Kokedama translates to moss-ball in Japanese. Kokedamas are derived from the old Nearai Bonsai method and is said to have been created hundreds of years ago during the Edo period when a plant became so rootbound in its pot that the roots formed a ball. I have a couple in my house that I’ve made and they’re one of my favorite ways to style my plants. Today I’m sharing with you how to make one of your own.
This project takes about 20 minutes, and is suitable for any plant lover.
You will need:
- 4″ or smaller plant (I used a plumosa fern)
- Clear fishing line
- Large bowl of water
- Sheet moss
- More water
- Towel or napkin
- Garden scissors or snips
- Tray or bowl to mix soil in.
- Potting soil
- Perlite or Pumice
- Sphagnum peat moss
- Measure and soak your sheet moss.
- De-pot your plant and get as much soil off of the roots as possible.
- Begin mixing your soil, heavy on the peat moss.
- Slowly add water until it begins to act like clay and slightly sticks together.
- With your plant in one hand, start adding your “clay” dirt around to form a ball 1-2x the size of the rootball. Set aside.
- Remove the sheet moss from the water and give it a few squeezes to remove most of the water. Lay flat.
- Place your plant ball in the center of the moss and begin to fold it around to wrap the ball. If you need to use multiple pieces you can, you’ll just need to hold them in place for now or add more later. You can also trim some away if there is too much overlap.
- Thread your fishing line through the base of the plant and leave it about 6″ long. I like to wrap it in the foliage a little so I don’t lose it.
- While holding the line in place, begin wrapping your ball in a circular motion, rotating the ball each time you wrap it so that eventually all the moss is held in place. You don’t want to wrap it too tight, but the moss should be held firmly. At this point you can also roll your ball gently to help shape it, and later on it may also take on the shape of your vessel.
- Tie the ends off and clip your string. If you’d like you can also clip the moss around the base of your plant. That’s it!
Above I’ve shared my instagram reel so you can see exactly how it’s done. If for some reason it doesn’t work for you, you can view the video here.
I keep my kokedama in a beautiful bowl made by Philip Kupferschmidt Ceramics. Here are a few other suggestions:
To water your plant, submerge the ball in a bowl of water every 1-2 weeks for 5-10 minutes. You will be able to tell when it needs water because it will feel very light.