What you will need:
– Your kokedama kit. The Fleurieu Gifts Basic Kokedama Kit contains sphagnum moss, kokedama soil mix, gloves and twine. Our Complete Kokedama Kit includes a plant for you to get started straight away!
– Plant (s) – some great, hardy indoor plants that will work well as moss balls include: umbrella plant; parlour palm; hardy ferns such as boston or fish tail ferns; syngonium; pothos; and even some succulents such as jade, kalanchoe and sansevieria. Generally plants known for their hardiness are a good place to start. Also, start small!
– Buckets or containers for mixing
Steps to making your kokedama ball:
Important! Before starting, make sure to wear gloves (a disposable pair are included in your kit) – as both sphagnum moss and potting mixes can contain harmful microbes. Sphagnum moss can sometimes contain prickles, too. Never breathe in dust from potting mix or sphagnum moss.
Prepare sphagnum moss by placing in a bucket or container and soaking it in water for 10-15 minutes.
Place kokedama potting mix in another bucket, add small amounts of water at a time and mix until the potting mix sticks together. Usually around 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup water is required. You should be able to form a ball of soil that you can toss in the air without it crumbling or being too sloppy – it should be sticky and clay-like.
Gently remove soil from the plant’s root system.
Use a small amount of sphagnum moss to encase the plant’s root system. wrap a little twine around the moss to keep it in place. This is your root ball.
The next step is to cover the root ball with a layer of the potting medium. A good way of doing this is to make a ball of potting mix and then break it in half. Wedge the root ball between the halves and push the halves around it. Close up any gaps until you have a smooth, round clay ball.
Encase your clay ball with a layer of sphagnum moss. Cover the entire ball with moss, until no potting mix can be seen.
Wrap twine around the moss ball to keep the moss in place and the whole ball together.
You’re done! You can now choose to keep your moss ball as it is and rest it on a saucer or in a bowl; or you can hang it in a string cradle. To make a string cradle, take two lengths of twine approximately twice the length of your moss ball and plant. Tie these together in the middle and spread the four lengths into a cross. Place the moss ball in the middle of the cross, bring the loose ends together and tie in a knot. Wrap some string around the middle of the moss ball to keep the cradle in place.
It’s a good idea to retain a little potting mix to add if your mix gets too wet, otherwise you can just leave it for an hour or two to dry out to the right consistency.
Before starting step 5, lay out the sphagnum moss you’ll need for the outer layer, ready for your ball of clay.
If you leave your mix and it dries out, you can still use it, just add small amounts of water until it reaches the right consistency again. The sphagnum moss can also be left and reused (it can get a little smelly if left in water for more than a few days).
General care and maintenance of a kokedama:
Generally plants with moss balls like bright, filtered light. Be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight. If you have a sun loving plant, like a succulent, in a moss ball, it is still better to keep out of direct or full sun. Remember, the moss balls will dehydrate quicker than a regular hanging basket or pot.
Once every one to two weeks give your moss ball a soak for 20 minutes in a bucket to re-hydrate the moss ball. Before hanging you can give it a gentle squeeze which makes sure there’s water in the center of the ball and reduces any drips.