Today I’m going to share an embarrassingly easy DIY kokedama tutorial. My quick start guide will explain how to make and care for a hanging kokedama that’s so easy even plant novices can master the art in minutes.

Below, you’ll find lots of beautiful ideas for ways to display these mysterious hanging indoor plants, a gorgeous visual guide to the best plants to plant in a moss ball kokedama and a tutorial on the care of your new DIY kokedama plant.

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links and if you make a purchase, I will earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

Child with two extra large indoor kokedama snake plant

CREDIT  |  @ALINEAGROPAISAGISMO

WHAT IS A KOKEDAMA?

Kokedama is an artistic, sculptural form of bonsai which uses very little soil and instead of a container, the root ball lives inside a layer of preserved moss, bound with string. The word Kokedama actually directly translates to “moss ball” in Japanese. 

As beautiful as they are, you may be surprised to hear Kokedama is sometimes referred to as the “poor man’s bonsai”. However, considering this artform dates back to 1600 AD, it’s easy to imagine clay pots may not have been as plantiful as they are now at your trusty neighborhood Home Depot. Those smart Japanese indoor gardeners made do with what they had and now we have the gorgeous and mystical Kokedama.

 

“Misting and a weekly soak is all your kokedama needs to thrive.”

 

Kokedama are so beautiful that they are assumed to be difficult to care for, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only are they easy to care for, the plants that thrive in this form are some of the easiest to care for (hello impossible-to-kill SNAKEPLANT!). Misting and a weekly soak is all your Kokedama needs to thrive. Keep reading below for my Kokedama care tips.

Hanging outdoor kokedama

CREDIT  |  @ALINEAGROPAISAGISMO

 

Tabletop wood block kokedama display

CREDIT  |  @ALINEAGROPAISAGISMO

 

HOW TO CARE FOR KOKEDAMA

Watering

kokedama swiss cheese plant

MONSTERA ADANSONII “SWISS CHEESE PLANT”  |  @KOKETEANDOTE

In addition to a daily misting, most kokedamas require a weekly soak in room temperature water for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know if you need to water if the moss sphere feels light (ie dry) or if the plant foliage begins to droop or wilt. Once a month from March through October, fertilize your kokedama by adding a small amount of liquid fertilizer to it’s water when soaking.

 

Open sided black metal kokedama display box

SUSPENDED KOKEDAMA IN OPEN SIDED METAL DISPLAY BOX  |  @ALINEAGROPAISAGISMO

 

Fertilizer

Liquid organic sea kelp plant food is widely accepted as the ultimate choice for all types of plants, inddor and out.

Snakeplant and fern kokedama indoor plants

 ASPARAGUS FERN  |   CREDIT

Veregated pink and green indoor plant

PINK PRAYER PLANT KOKEDAMA    |   @ALINEAGROPAISAGISMO

 

Light

The exact amount of light a kokedama needs will depend on the plant variety. In general, most tropical, kokedama-friendly plants will thrive in bright, indirect sunlight and out of cold drafts. If you choose to hang or display your kokedama in front of a window, keep in mind the amount of direct sunlight that window receives and close a sheer curtain during the brightest part of the day or relocate your plant. Direct sunlight will scorch most foliage on houseplants.

 

Three kokedama plants, one hanging and two in shallow dishes

CREDIT

Extra large kokedama swiss cheese plant

MONSTERA ADANSONII “SWISS CHEESE PLANT “   | CREDIT @KOKETEANDOTE

 

Pink flowering indoor plant kokedama

CREDIT

 

Still worried you’ll kill it?

I have you covered! You can still enjoy displaying a faux kokedama! One of my favorite stores, Cost Plus, has a set of three faux fern kokedamas ready-to-hang and create an instant indoor string garden.

Hanging kokedama fern plants

Or if you want a colorful kokedama, this set of two faux succulent kokedamas are a great find, again, thanks to Cost Plus! If it were me, I’d get one of each set for a total of five kokedamas. I can imagine them floating at varying heights in a corner spot near a gallery wall, perhaps?

Two hanging kokedama with colorful succulents

Target also has a Threshold faux kokedama, though on their site, they refer to it only as “moss ball”. Here’s the link.

Faux fern kokedama hanging from ceiling

DIY a set of completely custom unique faux kokedama! If you’re like me, you probably have faux floral stems and greenery bits laying around in a bin or drawer. If you do, you can use them to DIY an entire grouping of faux kokedama! I currently have a Target shopping bag full of faux fern bits and pieces in my craft room that’s BEGGING to become faux kokedama. 

In addition to your faux floral scraps, an assortment of various sized styrofoam balls, moss and thin twine is all you need to DIY the hanging indoor string garden of your dreams. Check out the DIY Kokedama tutorial in-depth at Joann Crafts.

White wall with hanging moss ball faux kokedamas

A WALL OF FAUX DIY KOKEDAMA  |  JOANN CRAFTS

 

Ready to DIY a Gorgeous Kokedama? Keep Reading…..

If you’re intrigued with the versitility of hanging and displaying kokedama plants  and want to know more about how to DIY your own live kokedama, keep scrolling.

 

Three hanging pathos kokedama plants

VARIOUS POTHOS KOKEDAMA  |  CREDIT

 

Hand holding extra large tall succulent kokedama

TALL SUCCULENT KOKEDAMA  |  @_OMUSGO_

 

Hands holding large fern kokedama plant

BIRD’S NEST FERN  |  CREDIT

 

XXL kokedama indoor plant hanging on invisible string

EXTRA LARGE LADY PALM KOKEDAMA  |   @ALINEAGROPAISAGISMO

 

Bedside table with kokedama floating plant display

NIGHTSTAND KOKEDAMA  |  @ALINEAGROPAISAGISMO

 

Yellow flowering kokedama tabletop display

SNAKE PLANT AND FLOWERING KOKEDAMA  |   @ALINEAGROPAISAGISMO

Before assembling your kokedama moss ball planter, you need to choose a plant. DIY’ing kokedamas is fun, but choosing your plant is EXTRA fun! So, what types of plants do well in moss ball indoor gardens? Thankfully, some of the easiest to find indoor plants like Pothos, Philodendron and Snakeplant (Mother-In-Law’s Tongue) thrive in kokedama moss planters. Plant newbies rejoice!

If you’re a more experienced gardener, orchids, ferns and pilea are common kokedama-friendly plants used by the pros. Let’s take a closer look at the best plants for an easy diy kokedama, so you get the best outcome possible, even if you’re a plant newbie.

What types of indoor plants are commonly found planted in a kokedama?

Aglaonema Kokedama

DIFFICULTY  |  MODERATE
LIGHT  |  BRIGHT INDIRECT
WATER  |  WEEKLY SOAK, DAILY MIST
DETAILED CARE  |  BUY
NOTE  |  SOME VARIETIES NOT PET SAFE

AGLAONEMA-KOKEDAMA

AGLAONEMA “CHINESE EVERGREEN” KOKEDAMA  |  CREDIT

 

Alocacia Amazonica Kokedama

DIFFICULTY  |  EASY
LIGHT  |  BRIGHT INDIRECT
WATER  |  WEEKLY SOAK, DAILY MIST
ADDITIONAL DETAILED CARE  |  BUY
NOTE  |  NOT PET SAFE

KOKEDAMA ALOCAS

ALOCACIA KOKEDAMA  |  CREDIT

 

Anthurium Kokedama

DIFFICULTY  |  MODERATE TO HARD
LIGHT  |  BRIGHT INDIRECT
WATER  |  SOAK TO KEEP MOIST AS NEEDED, DAILY MIST
ADDITIONAL DETAILED CARE  |  BUY RED  PINK  PURPLE  WHITE
NOTE  |  A. SCHERZERIANUM AND A. ANDREANUM VARIETIES ARE EASIEST TO GROW
NOTE  |  NOT PET SAFE

Anthurium kokedama in shallow dish

ANTHURIUM KOKEDAMA  |  CREDIT

 

Pink-Flowering-Anthurium-Kokedama in shallow dish

ANTHURIUM KOKEDAMA  |  CREDIT

 

Caladium Kokedama

DIFFICULTY  |  HARD
LIGHT  |  INDIRECT TO MODERADE SHADE
WATER  |  WEEKLY SOAK, DAILY MIST
ADDITIONAL DETAILED CARE  |  BUY
NOTE  |  NOT PET SAFE
NOTE  |  GROWS FROM BULBS AND HAS SHORT BLOOM PERIOD

Pink CALADIUM KOKEDAMA plant in shallow terra cotta dish.

CALADIUM KOKEDAMA  |  CREDIT

 

Fern Kokedama

DIFFICULTY  |  MODERATE
LIGHT  |  FLITERED INDIRECT LIGHT TO MODERATE SHADE
WATER  |  WEEKLY SOAK, DAILY MIST, KEEP MOIST
ADDITIONAL DETAILED CARE  |  BUY
NOTE  |  NORTH OR EAST-FACING WINDOWS ARE BEST LOCALE

Hanging indoor plant, Footed Fern Kokedama

HANGING FOOTED FERN KOKEDAMA  |  CREDIT

 

Pair of hanging fern kokedama plants

HANGING FERN KOKEDAMAS  |  CREDIT

 

Orchid Kokedama

DIFFICULTY  |  EASY
LIGHT  |  EARLY MORNING, INDIRECT
WATER  |  WEEKLY SOAK, LIKES HUMIDITY
 NOTE  |  ADDITIONAL DETAILED CARE
NOTE  |  EAST-FACING WINDOWS ARE BEST LOCALE

Three orchid kokedama moss ball bonsai plants

A TRIO OF ORCHID KOKEDAMAS  |  CREDIT

 

Pothos Kokedama

DIFFICULTY  |  EASY
LIGHT  |  BRIGHT FILTERED TO LIGHT SHADE
WATER  |  WEEKLY SOAK, OCCASIONAL MIST
 NOTE  |  ADDITIONAL DETAILED CARE
NOTE  |  NOT PET SAFE

Two trailing philodendron plants in moss ball kokedama planters

PHILODENDRON KOKEDAMA  |  CREDIT

 

Trailing Pothos kokedama

POTHOS KOKEDAMA  |  @KOKETEANDOTE

 

Trailing pothos philodendron on rustic turned wood candleholder

LONG TRAILING POTHOS KOKEDAMA  |  @KOKETEANDOTE

 

Pilea Kokedama

DIFFICULTY  |  MODERATE
LIGHT  |  BRIGHT INDIRECT
WATER  |  ALLOW TO DRY COMPLETELY BETWEEN WATERING
 ADDITIONAL DETAILED CARE  |   BUY
NOTE  |  ROTATE OFTEN FOR EVEN GROWTH

Hanging pilea indoor plant kokedama moss ball display

PILEA KOKEDAMA  |  CREDIT

 

Indoor plant display with pilea kokedama

PILEA KOKEDAMA  | @ALINEAGROPAISAGISMO

 

Snake Plant Kokedama

DIFFICULTY  |  EASY
LIGHT  |  SHADE TO BRIGHT INDIRECT
WATER  |  ALLOW TO DRY COMPLETELY BETWEEN WATERING
 ADDITIONAL DETAILED CARE  |   BUY
NOTE  |  NOT PET SAFE

SNAKE PLANT KOKEDAMA  |  @KOKETEANDOTE

 

Christmas Cactus Kokedama

DIFFICULTY  |  EASY
LIGHT  |  BRIGHT INDIRECT
WATER  |  ALLOW TO DRY SLIGHTLY BETWEEN WATERING
 ADDITIONAL DETAILED CARE  |    BUY  RED  PINK  WHITE  YELLOW

Pink Christmas Cactus Kokedama in shallow terra cotta dish

CHRISTMAS CACTUS  |  CREDIT

 

Pink Christmas Cactus kokedama plant

CHRISTMAS CACTUS  |  CREDIT

 

Ridiculously Easy DIY Kokedama Tutorial

Now that you’ve chosen your kokedama plant, it’s time to get your hands dirty! And I am not kidding when I say even a DIY novice with two left hands can do this.

I found the best way to DIY your first kokedama. An all-in-one kokedama kit!

Literally, everything you need is inside the box, except the plant. After gaining a little hands on experience with the kit, you can venture out on your own to create a kokedama completely from scratch. Maybe even give some as holiday gifts! Christmas cactus in bloom are plentiful in winter and would make a spectacular and one of a kind gift for a plant lover.

Depending on the type of plant you choose, you can DIY a kokedama for under $50. Even better, if you have a houseplant in need of trimming or dividing, maybe those should be a candidate for your first kokedama? Nothing beats a free plant!

 

Are You Fired Up to Make a Kokedama?

I know I am! Keep your eyes open for an update to this post where I will show a step-by-step faux kokedama tutorial with ferns, succulents, maybe even cactus! I have such an abundance of faux floral extras, I could make a kokedama for everyone on my block! 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close