So, what is this kokedama that I keep going on about?
Kokedama is a Japanese art form like how bonsai is. “Koke” means moss and “dama” means ball (or jewel). Japanese dictionary.
A plant has its roots surrounded by a soil medium then it is wrapped in sphagnum moss and bound by twine. The plant can then be hung or placed on a special dish or structure.
They look stunning, they’re eco-friendly (as long as the sphagnum moss has been sustainably harvested and no peat has been used in the soil medium. That’s a tick and a tick for me and I even use fair trade organic hemp for my twine) and more often than not they contain houseplants for, obviously, inside. If you don’t know how much of a good thing that is, you need to read my article here on indoor plants.
Kokedama are super easy to look after too. To know when to water your plant you just check the weight of the ball, when it feels light it’s time to water. You water by placing your kokedama in a bowl or sink of water that comes about half way up the ball. Let it soak it up for about 10-30mins, then take it out and squeeze the ball, let it drain a bit then hang back up! A lot of plants like a bit of misting here and there, ferns especially. You can mist the ball too in-between waterings’.
Things can get hairy. Literally. A soft sort of white down can appear on your ball. This is really quite normal and will not harm any person or pet. You can rub it off next time you water it and maybe look at how much air circulation your kokedama is getting.
The sphagnum moss may start greening up too. It’s all part of the naturalisation process. The twine will eventually degrade and roots may appear through the moss. But by this time (1-2 years we’re talking) the roots will be holding the shape of the ball, it’s not going to all fall to pieces!
So what to do… you can wait to see what happens, it will eventually build its own little eco-system and come out the other end looking beautiful, or you can put another layer of sphagnum moss over the ball and re-twine it or staple in pieces of fancy/wild moss over the “unsightly” bits.
Whatever the case, they are worth it for the pleasure that they can give you as well as their aesthetic and architectural presence in your home, patio, courtyard or deck.
At the moment I’m only selling my kokedamas at markets. Just need to work out packaging and how to make sure I have plants available online as well as at my markets. I’d love to know if you would be interested in purchasing kokedama off me, let me know through the comments section or the contact form on the right~