Kokedama Care: [Soil, Humidity, Pruning and Problems]

What is kokedama?

Kokedama is a Japanese gardening technique that consists of replacing the pot with a ball of moss, hence the name: ‘koke’, moss, and ‘lady’, ball. It is a tradition that seeks to integrate with nature in the oldest existing forms, such as bonsai and ikebana.

Those who have this plant in their home combined with this technique consider it to be anti-stress, while reducing anxiety and combating insomnia due to the contact it entails with nature, which is one of the best ways to improve quality of life.

Kokedama Asparagus Plumosus

The contact is given when, instead of a pot, we use a clay of volcanic origin that is modeled with moss around the roots of the plant, so that it is integrated into a single piece, as if it were a natural whole.

The mere fact of doing it with our hands imbues our senses with an ecological sense, because the kokedama technique is a direct contact with nature, and the plant thus represented integrates into the interior spaces of the home as if it had come out of a forest.

What soil needs does a kokedama plant have?

One of the things that we must take into account is that the kokedama is totally different from the traditional forms, since we will choose a plant for ornament and everything will depend on the consistency of the moss in which it will be submerged. The good thing about this technique is that it allows you to work with all kinds of plants, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor.

Kokedama Fern Natural Plant in Coconut Pot 17cm Diameter Japanese Technique

We can do it with flowering plants, aromatic herbs, shrubs, ferns, ivy, succulents, orchids and other flowering plants, and even with cacti, or rather, especially with cacti, because they give it a completely natural shape when integrated into a single plant, as if we had picked it up from the desert.

Ribbons and ferns on hanging kokedamas are also recommended. In the elaboration, we will use akadama, which is volcanic clay used in bonsai, and mineral substrate, with which we mold a ball around the roots of the chosen plant and then we will wrap it in a layer of moss that we will tie with a brown thread until become compact.

Substrates – Vermiculite Substrate 5L – Batlle
1 Box Moss Plate approx. 2.00-2.50 kg Nature green moss mattress

That layer of moss will take the place of the pot where we will put the plant. Also, given that there are environmentalists who advocate the conservation of moss (and even in Mexico its extraction is considered illegal), it can be done with a mixture of substrates, such as 70% peat, 25% clay to contain moisture., and 5% perlite.

Compo Sana Universal Quality for pots with 12 weeks of fertilizer for Indoor Plants, terrace and garden, Cultivation Substrate, 10 L
Substrates – Substrate Expanded Clay Balls 5l – Batlle
Substrates – 5L Perlite Substrate – Batlle

Thus, we moisten the mixture of substrates until we achieve a consistent mud. When it is muddy, it does not last, we make a ball (it can also be square), we make a hole in the upper part of the mixture, we place the plant and cover it with the ball, which we will tie with thread or coconut fiber to maintain its consistency..

VERMIORGANIC Organic Coconut Fiber Block 5KG (70L) – Compacted brick. Recommended for urban gardens and as a base for vermicomposters.

How to maintain a kokedama?

Kokedama Ficus Ginseng

As has been said, the difference in the Kokedama technique is that we will have done it with our own hands.

That is to say, we will have integrated with nature, and in that case we will take more care in the maintenance and development of the plant, as we do with our own children.

What gives this technique a wonderful touch is that it is not the same to plant in the ground or in a pot as to do it with effort as your own creation, which is why, in Spain, this technique is learned in workshops given in Madrid and other cities by experts dedicated to caring for nature.

The maintenance of the kokedama is also different, for example, the irrigation is not the traditional way, because we do it by immersion, and the frequency depends on the season of the year.

Experts consider that watering should be done, in spring and summer, once or twice a week, especially if we notice that the moss is drying up or is completely dry; and in autumn and winter, only twice a month, also in case of dryness of the moss.

In doing so, we must completely submerge the ball of moss in a bowl of water for a few minutes, until we see some tiny bubbles that will come out of it, at which point we must remove it and drain it, and when it stops dripping it will be ready to place it in the place that we have assigned him.

If you live in a place with a dry or very hot climate, we will water the plant and maintain the kokedama by spraying it with a spray containing a fertilizer diluted in water.

We can place it in different ways, according to the environment that we have programmed in our house: on stones, on a clay base, on a solid base, or hanging from the ceiling, which all serve because the kokedama is elegant in itself, something that, as it is not traditional, it will attract attention.

What humidity does a kokedama need?

A plant in these conditions can live for years. The required humidity will depend on the type of plant chosen.

There are those that require more humidity than others, so it is convenient to consult a specialist.

As for the kokedama, we must be aware of the humidity that the moss requires, and if it begins to deteriorate, we must replace it. This should not be a problem, since we will have already learned the technique to do it.

For example, if we notice that the plant needs to grow, the moss ball should be larger. What is recommended is that, indoors, the location of the kokedama should be in a lighted place, but protected from direct sunlight, away from drafts and direct heating.

And outside, it’s also wise to keep it out of direct sunlight and hot and cold drafts.

Is it necessary to prune a kokedama plant?

As with humidity, pruning will depend on the type of plant; in general, the pruning seeks to beautify it, like a capricious lady when she goes to the hairdresser.

Give it the shape it requires, remove withered leaves and flowers, clear the path of branches in poor condition to make way for new ones, that is, the maintenance required in each case.

How often should we prune a kokedama plant?

The pruning time also depends on the plant. For this reason, when applying the kokedama technique, it is essential that we know how to choose the plants because their health will depend on it. For example, a flowering plant is not the same as a palm tree, since each one requires different care.

Kokedama – Kokedama Fittonia – Height approx. 15cm. – Live plant – (Shipments only to the Peninsula)

The kokedama is an ornamental technique, the care of the plant depends on our knowledge on the subject or the advice we have; Only in this way can we keep our garden, our orchard or the interior of our residences, and even our offices, in good condition.

How to avoid pests and diseases in the plant of a kokedama?

The pests and diseases of kokedama plants are the same ones that attack nature in general. red spiders, mealybugs, fungi, whiteflies, and other predators lurk.

Compo Triple Action Protection against Insects, Fungi and Mites, for Indoor and Outdoor Plants, Results in 24h, Spray Bottle, 750 ml

Therefore, we must be very careful and be aware of the plant, in order to fumigate when appropriate, preferably with products of organic origin.

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