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How is a kokedama made?

Kokedamawhich translates as "moss ball", designates an ancient Japanese practice in which plants are grown in moss spheres, instead of conventional pots. At the core of these spheres is a mixture of mineral substrate and akadama, a special Japanese clay known to efficiently retain water and nutrients.

Here's how you can make a kokedama. Although it may seem like a complicated technique, it is very easy to do and only requires a little practice. In addition, it is a perfect exercise to relax and be in contact with nature. Of course, you are going to get your hands dirty!

Materials needed to make a kokedama

  • Mineral substrate
  • Akadama
  • Water
  • Moss
  • Cotton thread (preferably green)
  • Plant

Not too many materials are needed and most can be found in any plant store. The main element is the mineral substrate, which will be where the roots will grow. We will also need akadama, a volcanic clay of Japanese origin that will serve to aerate the substrate and the roots, as well as to conserve the humidity of the moss ball. The mixture of these two ingredients we can make it in a bowl that we have at home and water. To surround the substrate ball we will use moss, scissors and cotton thread, that can be of the color that you want. At Omotesandō Plants we use green because it camouflages better and gives a more natural look to the kokedama. Finally, the essential element: a plant of your choice.

Steps to follow to make a kokedama

Step 1: Mixing substrate, water and akadama

First of all you must make the base mixture to build the ball of the kokedama ball. To do this, you just have to pour the substrate in the bowl and mix it with the akadama previously crushed with your fingers. The proportion of both parts depends on the type of plant you have chosen, but you can orient yourself by pouring about 5 handfuls of akadama (one tenth of the substrate). Then, you should add water and mix the mass with your hands until you get a homogeneous consistency. If it is too dry or liquid, nothing happens, you can add substrate or water until you get the desired texture.

Step 2: Preparing the plant and the moss

Carefully remove the pot from the plant (don't forget to recycle it!) and remove some of the soil that the plant came with so that the roots are more exposed. If you see any roots in bad condition or rotten, you can prune them with a pair of scissors. Next, prepare the moss. To clean it, just spread it on the table and remove any leaves or branches.

Step 3: Make the ball

Now comes the fun part, making the ball! Take the substrate and place it around the roots of the plant. As you place it, try to give it a round shape and press it tightly so that the ball is compact. It's okay if the substrate doesn't stick, sometimes it can fall apart or fall off, if this happens, you can add more water to the mix and try again.


Step 4: Place the moss

Place the ball on top of the moss and wrap it around the moss. Once this is done, it only remains to attach the moss with the thread and give the kokedama a round shape. To do this, you must surround the ball horizontally with thread, make a double knot and cut the end that is left over. Then, with the long end of the thread, go around the ball diagonally, so that all the moss covering is attached to the substrate. Finally, tie another double knot and cut the thread. To give it more shape, you can prune the ball with the scissors and cut off any overhanging moss or branches.

And that's it! Remember that there is no one way to make a kokedama, the important thing is to find your style and enjoy the process.

Here is a video from our Youtube channel that shows very well the process of making a kokedama, we hope you make many of them, the trick is to get used to it!

If you want to know more about our project and learn more about all the types of kokedamas, enter our website and enjoy the wide variety of products.

We also have available some DIY kokedama packs so you can make your own at home!