Kokedama Instructions & Care

How To Make A Kokedama Hanging Moss Ball Plant From Scratch

Kokedama Or Hanging Japanese Moss Ball hanging in a shop

What is a 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.

The Equipment and Supplies You’ll Need to Finish this Project are Listed Below

You will need the following items to create Kokedama or the Moss balls. Traditionally the Japanese used akadama soil which is also today used for succulents and bonsai together with peat Moss to create Kokedama. Buy 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
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Spray can
  • Water
  • A bucket
  • A sheet of newspaper

How to make Kokedama Hanging Moss Ball Plant for Australian Homes and Gardens

You need to select the ideal plants to grow in the Moss ball, according to your climate, light availability and ease of care for the plant. Ferns, ivy, lucky bamboo, hostas, grasses, jade plant or even the Australian plant the kangaroo paw as pictured. These hardy plants are all suitable to make Kokedama hanging baskets.

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 or macrame baskets if you do not have an appropriate place to hang them.

To make a fancy kokedama hanging plant by adding flair, glitz and glam to your projects by stringing beads or adding trinkets, jewellery, or anything else you choose. Op shops are an ideal place to find art and craft items cheap.

How to Care For Kokedama?

Water because the plants inside the Moss balls have limited space, it is essential to provide them with sufficient water for good growth. Use a spray bottle to frequently spritz the leaves with water. Don’t forget to submerge the moss balls in water when the ball feels lightweight until the bubbles cease. Add liquid fertiliser to the soaking water to feed the plant inside the ball.

Repotting your kokedama hanging plant should be carried out as often as every two years.  

Prune pruning and trimming are necessary to keep the plants in the proper form and beauty.

How to Make a Traditional Kokedama Moss Ball

The roots are protected by a layer of clay (akadama soil). The mixture should completely cover the plant’s roots. Place the plant mud ball in the centre of a mossy blanket and cover it. String is wrapped firmly around and around the moss until it forms a ball. Hold living plant under water until the bubbles vanish then hang it.


Trees Shrubs and Vines

Flowers and Bulbs

Decadent Daylilies