Kokedama String Garden

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About: Experiments, DIY, Life Hacks YouTube channel

Kokedama is a recent art, it first appeared in Japon in the early 1990s.
It consist in a ball of soil, covered with moss, on which an ornamental plant grows.

I love the idea to make a planter without plastic and make it only out of plants.

This instructable explains how to easily make a Kokedama at home.

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Step 1: Material

The traditional Kokedama is made of material very difficult to find outside of japon, like sand from Mount Fuji.

In this Instructable I will use some basic material that works just as well :
- Potting soil or Bonsai soil
- Clay (like the one used for pottery)
- Water
- Moss
- Sewing thread (black or green)
- Fishing line
- Plant

The best plants for kokedama are the ones that require medium to full shade, since direct sunlight will likely burn and ultimately turn the kokedama a shade of brown.

Step 2: Make a Soil Ball

Mix 2/3 of potting soil with 1/3 of clay and stir in enough water until damp. Don't stop until having an even mixture.
Then use your hands to roll it into a thick, firm ball.
Make a ball big enough to completely cover your plant's roots.
When you're done, set the ball aside.


Note : Kokedama are usually round but up to you to make it square or triangle.

Step 3: Incorporate the Plant Into the Soil Ball

Remove the plant from its pot and carefully remove a maximum of soil from the roots.

Roots that are too large can be cut (up to 1/3).

Cut your soil ball in two and sandwich the roots in your ball.

Step 4: Wrap With Green Moss

This step consist in covering the whole ball with the green moss and bind it with thread.

It is often necessary to use several pieces of moss.

Note : You can use large hemp yarn instead of thin black sewing thread, it will give your Kokedama a different style.

Step 5: Water Your Kokedama

Once finished, immerse the Kokedama into water for about five minutes. This will wash (clay and small plant debris) and tamp the soil around the roots. The water should be at room temperature.

It is good to immerse the Kokedama once a week for five minutes.

Step 6: ​Attach a Loop for Hanging

Take a piece of transparent fishing line. Use a piece as big as you want considering where you're going to hang your kokedama. Tie the string around the thread securing the plant.

You should now have a plant on a string you can hang up.

Step 7: Enjoy Your Kokedama

Kokedama are not necessary suspended by a string. It can be placed on a table as illustraded on above picture.

Thanks for following this Instructable.

Feel free to ask any questions about Kokedama in comments.

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    2 Discussions

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    Penolopy Bulnick

    20 days ago

    This is really neat!

    Does it drip much after soaking in the water or does it hold the water pretty well?

    1 reply
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    YouLabPenolopy Bulnick

    Reply 18 days ago

    It drip only for few minutes then it hold the water pretty well. I usually put another plant under the Kokedama for the first minutes.