“Kokedama” is a rapidly rising search term that promises continued growth as more and more gardeners flock to find out about the gardening trend of the year. Perhaps it’s the creativity in which a gardener shapes the plant into a sculptural object or the eco-friendly nature of this container-free planting technique that keeps garden-lovers buzzing with excitement. Whatever the initial attraction, Kokedama is a innovative, cost effective way to decorate your home or outdoor garden.
An artistic plant hanging technique, Kodedama is a Japanese word that simply translates into “moss ball.” Initially popular in Japan, then spread across Euro-Asia, it’s now hopped across the pond and firmly taken root in the US. Professional landscapers, artists and gardeners are adopting the techniques to create upscale, artistic plant designs as popularity increases. Cheap, beautiful and effective for every space, the process requires very little material and just a dash of ingenuity to perfect.
Erin Kinsey, a Kodedama expert at Artisan Moss says in addition to live Kokedama string gardens, gardeners can create Kodedama from dried or preserved plants.
“Dried and preserved Kokedama are my favorite since they are totally care free,” says Kinsey. “Living Kokedama require a little more effort than caring for a regular style house plant as they tend to dry out faster and need to drip-dry in the sink before hanging again.”
Kinsey uses materials like circular florist foam, sphagnum moss, thin fishing line or embroidery thread to help form shapes for dried Kokedama creations, some of which may be viewed at the Artisan Moss Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtisanMoss
The basic process for constructing a no-care preserved Kokedama plant involves:
- Creating and securing a center shape using a spongy material such as moss
- Covering the center with an attractive outer moss layer and securing it in place
- Securing a long string to the center for hanging the Kokedama creation
- Adding dried foliage cuttings by inserting the ends into the top of the moss ball shape
“Essentially the process is the same for wrapping moss and tying string for dried or living Kokedama,” says Kinsey. “The difference is the living plant’s roots hold your inner core, you won’t need to create one.”
For living Kokedama, Kinsey suggests beginners use succulents or drought tolerant ferns like Birds Nest Fern or Ming Fern. These will be the easiest plants to care for, yielding a bountiful Kodedama string garden.
As new methods continue to be introduced, the Kodedama craze will likely continue, attracting garden lovers with an eye for natural art and a love of recycling.