Make a Kokedama Japanese moss planter

Mar 12, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. ET
Image: Photo By Debbie Wolfe

Kokedama is a traditional Japanese art form in which moss is used as the container to hold the plants. Although it’s a form of bonsai, you can use any type of plant to make these moss ball gardens. Take some clippings off your overgrown houseplant and let’s ball it up.

Supplies:

Kokedama Japanese moss planter: Supplies

  • A small plant (remove excess soil from roots)
  • Bonsai soil
  • Peat moss
  • Sheet moss
  • Scissors
  • Twine
  • Gloves
  • Bowl of water

Directions:

Step 1: Mix the soil

Kokedama Japanese moss planter: Step 1 Mix the Soil

Put on a pair of gloves: This is going to get messy. Mix together 70 percent bonsai soil and 30 percent peat. Add some water until it resembles the consistency of oatmeal. You will know that the mixture is correct when you can form a ball that holds its shape. Make the ball about the size of a softball.

Step 2: Wrap the ball

Kokedama Japanese moss planter: Step 2 Wrap the ball

Cut a piece of sheet moss large enough to cover the ball of soil. I found that soaking the moss in water for a few minutes makes this part easier. You could also use fresh moss from your yard if you'd like.

Step 3: Make a hole

Kokedama Japanese moss planter: Step 3 make a hole

Make a hole in the ball of soil large enough to accommodate the roots of the plant.

Step 4: Insert the plant

Kokedama Japanese moss planter: Step 4 Insert plant

Gently press the plant inside the hole. Be careful to “close” the shape back to a sphere.

Step 5: Wrap it up

Kokedama Japanese moss planter: Step 5 Wrap it up

Wrap the twine string around the ball several times. Make sure you wrap the string around enough to hold the moss in place.

Step 6: Hang it up

Kokedama Japanese moss planter: Step 6 Hang it up

Tie a piece of twine onto at least two sides of the moss ball and hang your Kokedama planter in a nice spot that receives indirect, filtered light. You can even tie some spare twine into a macrame hanger to insert your moss ball planter. To water, immerse the entire ball and plant in a bowl of water to thoroughly saturate. Let the water drain from the ball before you re-hang.

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