1. Prepare plant for Kokedama.
Chose the plant you like. Consider plant care guideline when you select the plant to know their characteristics. I chose “Dracaena Marginata” for this DIY page which is pretty low maintenance and dry tolerant plant.
First, take out the plant from the pot and cut the long roots. It is better to leave little soil around the roots to avoid giving plants shock for changing the environment (transformed to kokedama consider as repotting to plants).
Dracaena Marginata is hardy plant, I say cut about 1/4 of original root. (This is same method with Bonsai called “nearai”)
Keep the soil came with the plant, we will mix new soil with it.2. Prepare soil for Kokedama.
Suitable soil for each plant is different. You may want to study what soil is best for your plant. You may can observe what kind of soil was used in the original pot came with and it is safe to use that composition for kokedama.
To be safe, mix with peat moss and soil came in the pot with water. Make the soil soft enough to make mud ball. (Not recommend making too wet soil even it is easier to make ball. Most of house plant doesn’t like to sitting on wet feet, it will make plant root rotten.
I mixed soil with peat moss and perlite for dracaena marinate. I used 30% of the soil that came with the potted plant, then I added 35% of peat moss, 35% of perlite.
FYI: In Japan, keto soil 80%, akadama soil 20% is the general soil used for kokedama however Japan’s climate is different and here in this DIY we are going to use preserved moss. Keto/Akadama is just for your reference, I added picture of what Keto soil look like. Keto soil is basically the mud found at liver or lake, high nutrients and holds moisture for long time, or in other words, it doesn’t drain water so much. I believe you can find similar soil like keto in USA by springs, rivers, or lakes.
3. Create Kokedama ball
One way of planting is to make a mud ball and break it in half to put the plant in center of the mud ball. You can choose the size of mud ball to balance out with plant size. (Smaller ball keep the plant small.) Use both hand to make the mud ball round shape, cover all the roots with soil.If you are making big plant kokedama, you may want to puddle the mud onto plant roots little by little.
- Make the mud ball into half to make space for plant.
- Place plant in the center of mud ball.
- Use your both hand to form it to round shape.
4. Covering up with sheet moss.
Spread out sheet moss and take out unnecessary objects (Sometime I find pine needles, fallen leaves.) To make 4-inch diameter kokedama ball, I used about 8 x 6 inches’ sheet moss and that was more than enough to cover whole ball. Make sure you covered up with moss, do not want to make space to see soil.
Wet the sheet moss and squeeze out of all water. This will make it easy to cover the ball.
After mud ball was covered by sheet moss, press it hard the moss onto ball by hand to form round shape. Moss is still wet, i is easy to shape.
Use fishing line to secure the moss on to the ball. Make spiral wrapping
Use twine or string to wrap the moss onto the ball. In any way, you can wrap it but tight and strong, better not to make any space. Imagine this kokedama lives 2-3 years in this form, the soil will come out if the string is too loosened.
I have made YouTube Video of how to make kokedama. I hope this will help you.
Sometime picture tells thousand things!
Watch how to make Kokedama Youtube
Orchid Kokedama making Youtube video
Congratulation! you made your first kokedama!!!!
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