How to make
To create a kokedama, you simply take a plant root and build a ball of mud around it, then cover the mud ball with moss. The ball and moss form a living planter.
Soak the moss
If dried moss is being used, soak it for the required time (usually about 15 minutes), wring out any excess water and lay it aside while the other steps are being completed.
Form your ball/s
Put on gloves, pour your soil (or soils) into the bucket, then gradually add water and mix until you can form a ball that won’t break apart. If you’re using clay and peat, keep adding water until a firm ball of mud forms.
The size of the ball will depend on the size of the central plant. The larger the central plant, the larger the mud ball needed to support the plant roots. A general rule is to make the ball the same size or slightly larger than the pot the plant comes out of.
Prepare your plant/s
When your ball is the right consistency and size, remove your selected plant from its container. Gently knock off all the soil around the roots.
Mould the ball around the plant
Use your hands to create a hole in the centre of the mud ball that is the same depth and width as the plant roots. Place plant roots into the hole and work the soil around the roots and stem.
Another method is to break the ball in half, lay the roots on one half, then push it back together.
Spray water on the ball as needed while planting to keep the mud moist and pliable.
Cover with moss
If using a clay-peat mix, apply moss to the outside of the mud ball, pressing into place until covered.
If using a bonsai or orchid mix, cover the mesh bag with sphagnum moss, but leave an opening so you can insert the plant.
Wrap it up
If using a clay-peat mix, wrap twine around the exterior at least twice. This will help hold the moss in place until it forms roots and adheres to the mud. You can also use fishing wire to keep it in place if you need more hold. Clip off excess twine and place the newly-created kokedama on driftwood or in a container.
For the orchid mix, place the ball in the mesh bag and tie the bag together. Wrap with twine.
How to display a kokedama
The finished kokedama can be displayed in a variety of different ways. Smaller specimens can be displayed on driftwood or plates or bowls.
You can hang a kokedama to create a ‘string garden’ by creating a ‘sling’ using four pieces of twine. One end of each is knotted together to form the base of the sling. Alternatively, tie four pieces of twine to the twine wrapped around the ball. A ball can hang upright or sideways.
String gardens look spectacular at special events such as weddings and parties, or hang outdoors on patios, or in areas where your garden soil is inadequate for planting.