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.

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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.

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