DIY: Kokedama

Have you ever heard of Kokedama? I hadn't! Kokedama is a ball of moss covered soil with arranged plants. It is a very popular art form in Japan and is often called the "poor man's Bonsai." There are so many endless possibilities when it comes to arranging your Kokedama, including a variety of flowers, wild flowers, grasses, herbs, and other plants that can be mixed to form a small orb. Depending on which plants you decide to include, your orb could change with the seasons and grow new seedlings. This usually tends to happen if you display your Kokedama outside. I have chosen to display mine indoors, suspended from the ceiling. Right?! What!!!! It is covered in moss, so the dirt holding the plant's roots does not spill onto the floor. Kokedama can be displayed sitting near a window, hung in the home, or hung underneath a tree outside for a beautiful touch to a party or garden.

Let's make some Kokedama!!

Here is what you will need to make your own Kokedama:

  • Bonsai or succulent soil
  • Peat moss
  • Succulents or plants of your choice (I chose three succulents. The cactus was not successful, as the roots where not malleable and could not form inside the dirt ball. So, don't choose a cactus!)
  • Cotton thread or yarn
  • Sheet moss
  • Heavy twine
  1. With the succulent soil and peat moss, begin to form a ball large enough to encompass the root mass of your plant. Begin with a handful of the soils and add water until a large ball begins to come together and the soil becomes a malleable clay. This was really messy! I highly suggest making these outside. One thing that may make your ball formation easier would be to make your soil-clay in a small pot or container, adding water, and forming the ball there. 
  2. When your ball is formed, break it into halves (it should stay together) and place the roots of your plant in between them. Smash the soils and roots together, keeping your circular shape, until they have become one and the roots are completely enclosed. Wrap the soil with the cotton yarn until it feels secure.
  3. Take the sheet moss and begin to cover the outside of the soil. As you cover, begin to wrap the twine around the outside. The amount is up to you and how you want your final product to look. I recommend keeping a hose nearby to clean off your hands as you go along!
  4. If you are wanting to display your Kokedama by hanging it, my method was a little wonky, but I will try to explain as best as I can! I cut a long piece of twine and tied the ends together to create a continuous loop. I then set the Kokedama on the center of that loop, brought the two pieces up and tied them down to rest at the top center of the ball, near the plant. I then hung the two pieces of twine from the ceiling. This proved to be pretty secure!
  5. To water, if the ball feels significantly heavy, it has plenty of water. If it feels really light, fill a pot with water, and submerge the ball for a few minutes. Squeeze out excess water, and if the center feels full, it should have enough water for several days. If the moss feels dry, spray with water to moisten. 

They just turned out so cool, I can't get over them!!! I can't wait to make more and place them all over the house. Now that I have experimented and know that they won't leave clumps of dirt on my carpet, I think I am safe to hang them in my bedroom somewhere. Be on the lookout on Instagram for these cuties!

xoxo Kayla