Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Japanese Kokedama (Moss Ball) Hanging Plant!

Hi Friends:

Who doesn't enjoy a houseplant or two. There's nothing like bringing a little nature indoors, right? Just now, gardeners are onto a new and really fun horticultural trend known as kokedama which translates to "moss ball." It is an old Japanese botanic art form which involves planting in a ball of soil and then wrapping the ball in moss. A style of bonsai, plant growth in a kokedama is limited by the size of the ball. These plants are often seen hanging and are known as Japanese string gardens. They may be made with a single plant or an arrangement of plants including tropicals, succulents, herbs and grasses.

Kokedama plants can be purchased, but are often pricey. Luckily, they are very easy to make and maintain. Georgia's crew got their hands dirty last weekend and made several with great success! The best part - making them with your kids! Here's a DIY tutorial:

small plants (tropicals, succulents or herbs)
potting soil (with peat moss)
green sheet moss
cotton thread or twine

Wet (do not soak) sheet moss and set aside.
Put potting soil in a bucket and add water until the mixture is very wet and you can form a ball without it breaking apart. 
Next, brush excess soil off of your plant and begin adding the soggy mixture onto the roots creating a ball between the size of an orange and a grapefruit. 
 This photo shows a ball formed from three mini plants: Mother of Thyme, Peperomia and Pilea.
 Completed ball with two trailing plants: Variegated Ivy and Wire Vine. 
Now begin wrapping the ball with sheet moss gathering it around the plant stem.
 The plant ball should be completely enveloped in sheet moss.
Finally, wrap the moss ball with string until it is secure and then tie in the string end. Tie in an additional length of string for hanging.
That's it! How fun was this! Your kokedama is ready for hanging!
Tips and Care: Tropical plants are the most successful. Choose plants that require indirect or low light and follow plant care instructions. Kokedama are usually hung inside, but some may be able to spend the summer outdoors. Water by immersing the moss ball in a sink of water for 10 minutes and allow to drip dry before hanging again. Enjoy!

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