What Is A Kokedama?
Kokedama (柔爪) is a Japanese word meaning “moss ball”. It refers to a type of plant used in traditional Japanese culture to decorate houses, tables, walls and other objects. They were originally made from the leaves and flowers of the Japanese evergreen tree, but have since been adapted into decorative items such as pillows, vases and even clothing.
The term “koke” means “ball” in Japanese, which is why the name “kokedama” literally translates to “moss ball”.
In addition to being used as decorative items, they are also used as a form of medicine. They contain alkaloids similar to those found in opium poppies and hence their use was banned during World War II. However, it has been reintroduced with strict regulations.
Kokedama Moss Ball Recipe
There are many different types of kokedama, each with its own unique properties. Some are poisonous while others have medicinal qualities. There are two main kinds of kokes: the green variety and the red variety. Green varieties grow in tropical climates whereas red varieties grow in temperate regions.
Both types require varying amounts of sunlight to thrive; however, green varieties need less light than red varieties due to their higher chlorophyll content.
There are many different recipes for kokedama. The main ingredients typically include:
1. A bundle of Washing Line Moss (known as neri-shinmoss in Japanese)
2. Some soil (regular potting soil or any mixture of soil and peat are best)
3. A small stone to prevent the moss from floating around in the water that is sometimes mixed in with the soil.
4. A small piece of string or thread (to hang it up with)
5. A shallow container such as a bowl or cup to prepare the kokedama in.
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( House Plant Care )
The History Of Kokedama
In the first half of the 17th century, kokedama were used by the monks at Buddhist temples. Temple Gardens were places for reflection and Buddhists monks would use them to decorate their gardens and provide a meditative experience. They have also been used as part of a religious ceremony in which the kokedama would be decorated to coordinate with the occasion.
At some point, kokedama were also used in the home. Many wealthy merchants had kokedama hanging from their ceilings as decoration. They were hung near the roof of a house so that they could be a little closer to the sky. Even to this day, many houses in southern Japan have kokedama hanging from the ceiling!
Edible Types Of Kokedama
While traditional kokedama are made with non-edible plants, there are many edible types of kokedama that have been created. Many of them are even used in cooking. These edible kokedama can be difficult to find, but are definitely worth an experiment!
Kokedama Edible Types:
1. Green onions (Spring Onions)
2. Hange Mushrooms
3. Shimeji Mushrooms
4. Ebine Mushrooms
5. Coral Mushrooms
6. Blewit Mushrooms
Kokedama Hanging Plants
There are also a number of plants that can be grown in kokedama that can then be hung from the ceiling! These plants can be used in a decorative way by themselves or with traditional kokedama plants.
Kokedama Hanging Plants:
3. Chinese Evergreen
5. Heartleaf Philodendron
6. Pilea (aluminum plant)
Why stop at growing only the edible and hanging plants though?
There are also many beautiful orchids that can be grown in a kokedama! If there was a time to splurge, it would be on orchids. They are easy to grow and can last for years if tended properly.
1. Moth Orchid
2. Kangaroo Paw
3. Dancing Girl Orchid
4. Mandarin Dancers
5. Dracula Simia
6. Pansy Orchid
7. Dancing Butterflies
A kokedama is definitely not just a decoration; it can be a work of art! The next time you are looking for a unique plant to grow, try a kokedama!
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Buy a Kokedama Kit
If you’re looking for your first kokedama, we recommend getting a kokedama kit. It comes with all the materials and instructions needed to get started.
Buy Kokedama Kit
If you prefer to make your own kokedama, you can buy all the materials separately: Sphagnum Moss Peat Pod Root Rope Air Plant Soil This is the brand that we like to use, and we find that it’s really easy to work with.
Buy Sphagnum Peat Moss
Looking For More Gardening Ideas?
Beyond kokedama, there are a lot of other creative things that you can do with plants. We have a guide on the best plants to keep indoors as well as some low light plants that work great in office environments or rooms without windows. You can also learn how to make your own living moss terrarium!
Best House Plants
Low Light House Plants
How To Make A Moss Terrarium
How To Make A Kokedama
How To Take Care Of Your Kokedama
How To Repot A Kokedama
How To Water Your Kokedama
How To Make A Kokedama Tree
How To Take Care Of An Air Plant
How To Make An Air Plant Terrarium
How To Make A Succulent Kokedama
How To Repot A Succulent Kokedama
How To Water A Succulent Kokedama
How To Start A Succulent Kokedama
How To Take Care Of A Cactus Kokedama
How To Repot A Cactus Kokedama
How To Water A Cactus Kokedama
How To Start A Cactus Kokedama
How To Take Care Of A Echeveria Kokedama
How To Repot An Echeveria Kokedama
How To Water An Echeveria Kokedama
How To Start An Echeveria Kokedama
How To Take Care Of An Aloe Kokedama
How To Repot An Aloe Kokedama
How To Water An Aloe Kokedama
How To Start An Aloe Kokedama
How To Take Care Of A Pothos Kokedama
How To Start A Pothos Kokedama
How To Take Care Of A Spider Plant Kokedama
How To Repot A Spider Plant Kokedama
How To Water A Spider Plant Kokedama
How To Start A Spider Plant Kokedama
Sources & references used in this article:
Miniature Moss Gardens: Create Your Own Japanese Container Gardens (Bonsai, Kokedama, Terrariums & Dish Gardens) by M Oshima, H Kimura – 2017 – books.google.com
A Multi-Species Ethnography of Nature and Time: Human’s Long-Standing Relationship with Moss in the Japanese Temple Garden by N Hoare – globalhorizonsjournal.wordpress …
Innovation: Creativity as a Renewable Resource for the Eco-City by T Beer, D Curtis, J Collins – Enabling Eco-Cities, 2018 – Springer
DIY Succulents: From Placecards to Wreaths, 35+ Ideas for Creative Projects with Succulents by T Daigle – 2015 – books.google.com
Moss-viewing och dess kopplingar till den Japanska natursynen by J Karlsson – 2018 – stud.epsilon.slu.se
Rooted in Design: Sprout Home’s Guide to Creative Indoor Planting by T Heibel, T de Give – 2015 – books.google.com
A New Species of Praying Mantis from Peru Reveals Impaling as a Novel Hunting Strategy in Mantodea (Thespidae: Thespini) by J Rivera, Y Callohuari – Neotropical Entomology, 2020 – Springer
ShORT COuRSES by MC DISCOVER – SCULPTURE – westdean.assets.d3r.com
Nature in Miniature in Modern Japanese Urban Space by A Haijima – Rethinking Nature in Japan, 2017 – arca.unive.it