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DIY : technique to make a kokedama

The technique presented here can be considered as the more standard. It is relatively easy to implement and allow you to achieve a beautiful kokedama suitable for a large number of plants. Follow our instructions step by step.

The choice of the plant:

I suggest you start with relatively small plants because they will be easier to handle during the creation phase of the substrate ball. Avoid epiphytic plants because they will ask for another technical and other substrate to live in good conditions. Here is a partial list of plants I suggest you get started:

  • small ferns,
  • hosta,
  • ivy,
  • grasses.


The rest of the necessary materials:

To complete the creation of your kokedama you will also need some soil both sticky (argillaceous) and containing vegetable fiber sphagnum. You can buy ready to use or make your own. You can find information to make the soil mix to kokedama in this article.

You will also need the moss to cover the substrate ball, a small black cotton string to tie discreetly and a pair of scissors.


Presentation of the technique in five steps:

Step 1: Prepare plants

To make your kokedama you will have to start by removing a large part of the soil of your plants. If the root system occupies a large volume you must also cut some of the roots, between a third and half of their length. If you do not, once assembled the volume occupied by the roots may be too large and with the addition of the substrate around and foam, the volume of the foam ball is too big compared to plants . Your kokedama then the risk of being visually unbalanced.

kokedama technique, how to prepare plants

Remove the substrate of the plant with a bamboo stick.


Step 2 : arranging plants

Once your plants prepared you can look at how to put them together in the kokedama for the most aesthetic results. At this step is decided a big part of the final aesthetic, but never fear you can still make some adjustments once the next step is complete.


Step 3 : realization of the substrate ball

This is the step that will ask you the most technical and dexterity. Usually when we made her first kokedamas this is the step where we would like to have a third hand.

We must maintain the plants in the position determined in the previous step, in the space between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand if you are right-handed (and left hand for left-handed of course). By doing this you have all available fingers to hold the substrate around the roots as you add a small piece with the other hand.

Gradually add your kokedama soil to completely cover the roots and form a ball. The more it will be a regular shape more your kokedama will be beautiful. Your ball should be slightly lower than the final size you like, because the foam that we will add on will add even thickness.

Once this is done your plants will have a little changed and the arrangement originally planned may be slightly disturbed. You can adjust the position of the plants at this step.

technique for substrate ball


Step 4 : plating and tie up the foam

Whatever the moss used you will need to clean it, which means suppress weeds and any parasites that may be present. Sometimes the foam is very thick and it is necessary to thin a little by cutting a part of the brown layer. Be careful not to remove too much or your moss will go into small pieces instead of staying in one piece.

Place the moss on your substrate ball. Two or three pieces must be sufficient. Avoid taking too small pieces because you’ll struggle to fix them.

Tie up with black wire by three turns. There is no need to put more wire, foam will not hold better and it must be discreet. Once tied ball correctly you can cut the foam long fibers protruding, your moss ball must be as neat as possible.

how to fix moss on kokedama

Tips : do not hesitate to spray the surface of the substrate for the foam sticks better on it.


Step 5 : watering

This step is part of the creation of kokedama. It is essential to water immediately after creation, and never say that it will wait the next day. Plant roots were exposed to air and manipulated by hands that are hot and therefore desiccant. You also manipulated the substrate which contributed to dehydrate. It is therefore imperative to water.

Personally I do not advice you to immerse your kokedama when watering, but gently and thoroughly to water with a small watering can.

technique to make kokedama diy

Final results for this kokedama of anthurium.


Do it yourself :

Now you have all the keys to start to familiarize yourself with kokedamas creative techniques. Take care to water your kokedama when the foam is dry to the touch and you should be able to enjoy it for long.

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