Kokedamas are originally from Japan, they are a creative way to present plants. Similar to bonsai, Kokedamas ( Koke, moss, and dama, ball in Japanese ) are plants that are contained in balls of moss and substrate and that need to stay hydrated .

They are fashionable and sold everywhere, but they are also easy to make yourself. Here are the steps to follow to create your own kokedamas , but first some tips to consider:

You will need plants that are shady and have small roots , for example begonias, ferns and orchids, but it is also true that many indoor plants will thrive in this form of cultivation if they are provided with the right light.

How to perform a kokedama step by step

You need:

  • Plant of your choice with little development
  • Land
  • Clay
  • Sand
  • Moss


Ideally, use plants with little development, which are small, so you do not have to expand the ball of substrate for a long time.

1. Make the substrate ball

To make a Kokedama you need to make a kind of “clay ball “, using peat and special substrate for bonsai (akadama) for example; It is about maintaining the round shape, humidity and oxygenation, to achieve this you must make a balanced mixture, even add some river sand. Mix a few generous handfuls of clay with the same amount of potting soil.

This ball will serve as support for the roots, it will also provide some nutrients, although it will be necessary to fertilize frequently.

2. Plantation

Hold the plant with one hand, and with the other, mold the clay mixture all the way around the roots. Start on the sides, work the top, then squash the clay at the bottom of the plant last. Shape the clay into a round ball, making sure the clay is against the base of the leaves.

3. Placing the moss

Firmly press the moss into the entire ball of clay. The soft moss should stick directly to the mud.

4. Achieve balance when wrapping with the rope

Cut at least 10 feet of thread. Place the already mossy plant in the center of the string, then wrap it around and twist, several times, until the entire plant is tight.

5. Wrap the rope properly

To finish the wrap, tie one end of the string on one side of the ball. Weave it up and under the already wrapped threads, knotting as you go. Then repeat with the other end of the string, on the opposite side of the ball.
Getting a good balance is crucial, especially with a flower that grows upright.

6. Do the hanging

Hang the kokedama where conditions are right for the plant’s needs. To water it, keep a container of water under the wrapped ball to submerge the roots. Because the plant is not in a solid container, waterings that are slightly more frequent than other plants in your garden will be required.

Tips for caring for kokedamas

  1. Do not expose to direct sun.
  2. Do not squeeze the kokedama to drain the water.
  3. If the environment is dry, spray the leaves with water.
  4. Dip in water when the moss ball is dry.
  5. Beware of cats, they love to bite and play with kokedama.
  6. The kokedama should be turned on its axis so that the leaves do not tip into the sunlight.
  7. Periodically control the appearance of fungi and insects that may affect the plant to combat them in time.
  8. Kokedama suffers more from excess water than from a lack of it.
  9. Clean the leaves with a cotton swab dipped in water if necessary.
  10. Cut the dry leaves carefully so as not to injure the healthy leaves.
  11. Strengthen with fertilizers and organic fertilizers preferably adding them to the irrigation water.
  12. If the threads come loose they can be sewn with a needle to the kokedama.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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