DIY Moss Ball

How to make a Kokedama (aka Hanging Moss Ball)

DIY Moss Ball

A Kokedama is a really cool Japanese garden method that uses moss as container for the plant and is bound by string. Traditionally used with bonsai, you can actually use it for all sorts of plants!

I love these things, they look super cool, and so easy and CHEAP to make. After I had made a bunch to hang in my garden I saw someone selling them at the markets for $50 a pop, they do look great so I can see the value in it if getting your hands muddy ain’t your thing.

I made one of these babies for a grand total of $2 a pop. Obviously using some of my own resources, and if I had of chosen a more expensive plant it would have been a little more.

What you need

  • A plant (I used Lobelia Flowers for this but I have since used it for Jade and it looks fantastic)
  • Sphagnum moss
  • String (I used Jute but get creative with different colours)
  • A handful of good quality potting mix
  • Worm castings or Clay mixed with coir peat
  • Scissors + a bucket or bowl + newspaper

kokedama items

How you do it

Pull out a couple handful of the sphagnum moss and put it in the bucket, cover it in water. You’ll notice it will expand, but the amount will depend on how big your plant root system is.

Sphagmam Moss

Now this is like making mud pies, so put some newspaper down if you don’t want to get mud everywhere.

Remove your plant from it’s pot and if it has come from a larger pot shake off the excess dirt place on the newspaper and put some fresh potting mix followed by your worm castings or clay mix.

kokedama shaping

 

Work the castings so it encloses the root system and extra potting mix so it forms a sphere.

Kokedama Mud PIES

Once you have a nice sphere shape, pull out the moss and lay it flat on the ground. Place your mud pie directly in the center and wrap the moss to cover the entire clay ball (you may need to add some more moss to the water.

Kokedama is getting dressed
Kokedama is getting dressed

Grab your ball of string and start wrapping to secure the moss. There is no technique, just keep wrapping until it’s a tight little ball.

Kokedama wrap it up
Kokedama wrap it up

Cut your string and loop through one of the side loops and back around to create your hanger.

Depending on what plant you have these are great indoor plants, but I placed these around my veggie patch to bring bees. I’ve also got a couple of Jade plants inside.Hanging Moss Ball

 

Caring for your moss ball

These guys don’t have a great deal of space to grow so you need to make sure you keep the water up to them. Soak them in a bucket of water once a week and also have a spray bottle handy to spray the leaves regularly.

The worm castings are packed full of nutrients but eventually, depending on the plant variety, you may want to add some liquid fertiliser to your water bucket every couple of weeks.

Different types of plants

 

Whilst you could go crazy with different plant varieties, herbs, flowers, etc if you want to keep your moss ball for a long time go for long living plants that don’t require a lot of food or root space.

If you end up making one of those please share it with me!

 

20 thoughts on “How to make a Kokedama (aka Hanging Moss Ball)

  1. Hi Nik,

    Thank you for this awesome blog! I am going right now to get everything and start making them. I lost hope in my garden but now can’t wait to get dirty again! Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Sophie, from a worm farm. But if you can’t get your hands on some try your local garden center and try to find a clay mix.

  2. hey hey,

    Awesome idea, and it worked, been going for about 2 months now but my sphagnum moss still wont turn green, does it ever and is there anything i can do to encourage it???

  3. Hi Nicki! I made a kokedama with Florida Beauty Dracaena about two months ago (Followed your instructions) and it is growing very well! but the problem is its roots are coming out of Sphagnum moss as its growing 🙁 Do you know what I should do? 🙁

    1. Hi Naro, wow that is growing really well! It might need another layer on the outside, otherwise redoing completely with more soil so the roots have room to grow.

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