Popsugar did an article on Fedor van der Valk and his kokedama gardens a few years ago and I was absolutely mesmerized by his creations. It took me two years to get my stuff together and try and recreate one. Haha, not really. I didn't think I could get a hold of the right materials and that a plant would survive living in a ball of moss. Well, it's been two months since I planted my first kokedama and the moss ball + the plant are doing great and are not showing any signs of dying.
If I did it I'm confident you and anybody can do it too and have your own hanging string garden. So here's what you need.
A plant. Since it is an experiment I suggest not spending too much money on the first plant and picking an easy plant. Ferns and bulbs will do great.
Gloves. I didn't use gloves. Big mistake. It will get messy.
Clay. I used powdered white clay that I brought from Europe five years ago but you can buy clay from Amazon.
String/rope. I'm using jute twine here. You can use the same or even better - thick nylon string. Nylon will never rot and won't drop the plant. This is extra important if you are doing a bigger/heavier plant.
Sheet moss- Amazon, Michael's, Home Depot or your backyard.
Bonsai soil- Amazon.
An empty bowl for mixing.
Arrange your materials in one area. Put on gloves.
Pour half a cup of clay into a bowl and dilute it with water. Mix it well and work through the clumps. Make sure not to pour too much water in, it should be the consistency of sour cream. Start adding soil to the clay and mixing it well. The proportion should be 1 clay : 3 parts of bonsai soil.
Once it's mixed form a ball with your hands.
Get the plant out of the pot and strip it off most of the soil. Make a hole in your soil ball with your finger, place your plant inside of the ball, a few inches deep and close the hole by firmly pressing the ball back into it's shape.
Cut three fairly long pieces of rope and tie them in the middle just like pictured.
Get your moss damp - it will help it adhere to the soil better. I misted mine with a mister. Start wrapping your ball with sheets of moss pressing firmly and cutting off excess moss where needed.
Place the rope with the knot down and in the middle of a flat surface. Place the kokedama on top of the knot. Run a separate rope across the moss ball and tie the bottom pieces of the rope to it. You can run one or two pieces of rope across depending on how big your moss ball is. I did two.
Cut off extra pieces of rope. Submerge your moss ball in water for a few minutes.
Hang up against a pretty wall, take a picture and enjoy!
I found that my kokedama is doing best when I mist it once every couple of days and submerge it in water with plant food for a few minutes every 10 or so days. Depending on what your plant likes hang your kokedama in a more shady or sunny spot but keep in mind that moss does not stand direct sun.
So here you have it! Please let me know if this was helpful to you, if you have any thoughts or suggestions. I'm putting a lot of thought into this blog and any feedback will be so very helpful! <3