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Small indoor hanging kokedama plant

Plants bring life and beauty into your home, but you don’t have to stick to the typical pots and vases. Those who are looking for something a bit more unique and fun might be intrigued by the idea of Kokedama, or Japanese moss ball planters. This art form makes an interesting gift, or a lovely conversation starter in your own home.

Essentially, Kokedama utilizes a moss ball as the base for a plant, rather than a pot or a vase. Once created, you can affix your moss ball planter to a platform such as driftwood, display them in a clear glass container, or suspend them on strings. Several of these living planters strung together is called a string garden.

To create your own Kokedama, you will need:

A special soil called akadama, or mix your own with clay and 15 percent Japanese peat moss
Water
Scissors
String
Gloves
A bucket or large bowl
Spray bottle
A tarp, or something else to protect your work surface (if needed)
The plant of your choice – select something that tolerates very wet soil, such as ferns, ivy, or lucky bamboo
Dry floral moss, or some other type of moss if you prefer

Next, just follow these steps.

If you’re using dried moss, soak it in water for one hour
Gradually add water to your akadama mixture until you can form it into a ball
Gently break apart the root ball of your plant
Make a hole in your soil ball, and insert the root ends of your plant
Continue spraying the ball with water to keep it moist during this process
Push the clay around the roots of the plant and secure at the base of the stem
Press the moss around the clay ball until the entire surface is covered
Wrap the ball with twine or string several times to secure moss
Affix your moss ball to a surface, place in a container, or suspend from string

As you might imagine, making Kokedama provides a fun family project that even little kids can enjoy. Continue to experiment with different plants and moss types, and try displaying your kokedama in unusual ways around the house. This art form is all about fun!