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DIY Tutorial: Hanging String-Bound Kokedama Moss Balls


 

 
photo credit: String Gardens 

 

A few weeks back I posted an article titled Modern & Eco-Friendly Indoor Gardens in which I talked about string gardens by Fedor van der Valk.  As promised, here is a tutorial on how to make your own hanging string-bound Kokedama moss balls.

Kokedama is an old Japanese botanic art form which has been lately revived.   The following tutorial with accompanying instructional photos are courtesy of Sicilian-born Amsterdam-based designer Aura Scaringi from  Miss Moussetache.  A portfolio of her work can be found at Mimimou; an urban exploration, graphic design and illustration studio.

KOKEDAMA Tutorial,

as Posted on Miss Moussetache

 

You will need a tiny plant; moss can’t stand direct sunlight so choose a shadow loving plant.  Remove as much soil as possible from your plant so that its roots get exposed.  Be very thorough but gentle.

Mix your peat soil and akadama or bonsai soil together; using a ratio of 7:3.  You know the consistency is right when you are able to make a small ball from the earth without it breaking apart.

Now that your soil is mixed, start shaping it into a small ball the size of an orange.  Use a little bit of water if needed.  Think ‘clay’ or ‘pizza dough’.

Make sure each ball has enough room to accommodate the roots of your plant.

Take a bunch of dry moss and wrap it carefully around the roots, making a circular and compact shape.  Then tie the cotton string several times around it.  This will eventually dissolve.

Make a small hole in your soil ball and gently press the plant inside it.  Be careful to ‘close’ the shape back to a sphere.  Now it’s time for the fun part: take small sheets of moss and press them firmly into the soil.  Don’t leave any open spaces.  Wrap the twine string around the ball as if you are packing a present and leave the long sides as long as needed.  Choose a nice, shady place, install a hook and hang your wonderful planet of moss.

 

Still confused?

Then check out this video on YouTube

You will be webbing your own Kokedama string gardens in no time !

 

video credit: neo1680064  

 
Like any other living plants, these string gardens need to be watered regularly to strive. What you need to do is hold the plant ball between your hands and if it feels dry and light as cork then it needs to be watered.  You can also tell by the color of the soil.  It needs water if it is light brown in color.  If on the other hand it is darker in color, then you can skip watering.

Start by placing the bottom of the plant into a bowl of water and move around until completely soaked; you will know when to stop when you no longer see air bubbles forming in the water around the base.  Remove and hold above the bowl till all excess water drips back and then hang.


photo credit: String Gardens


 

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5 Responses to DIY Tutorial: Hanging String-Bound Kokedama Moss Balls

  1. By Lynsay, February 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    PLEASE give an alternative to using peat! It is not eco-friendly and where I live our peat forests are rapidly being destroyed. They are essential filters for keeping our fresh water clean and help keep our ecosystems healthy.

    • By Brian, August 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Instead of peat I have seen them with grass. I imagine it would take some time to grow and grow in a more upward direction giving a different look than the peat but it would be more eco-friendly. Keep in mind that the grass would need to be trimmed to keep the look but this would allow the hanging ball to go outside in a sunny location. To get the best results make a separate “pizza dough” soil (round, thin, and flat) sprinkle the seeds on top and then press that to the outside of the original ball much in the same way you see the moss done in the video above.

      • By admin, August 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm

        Thank you Brian, for the alternate option and how-to instructions.

  2. By Aura, August 1, 2011 at 2:35 am

    What an honor to be feautured on your lovely blog. Thank you, Christine!

    • By admin, September 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      Thank you, Aura, for a beautifully illustrated tutorial.

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