- What is a Kokedama?
Kokedama derives from a centuries-old Japanese garden art technique that is closely related to Bonsai. Kokedama is essentially a ball of soil enclosed around the roots of a small plant, that is then swaddled in moss and secured with twine.
- How do you pronounce Kokedama?
To correctly pronounce the word you can break it up into four parts e.g. Ko-ke-da-ma.
- Are Japanese Moss Balls the same as Kokedama?
Yes, they are. “Koke” in English means “moss” and “dama” means “ball”. These unique plants are also known in Japan as The Poor Man’s Bonsai. Garden stores may also refer to them as string gardens because of the way their roots are wrapped in twine and often hung in peoples gardens.
- Do Koch & Co sell Kokedama?
- How long will my Kokedama last?
Depending on climate and care, your Kokedama should survive between 2 to 3 years. Its lifespan is dependent on a few factors including climate, maintenance, and even the type of plant you use. Often after 2 to 3 years, your plant will start to outgrow its soil ball. At this time, you will need to remake the ball and make it bigger for the plant to continue growing. If this is not done routinely, you run the risk of damaging the plant's roots and killing it.
- What are the best plants to use in my Kokedama?
The plants that you choose must have a few key characteristics for them to work with this kind of unique gardening method.
- Stay small
- Slow growing
- Be tolerant to less ideal growing conditions
Best plants to use for Kokedama:
- Cebu Blue Pothos
- Chinese Money Plant
- Dwarf ZZ Plant
- Ivy Peperomia
- Ficus tree Bonsai
- Spider Plant
- Nerve Plant
- Pineapple Mint
- Rabbit Foot Fern
- Bird’s Nest Fern
- Waffle Plant
- Rex Begonia
- How do I water my Kokedama?
The most important rule when taking care of your Kokedama is to always make sure the soil is moist. Once or twice a week you should check if your moss ball is moist and heavy. If it feels light and dry, then it’s time to give it a bath. To water your Kokedama, fill up a bucket or sink with 2 – 3 cups of water. Then place your Kokedama into the water and let it sit for a few minutes. After this time, remove the ball from the water and let the excess water drip until it stops and then return it to its display.
- Should I use fresh or preserved moss on my Kokedama?
Always use fresh moss or Sphagnum moss when making your Kokedama. Preserved moss is a dyed product and because you have to soak the Kokedama to water it, preserved moss would not work well during this process.
- Where can I buy fresh moss from to use on my Kokedama?
You can buy fresh moss or Sphagnum moss at most flower markets, garden nurseries, or hardware stores. If none is readily available, we recommend asking your local nursery to source it for you.
- Where is the best place to display my Kokedama?
The main thing to remember when displaying your Kokedama is that they should not be left in direct sunlight, near artificial heat sources or strong drafts. This is because these elements can cause the soil to dry out quickly and harm the plant. The moss surrounding your Kokedama also thrives in humid environments, opposed to dry ones. If you wish to display your moss balls indoors where the humidity is most likely lower, you can try putting your Kokedama in the bathroom to indulge in the steam of the shower or near a humidifier for a few hours.
- Should I use fertiliser on my Kokedama?
Yes. Once a month you should treat your Kokedama to a little bit of fertiliser which has been diluted with water. The type of fertiliser will depend on the type of plant you are growing, so we recommend always consulting your local nursery for information, and to buy organic products when possible.
- How should I prune my Kokedama?
Kokedamas like to be pruned and this is an essential step to ensure they thrive for a long time. A good rule of thumb is to always keep no more than 5 stems on your moss ball at a time. Also, pruning dead leaves can help promote growth and longevity. Over time, your Kokedama may also become too large to sustain its small ball of soil. If this is the case you can remake the ball so that it is larger, or halve it to make two separate moss balls.
- How do I make my own Kokedama?
Kokedamas are a fun DIY home gardening activity for all ages. To help create your own Kokedama, we have put together a step-by-step guide. Read our Guide On How to Make Your Own Kokedama now to get started.