Great news, apartment dwellers: The latest gardening trend doesn't require a yard! The enchanting kokedamas only need a semi-sunny spot and a little love to thrive.
Kokedamas, which literally means, "moss ball" in Japanese, are charming, hanging plants that showcase a beautiful sphere of lush moss with a pretty houseplant growing from within. We've spotted the technique everywhere lately, but it wasn't until the new book from the experts at Sprout Home, that we realized how easy they are to make ourselves.
This gorgeous green kokedama DIY comes from Tara Heibel and Tassy de Give's Rooted in Design: Sprout Home's Guide to Creative Indoor Planting ($16, amazon.com). "Kokedama is a free-form planting method that derives from bonsai," the authors write. "Kokedamas are designed to dangle; by suspending them in the air with colorful twine, you can create a hanging garden for inside your home or even outdoors in the warmer season."
1. Supplies You'll Need
-- 1 small houseplant (ideal options are Anthurium, ferns, Ficus pumila, Fittonia, most orchids, Philodendron, Pilea, Pothos, Peperomis, and Selaginella)
-- A 7:3 ratio of peat moss and bonsai soil
-- Plastic grocery bag or small bucket
-- A small container of water
-- Gloves (optional)
-- Sphagnum moss for wrapping the soil
-- Strong string or twine
-- Sheet moss (dried or live, depending on your project)
2. Prep Your Plant's Roots and Soil
Step 1: Gently remove the plant from the pot that it came in and remove the soil from the roots until most of the soil is fully separated from the root system. Plants with finer root systems may need to be rinsed in the sink to help remove the soil. Prune the roots and leaves to the size you want.
Step 2: Mix together the peat moss and bonsai soil in a plastic grocery bag or bucket. (Wear gloves if you like.) Add small splashes of water as you mix. Keep mixing until the mixture can be formed into a firm ball of soil with your hands.
3. Create a Soil Ball
Step 3: Form a ball of soil that is big enough to encase the root system of the plant. Set it aside.
4. Wrap the Roots with Moss
Step 4: Wrap a layer of dried sphagnum moss entirely around the plant's root system. The plant's roots will grow into this layer.
Step 5: Using string or twine, secure the layer of sphagnum moss to the plant by wrapping it around the moss several times and trying it off.
Step 6: With your fingertip, create a hole in the ball of soil that is big enough to insert the sphagnum-wrapped root system into. Carefully put the wrapped root system in the hole and reform the ball until it is nice and solid.
5. Wrap the Soil Ball With Moss
Step 7: Using the sheet moss, cover every part of the soil sphere, and wrap it securely several times with twine or string. Be sure to tie it off when you are done. Leave on some extra length if you would like to use this same string or twine to hang your finished kokedama.
6. Attach a Hanging String
Step 8: The same string or twine may be used to display your plant. Attaching a thin chain or decorative cord to the wrapping can serve as a mechanism to hang the kokedama.
7. Water and Hang Your Kokedama
Step 9: Before hanging your kokedama, make sure to soak it in a bowl of water. The living moss and plant will benefit from the moisture.
For more gorgeous green DIYs, check out Rooted in Design: Sprout Home's Guide to Creative Indoor Planting ($16, amazon.com).