Based on the ancient Japanese art, Kokedama or “moss ball” gardens are becoming a new trend in indoor gardening. In this DIY Kokedama tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a Japanese moss ball that can be suspended in mid-air by string or fishing line, or set down in a decorative tray or bowl.
Contrary to what one might think, kokedama are very easy to care for—easier than a traditional potted plant! In general, all they need is a bright location such as a window to provide them with adequate light, and a 5 minute soaking about once a week.
The process is simple and easy to do, so scroll down, read the guide, and you can be on your way to creating your own hanging garden of Babylon in no time!
Kokedama is a style of Japanese bonsai, where a plant’s root system is simply wrapped in sphagnum moss and bound with string, transforming it into a sculptural art form. Loosely translated, ‘koke’ means moss and ‘dama’ means ball. The original Japanese form of kokedama had miniature sculptured bonsai trees displayed on handmade pottery or pieces of driftwood. They encapsulate the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-sabi, which can be explained as an appreciation of the imperfections of nature and the transience of natural beauty. Characteristics of Wabi-sabi include simplicity, warmth, earthy, irregular, rough, natural, acceptance and observation. Kokedama are created as a reflection of the Wabi-sabi principles.
Kokedama has since been adapted from its traditional bonsai to offer a new string garden approach, allowing one to use many different types of plants. String gardens take this tradition a step further by suspending these little green orbs in the air. They’re a great way to bring the outdoors to your home and are easy to care for. Plant choices can vary from orchids, grasses, ferns, houseplants, citrus trees, herbs, annuals, perennials or even bulbs. Kokadama can hang indoors and out, be placed in a bowl, or displayed on some other decorative object. Group together your Kokedama creations for an even more dramatic display.