Kokedama is a unique gardening technique that originates from Japan. Kokedama is a Japanese term that means “moss ball” in English. Kokedama constitutes a ball made of soil wrapped with moss and used to grow ornamental plants.
Gardeners are learning Kokedama for its unique and appealing appearance, making it perfect for adorning indoor spaces. Stay with us to learn how to care for a Kokedama plant and keep it healthy.
Kokedama is also referred to as a poor man’s bonsai. It is made with wet akadama soil combined with keto (peat), shaped into a ball. The plant roots are wrapped in a ball of peat moss, and it is then held together by some aluminum or nylon wire. Learn with us how to care for a Kokedama with some amazing tips.
- Bonsai Akadama: Used by Japanese master gardeners. Akadama soil is mined in Japan from volcanic soil. Once extracted its dried and sifted to various grain sizes.
What is a Kokedama?
Kokedama is an ancient Japanese gardening technique that has regained popularity recently. Kokedama is the process of taking a plant with its root network and making it into a ball of mud and soil.
This ball is, in turn, wrapped with a layer of peat moss. You can see Kokedama displayed aesthetically everywhere on Pinterest, and it makes you want to have your own Kokedama.
Though it might seem complicated, making a Kokedama is a very simple process, and we are here to guide you. Keep reading the article to learn how to care for a Kokedama plant and how to create them.
Items You Will Need
- Plastic buckets or containers
- Coir peat brick
- Plastic sheet
- Plant of your choice
- Sphagnum moss
- Water spraying bottle
- 100% Natural & organic, OMRI Listed. Each brick weighs 250 gm
- High-grade coconut coir with low EC and pH levels
- Provides plenty of aeration and drainage, Contains only coconut pith and fibers
- Our coco coir products are organic, guaranteed to be very high quality and very low salt content. Very low level of EC is attained by repited washing with fresh water.
- 100% natural, renewable replacement for peat moss, rockwool & perlite
- 【Package Include】You will receive 2 quarts(Appx.3oz) sphagnum moss, it will swell after absorbing water, it helps the plants to retain water while hiding the dirt, and looks good, these carnivorous plant soil mix can re-potting 1-2 medium plants or 3-4 small plants.
- 【Premium Material】It is good quality pure natural dry moss, free of twigs, roots, dirt clods or any other debris, not contain any artificial colourings, it have good water retention and drainage, excellent ventilation, contains varieties of nutrients, which can meet needs of carnivorous plants, not easy to spoil, can be used for a long time.
- 【Application】You can use these orchid moss as nutritional succulent soil for plants, fern, venus flytrap plants, carnivorous plants, also as layering decoration for succulents, or use as egg-laying and incubation medium, substrate for reptile or amphibians terrariums.
- 【Multi-use】Dried moss can use for make terrarium moss crafts, floral design or mini gardens, air plant terrariums, fill hanging basket line, decorate wreaths, natural lawn base for mini landscaping and scenery model, good filler of your faux houseplants.
- 【Warm Tips】Please watering when the peat moss is not completely dry. Once it is dry, it will difficult to re-absorb water. And if you find organic moss is entangled with the roots when replacing it, please do not pull it in case break the roots. You could soak and shake in water to wash off the old sphagnum moss.
1. Gather the Material
First and foremost, you need to gather all the essential items for your Kokedama. All the materials are very easy to find. You can find most of them in your home already, and You can buy the other things from a nearby nursery or the links provided in the article.
Lay down a plastic sheet to avoid making a mess, and you are ready to start your project.
2. Soak the Moss
Soak the coir moss and sphagnum moss in two separate containers of water.
Pro tip: Wear a face mask while handling the coir moss to avoid inhaling any dust.
Soak the coir moss in water until its consistency becomes similar to that of soil or coffee grounds. Achieving this consistency will make it easier for you to mold it in a ball. Sphagnum moss does not require to be soaked as long as coir moss. Just soak it long enough to absorb enough water and become wet.
After soaking both types of mosses, squeeze them to get rid of excess water.
3. Choose a Plant
Now that the moss is ready, you must choose the plant you want to grow in your Kokedama. You can choose any plant you like. Avoid succulents and cacti because they will rot due to the high moisture of Kokedama.
Dig out a whole small plant carefully with its roots. Brush up and clean the excess mud from the roots, and you are set.
4. Wrap the plant with moss
Now take the coir moss and wrap it around your plant’s roots. It does not have to be a perfect shape; you can easily alter it when you wrap the twine.
After the coir moss is wrapped, it is time for the peat moss. Flatten your peat moss and make a sheet from it. Now wrap this peat moss around the coir, and you are done.
5. Wrap it Up with Twine
Now secure the moss and shape it with the help of some twine. Wrap it around firmly and knot it at the bottom to tightly pack the moss and hold its form. After wrapping it up, spray it with some water, and you are done. Your Kokedama plant is ready to add to the aesthetic of your home.
How to Care for a Kokedama Plant
Now that you have learned how to create your own Kokedama, it is time to learn how to care for a Kokedama plant. Caring for a Kokedama is a fairly simple process, but the caring may vary for different plants used to make the Kokedama. This guide has elaborated on the general caring tips for a Kokedama plant.
Watering a Kokedama
Like any other plants, kokedama plants need a healthy amount of water to sustain their growth and keep them healthy. You must be wondering how would you even water a kokedama? It is not a traditional pot that you can water with a watering can. The two most common modes of watering a kokedama are soaking and spraying.
Soaking: If you opt for water through the kokedama, fill a bowl with room temperature water. Make sure the bowl is large enough to hold and submerge the kokedama. Let the kokedama soak in the water, and plant side up for 20 to 30 minutes until the moss is completely wet.
After soaking the kokedama, take it out and gently squeeze it to get rid of excess water. Let the kokedama drain before placing it back in its place.
Misting: another popular method of watering the kokedama is misting water through a spraying bottle. Mist the water on the foliage and the moss of the kokedama to keep it moist.
Frequency of Watering
Soak your kokedama after every two weeks or increase the frequency if you live in a hot climate. Another way of checking when your kokedama needs to be soaked is by holding it in your hand and feeling its weight. If the kokedama is feeling very light, then it needs water. A moist and watered kokedama weighs much heavier.
Another important thing to keep while watering your kokedama is the type of plant you are using.
Fertilizing a Kokedama
As you know, a plant needs enough essential nutrients to sustain its growth and keep it healthy. The soil usually provides these nutrients. Since a kokedama constitutes moss, it requires frequent fertilization to keep the plant healthy. Moss contains nutrients in micro amounts, which may not be enough to sustain the plant.
You can either use a water-soluble fertilizer or a time-release fertilizer. Mix the pellets of the time-release fertilizer with your soil and moss mixture. It will provide nutrients to the plant over time.
Using a water-soluble or liquid fertilizer is a better option. You can increase or decrease the frequency of fertilization depending on your plant’s needs. Add one or two tablespoons of liquid fertilizer to the water when you soak your kokedama. You can also mix the fertilizer in your spraying bottle and apply it directly to the foliage.
It entirely depends upon the type of plant you are using. Usually, hanging it in a bright place or placing it on a window sill is most suitable. Keep the kokedama in bright indirect sunlight and avoid direct sun exposure.
Kokedama makes an excellent addition to your home aesthetic and provides a creative way to grow your plants. In this article, we have covered everything from how to care for a kokedama plant to creating your kokedama.
Now you have a fun project on your hand. Make your kokedama and share how it turned out in the comments below!