I recently got around to pruning my houseplants. My pothos was especially lanky and ended up having a major "haircut". Looking down at the pile of cuttings, and hating to throw them away, I thought it would be a great opportunity to root them and try my hand at kokedama. Kokedama, which translates to moss ball, is a traditional Japanese garden art form. Forgoing the pot, plants are grown in a ball of soil that is covered with moss and wrapped with string. Kokedama can be displayed on a stand or plate, or suspended to create gorgeous string gardens.
As it turned out, kokedama are easier to make than I imagined they would be. It's a great project for those on a budget because the cuttings are free and there are no expensive flower pots to buy. And if you are lucky enough to have moss growing in your yard, it costs next to nothing!
Read on to learn what it takes to make this simple and fun gardening project...
- houseplant cuttings
- peat moss
- garden soil
- sheet moss (live is ideal, dried will work)
- small container for mixing soil
Root your plant cuttings in water. It took about two weeks for my pothos to grow decent sized roots. Other houseplants that root easily include philodendron, ivy, spider plant, African violets, and jade.
Thoroughly mix equal parts of peat moss and garden soil.
Sprinkle with water and mix until the soil sticks together in large clumps. To test if you've added enough water, squeeze a handful of soil and a few drops of water should dribble out.
Grasp several cuttings together and form a ball of soil around the rooted ends. Squeeze firmly, but be careful not to break the fragile roots.
If you are using dried moss, soak it in water for about 30 minutes, then gently squeeze out the excess water. Cover the soil ball with pieces of moss, pressing firmly to help it stick.
While avoiding the cuttings, wrap the moss ball randomly with twine and tie the loose ends tightly together.
Tie on a long piece of twine if you wish to hang your kokedama.
This can be accomplished by wrapping twine around the moss ball just like you tie a ribbon on a gift.
Create a beautiful string garden by hanging an odd number of kokedama at different heights.
If you plan to display your kokedama outside, be aware that many houseplants don't fare well in strong, direct sunlight. Pothos is no exception, so I hung mine from a cedar tree in my shaded backyard.
By hanging them outdoors, I am hoping that mother nature will do most of the watering. But if it becomes necessary, watering your kodedama is easy. Simply immerse the moss ball in a bucket of water and soak for about 10 minutes. The water line should be around 3/4 the height of the ball and should not cover the crown of the plant.
I'd love to see any kokedama you make, and as always, don't hesitate to ask any questions!