The Japanese way of indoor gardening



Kokedama is a ball of earth covered with moss on which ornamental plants grow. It is also called poor man’s bonsai. It is made of moist earth and a coco peat formed into a ball.








Kokedama shares a very decorative way to grow your plants that will give your home a very calm and serene ambiance





Indoor gardening is gaining importance in this modern world due to its multiple benefits like environment, positivity, decoration, health, etc. related to the practice of bonsai. The term Kokedama is derived from “Koke” which means foam and “dama” which means ball. Kokedama or Japanese moss ball is a favorite among plant decoration enthusiasts who are also passionate about sustainability. It is a decorative art consisting of enclosing the root of a plant in a ball of earth covered with moss. Kokedamas are not just trendy plant decorations; they make the best gifts for plant lovers and are durable because they eliminate the use of plastic.












What is Kokedama?

Kokedama is a ball of earth covered with moss on which ornamental plants grow. It is also called poor man’s bonsai. It is made of moist earth and a coco peat formed into a ball. The plant is placed in the ball and then the moss is wrapped around it. Aluminum wire or nylon wire secures the entire beam and is sometimes used to suspend the Kokedama in the air.

What all the things are needed to do Kokedama?

How to make Kokedama?

Here is a simple step by step guide on how to make a homemade Kokedama with just the materials

  • Mold a mud ball: The first thing you will need to make a Kokedama is to grab your bucket and pour the 10 cups of potting soil into this now watered mixture and stir the soil firmly until a consistency muddy. Don’t add too much water, the potting mix should turn into mud that can be molded into a ball.

  • Prepare the houseplant: In this step, you want to put the mudball aside and focus on the houseplant you want to use. Remove the plant from its original pot and gently shake off any soil around its roots. After doing this, you should only have one plant with roots and no soil. Take the 4 cups of sphagnum moss, moisten them and place them gently around the roots of the plant. Take a thin cotton thread and wrap it very loosely around the sphagnum moss (so that it doesn’t come loose).












  • Put the plant inside the mud ball: Now you want to take your mud ball back and split the ball into two pieces with a simple but gentle twist. Once successful, place the plant between the two halves and reshape the ball firmly around the plant. Always try to make the compost ball as big as the original pot. Continue shaping the unity between the new compost mix and the plant until you have a solid ball supporting the plant.

  • Wrap Moss Sheet Around Mud Ball: Once the mud ball is holding firmly, wrap the carpet moss sheet around it and gather the moss around the plant stem. Once you’ve got it right, it’s time to wrap the thin jute/wool/cotton yarn around the ball. Wrap the yarn tightly around the foam ball until the ball is round. You may need to squeeze the ball to go around. Use your scissors to trim the excess moss around the root ball until you have a nice plant wrapped around a ball of carpet moss. Finally, if you want to hang the kokedama, wrap another piece (or three) of string around the neck of the ball, and your Kokedama will be ready to hang wherever you want.

What plants to grow in Kokedama?

Hardy houseplants that stay small, grow slowly, and tolerate less than ideal conditions are the best houseplants for Kokedama. Avoid plants that grow too big or too fast like monstera and wait until you are more experienced to try kokedama with sensitive plants. Here are the few plants that can grow well in Kokedama:

  • Cebu Blue Pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum)

  • Tiger Cub Bromeliad (Noeregelia ampullacea)

  • Chinese coin plant (Pilea polybotrya)

  • ZZ dwarf plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)

  • Ivy Peperomia (Peperomia griseoargentea)

  • Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)

  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)

  • Nerve plant (Fittonia albivenis)












  • Rabbit’s foot fern (Davallia fejeensis)

  • Super Dwarf Red Vine (Philodendron)

  • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

  • Pineapple Mint (Mentha suaveolens)

  • Bonsai Ficus (Bonsai Ficus retusa)












Where to put a Kokedama?

Hanging a Kokedama always depends on the plant you are growing and the area you are hanging it in. It is always best to avoid Kokedama in sunny locations as it is very sensitive to the sun and dries out quickly once exposed to the sun. Also, if you are in a very cold area, place your Kokedama inside the house.

How to take care of Kokedama?

Every day, lightly mist your plant with a spray bottle. You can also place the Kokedama ball in a tray of pebbles and water under the plant to add needed moisture. Ideally, the Kokedama plant should be soaked in a bowl of room temperature water for 10 minutes. Later, drain the ball by hanging it somewhere until it stops dripping. You should water the Kokedama plant when you see that the ball has become light and the leaves are turning brown.

As the plants start to grow bigger roots will start to come out of the ball and this is a sign that it needed to be repotted into a bigger moss ball or pot as desired. Although you don’t have to worry about repotting at least once a year












In addition to being environmentally friendly and much less stressful to maintain than potted plants, Kokedamas have several other benefits. The calmness of the plants, despite the wild moss balls, reminds us that we can find peace in a world full of chaos. Kokedama shares a very decorative way to grow your plants that will give your home a very calm and serene vibe. They will also refresh the air in the room and eliminate bad energies.











First published: May 28, 2022, 01:48 IST