Take out the Moss and place it in a bucket containing water so that it absorbs water and expands.
Step- 2 Cover your working area using newspaper to avoid dirt and mud sticking to your table
Step-3 Take out the plant and remove any excess soil and roots to give the plant a well balanced look.
Step-4 Cover the roots with fresh potting mix or clay (akadama soil) and Moss mix. The mixture should cover the root system of the plant and it should form a spherical shape.
Step-5 Take out the Moss and squeeze out the excess water from it. Lay it flat on the newspaper and place the plant mud ball in the centre of the spread Moss and cover it with Moss.
Step-6 Get the string and start wrapping it around the Moss tightly until it forms a ball shape. You can create the hanger to hang the Moss ball by looping the string.
Step-7 Water it using the spray can and hang the ball in the appropriate area in your garden or indoors. You can also place them in containers if you do not have an appropriate place to hang them.
How to Care For Kokedama?
As the plants inside the Moss balls do not have much space, it is necessary to provide enough water for their proper growth. Spray water on the leaves using a spray can regularly. Once in a week do not forget to soak the Moss balls in a bucket containing water. You can add some liquid fertiliser in the water in which you soak the ball once in two or three weeks.