How to make a kokedama or hanging moss ball

These hanging moss balls bring a delicious delicacy to an indoor space
Payless images/123RF

These hanging moss balls bring a delicious delicacy to an indoor space

Kokedama is a Japanese term that translates as "moss ball": it's a simple art that's very on-trend in floristry circles right now.

Basically, it involves freeing a plant from a pot, nestling its root system in a ball of a suitable growing medium, wrapping that up in moss held together with string and hanging the whole thing from the ceiling.

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Hang your kokedama at different points for vertical interest
La Florida Studio/Wikimedia Commons

Hang your kokedama at different points for vertical interest

This arrangement particularly suits epiphytes like orchids. You could also use ferns, vine-like plants like philodendrons or jungle cacti (epiphyllums). 

You will need sphagnum moss, bark chip or a specialist orchid mix and a mesh bag (like the sort fruit comes in). 

Cut open the bag and cover it with wet sphagnum moss, then add enough bark chips or orchid mix so you can roll the bag around it to make a ball.

These kokedama make a great windowsill display
Gergely Hideg

These kokedama make a great windowsill display

Tie the ball with a rubber band (and sew any obvious gaps shut with fishing line), then wrap the roots of your orchid around it.

Wrap fishing line around the ball to anchor the roots, add another layer of orchid mix and wrap that in more moss.

Wrap a decorative string around the outside and use it to hang your kokedama in a suitable spot.

To keep it looking fresh and green, keep on eye on the moss ball - you shouldn't let it dry out completely.

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Different plant species need different levels of moisture - check the care instructions on the label or ask the retailer.

But if the moss ball starts to dry out, take it down and soak it in a bowl of water for 15 minutes, then drain, drip dry in a colander and replace in its hanger.

Kokedama also like regular misting of the leaves. 

 - NZ Gardener

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