When it comes to eco-friendly container gardens, Kokedama has it wrapped up! This traditional Japanese art form that uses moss as the container is a great way to bring the spirit of the outdoor environment inside.
The only materials you need are scissors, a medium-size bowl, string, soil, moss and whatever you wish to plant.
Jute twine, the same you use to string trellises to support tomato plants, works very well for this D.I.Y. project. You can purchase live moss for planting, but I prefer to collect it from our forest. Just give it a little shake and inspection to make sure no critters are clinging and it’s ready to use (plus it’s free material, always a plus!)
Herbs are ideal plants for Kokedama, but houseplants and ornamental grasses are well suited, too. The plant, ideally, should be in early stage growth, so if you are dealing with herbs start them well ahead of planting or purchase a few transplants from your local greenhouse.
Step 1: Cut two 4-foot long lengths of twine. Lay the center of the twine in the medium bowl so the that the ends of the twine are hanging over the edges of the bowl and the center of each length of twine is overlapped in an X-shape.
Step 2: Wet potting soil until fully moistened. Remove herb transplant from it’s container and shake excess soil from roots. Using wet potting soil, begin to form a ball shape with soil around the roots of the herb plant. (as pictured above.)
Step 3: Wrap a layer of moss around the soil ball that you have formed. Pat in place so that moss begins to stick to the wet soil. Place moss ball in bowl atop twine. Herb plant should be facing upward.
Step 4: Begin tying off string around the moss ball by first crossing a layer of twine on the upper sides of the ball (as pictured above.)
Step 5: When the sides and top of the balls of moss are secured with twine, remove the plant from the bowl. Continue tying twine around the ball of moss until all sides are secured. Follow the curves of the ball of moss as you loop and tie the twine to keep the ball shape. Don’t worry if your twine ties look “pretty” at this point or if you have more ties than you think you should have. As the plant grows, the twine will begin to -Kokedama is a traditional Japanese art form that basically has moss used as a container for a plant.
into the moss and it won’t matter!
Step 6: Once ball is fully secured, pull the remaining lengths of twine together and loop off to create a hanger. If you’d rather just have the Kokedama string plant rest on a counter top, simply cut the remaining lengths of twine off.
If you find that you do not have enough moss to cover the ball or if it slides during the tie-off process, just add a little more moss to the open space and secure with twine.
Cut and tend to your herbs as you normally would, enjoying the natural beauty of the Kokedama container.
To water, submerge the moss ball in water for 10 minutes, being mindful to only submerge the moss container and not the plant. Remove the moss ball from the water and gently squeeze it to drain excess water or allow it to drip-dry over a water container. Plants will typically need to be watered twice weekly. Judge by your plant, though. If it looks dry or droopy, water. If not, let it go a little longer between watering.
From my experience, Kokedama container plants tend to thrive in a South-facing window, but feel free to experiment to find the best locations for your green beauties!