Do you know what a kokedama plant is ? At present, they are fashionable in almost all the world, but it is one of the oldest Japanese traditions related to gardening and the connection with nature that exist. Actually “Kokedama” is the name given to a Japanese technique used to create ornamental plants using a ball of moss and, specifically, is what the word means: “Koke” means “moss” and “dama” means “ball”.
With this technique of oriental gardening, we can have ornamental plants of small or medium size, both inside and outside, in a very original way and that during its manufacture, and then having it close, helps us to connect more with nature and create a more relaxed. You can plant small plants with or without flowers, succulents or succulents, small shrubs or bonsai, among other options.
How to make a kokedama?
To start making your own kokedama at home you will need to gather the following materials :
- The plant you choose
- Fine river sand.
- Coconut fiber (optional).
- Thread or string
The plant should be, preferably, of slow growth or of little development, that does not grow much. This way you will not need to change the ball or expand it very often.
Some of the most common kokedama plants are orchids, bonsai of all types, ribbons, small ivies, coleos, ferns and succulent plants. Discover in this other article of Green Ecology some of the types of succulents that can best serve you to create a kokedama with coconut fiber or moss.
Now, when you have all the material, you can proceed with the following steps to learn how to make a kokedama plant.
The first step after gathering the necessary material is to make the kokedama ball by squeezing and modeling the peat with the bonsai substrate, while doing it see adding sand and clay , the latter especially in case you have not included substrate for bonsai . Ideally, you should make 1 part substrate of bonsai (akadama) or clay and 3 parts of peat or normal soil for plants and some fine river sand.
Try to be as round as possible and see keeping the humidity in the ground, which also provides oxygenation, for this if you use land purchased ready and you will have enough, but if you think it dries while you handle it, it will be better to moisten your hands with a little mineral water.
Go moistening the mixture and giving it shape trying to leave a hole or hole in the center, without trespassing the base, leaving several centimeters thick for the base.
Now that you have the base that will cover the roots and feed the plant, you just have to place the plant you have chosen in the hole. But, before placing it, it is best to cut the roots just enough to fit without problems and make sure you put it well centered. Place a little more of the soil mixture to cover the top so that no roots remain in the air.
Take the string, fine rope or thread you have chosen to sew the ball and wrap it around the ball with several turns, covering it like a spider’s web so that the support of the plant stays well attached and is more stable.
Moisten the moss a little with a spray or sprayer and cover the ball already sewn with this moss. If you want to use coconut fiber this is the time to mix it with the moss to place it. This will help the ball retain the necessary moisture, filtering correctly, and give it a more decorative touch.
Now you just have to place the kokedama at home , inside or outside, where you prefer. You can put it on a decorative plate, giving a little shape to the base or placing it between stones, or you can make a hanging kokedama , like the ones in the image, placing more thread or string on the outside of the ball and tying it to the ceiling or some hook.
To finish, in this last step, we explain how the kokedama is taken care of, something that you have to apply daily from the first moment so that the plant does not die in a short time. Among the main care of kokedama we highlight the following and if you follow these tips well you will enjoy this plant for several years.
Do not expose it to the direct sun, since the moss can be excessively dried and water missing from the plant or even burned.
Never squeeze the kokedama ball to let the water run off, let it use it as you need it, and let it expel by itself the possible excess.
If you live in a dry climate environment, you can spray the leaves of the plant with a spray or water spray when they do not have direct sun. If you do it with direct sun, the leaves will burn.
To water a kokedama you just have to wait until the ball is quite dry or it is completely dry to perform the well known irrigation by immersion or “the irrigation technique by tray”. Fill a large container with mineral water and place the ball so that it is covered about four fingers or half of it. Allow it to absorb water for 10 or 15 minutes and then remove it and allow the excess to drain. Be careful with the risks so that the ball and the whole plant itself does not dry out, but neither does it flooded and drown, make sure you can drain well.
Remember to turn the ball so that the light goes well to all parts of the plant and it does not twist excessively, to reach natural light, unbalancing the ball.
Control possible pests such as aphids, fungi, pillbugs, etc. discover here what are the most common pests and diseases of indoor plants and tricks to eliminate and prevent them. Clean the leaves once a week, if they are large or wide, to eliminate accumulated dust. Use a cotton cloth or moistened gauze.
After the blooms, pruning the plant, cutting out the dry parts and the parts in which all the flowers have fallen. Leave the parts that are totally healthy. You can use diluted fertilizers in the irrigation water. If parts of the wire frame are broken, you can sew it to the moss ball or add more string or thread.
Finally, if you have cats or other pets that may be attracted to this ornamental plant to play with or pry, place it out of reach. Thus, you will avoid problems in the plant and that your pets may become intoxicated, depending on the type of plant you have chosen.