Kokedema: Construction, Care & Styling

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Kokedama

Grow a Thriving String Garden

Kokedama 苔玉, translated as “moss ball”, is a variant of bonsai that has been practiced by the Japanese since 1600 AD. In a kokedama, the plant’s root system is wrapped in moss and bound with string, transforming it into a living sculpture. The plant is able to thrive while having its root system completely contained by the moss ball. 

 
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A Reflection of Wabi-Sabi

The craft of Kokedama came to life in reflection of the Japanese mindset of Wabi-sabi, which is the art of finding beauty in imperfection and revering authenticity above all. Kokedama encompass the aesthetic of Wabi-sabi, which includes characteristics such as asymmetry, simplicity, warmth and natural beauty. 

Traditionally, kokedama are displayed on driftwood or handmade pottery. Today, displaying kokedama as string gardens has become a trend in Japan, and is becoming increasingly more popular in the US - coupling several hanging kokedama creates a particularly dramatic effect. These living sculptures can be displayed indoors or outdoors. 

 
 
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Kokedama Care
 
 
 

Kokedama require watering and care like any other houseplant would. Most kokedama require a watering about once per week, but it is imperative to adjust your watering schedule to your suit your specific plant's needs. Follow these easy tips to help your string garden to thrive, or purchase our comprehensive kokedama care guide to master the construction, care and styling of these beauties. 

Light

Proper lighting for kokedama is on a plant by plant basis, but care should mimic that of the care instructions typical for your plant selection. 

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Watering

In the rainforest, staghorns are latched onto other plants, growing under a canopy of foliage, high above the forest floor.

Daily rainfall drips onto the staghorns and the excess drains off, giving the staghorns the space to breathe. 

 

Staghorns like to to be kept evenly moist but not soaking wet; which is where a lot of the care challenge comes in. As a general rule of thumb, watering a Staghorn Fern every 7-10 days is the way to go. In the winter, water less. If yours is growing on wood, take it to the sink & run water over it & let it all drain out. These ferns absorb water through their leaf fronds & shield fronds as well as their roots so you want to make sure to wet all parts. The other thing you can do is turn it face down & soak it for 10 minutes or so.

1. Depending on the size of your kokedama, fill a bowl, sink or tub with room temperature water.

2. Place your kokedama plant up into the bowl of water. Let it soak for 30-45 minutes. 

3. Remove from water and let dry before returning  to its home. 

4. Water again when the kokedama ball feels relatively drier and lighter. 

Tip: Water must seep to the center of the moss ball to water the plant, so make sure it is soaked thoroughly.

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Kokedama Construction 

We offer private & community kokedama workshops to share the joy of this ancient craft with fellow garden enthusiasts. Meet us, our team and learn how to make these works of hard in a hands-on, meditative and inspiring environment. Join us for one of our community events in New Orleans, or book us for a private event. We'll teach you the proper methods of construction, care and styling to create the string garden of your dreams. 

 

Private Kokedama Class

Get your hands dirty in this Japanese meets Louisiana class. Ideal for parties, team builders and groups looking to connect with nature in a creative way. We'll bring everything you need for a botanical experience that inspires growth. 

 
 
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Kokedama Styling
 

Imagine a variety of your favorite houseplants encompassed in moss balls, floating mid-air within your space. Pothos, ferns, philodendrons, herbs and citrus are all possibilities for the floating garden of your dreams. Crafting and caring for this suspended oasis is not as far fetched as it seems. The Japanese art of Kokedama is an ideal planting method for small spaces and creative botanical displays, and opens up a world of meditative gardening possibilities that embrace the beauty in simplicity.

Below are Luna kokedama creations and installations. We hope you feel inspired to craft your own living art!