Quick & Easy Moss Pots to Boost Your Indoor Plant Game.

Leave it to the Japanese to take something as utilitarian as a pot and make it elegant, simple and beautiful.  With 5 minutes and $5 you can make a Kokedama (Japanese moss pot) that’ll give the illusion that you actually know what you’re doing with house plants.

I’d like to go on record as saying that most rooms that feel like they’re missing something, are missing something green, organic and living in them.   Unless that green, organic and living thing is a hobo.   That’s probably going to be less of a design success in your living room than say – a fern.

I’m always surprised when I buy an indoor plant that a) I actually went out and bought another indoor plant which will die of thirst in approximately 2 weeks and b) it can change the whole feeling of a room.  Plants add life to a room.  At least until you let them die.

Those plants will give DOUBLE the green, organic living juju if their pot is also green, organic and living.  Moss.

Kokedama (苔玉) is the Japanese art of growing plants in moss balls.  Balls of soil are formed with peat moss and potting soil, compressed and then split in half to allow the plant’s roots to be tucked into the centre. The ball is then wrapped in living moss.

But you don’t need to do all of that. You can just take one of your regular old house plants, remove it from its pot, press the soil into a ball and cover it with moss.  Stand back, admire and watch your room come to life.

How to Make Kokedama

Materials

Sheet moss
Small Plant
Water
Twine, thin wire or fishing line.

Steps

  1. Soak your sheet moss in a bowl of water for around 10 minutes  to revive and hydrate it.  Squeeze out the excess water.
  2. Remove your plant from its pot and form the soil into a ball with your hands. (soil must be moist but not overwatered in order to form/compact it)

3. Set your plant on a sheet of moss.

4. Pull the edges of the moss up around the ball of soil, pulling or cutting away extra moss.

Save that moss for future projects like building a fairy garden or sanitary pads.  The moss sanitary pads will probably only come in handy if you time travel back to medieval days or join Greenpeace but still.

5. Firmly shape the moss around the soil and hold it in place with one hand.

6. With your other hand start wrapping twine, wire or fishing line around the moss to keep it in place and in contact with the soil.  When it’s nice and tight, tie the string off.

7. To water your Kokedama when it dries out, sit it in a bowl of water for 10 minutes.  The water should come around 1/2 way up the moss ball.

 

The only thing you have to keep in mind is the fact that you now have 2 living breathing things to keep alive.  The moss ball and the plant.  But if you can keep one alive, chances are the other will live too.

These don’t do well in direct sunlight because the moss will dry out quickly, go brown and die. It’ll still be useful it just won’t look as good. And you’ll have killed yet another thing.

Also don’t place these on any surface that can be damaged by moisture or stained by the moss.



 
KOKEDAMA TIPS
  • Traditional Kokedama are often hung like planters just by tying 3 long pieces of string to the twined moss ball.
  • You can shape the bottom however you like. Perfect spheres are typical but I like mine to be a bit of a teardrop shape.
  • If you plan on keeping this thing alive for years, use waxed string instead of twine.  Regular twine will eventually rot away.
  • For a natural look set them on a glazed clay saucer. For something more inspired set them on a cake stand (those mini ceramic cupcake stands would work great for a small Kokedama), a teacup saucer or a disc of wood.
  • If you can remember to do it, misting the plant and moss ball will delay it’s inevitable (in my house anyway) death.

Hairy Green Balls (not be be confused with Big Hairy Balls) could be just the thing you need to add life to your bedroom.  If that fails, I guess you could always give that hobo a shot.

30 Comments

  1. Heather says:

    Very pretty! And just what we need in Ottawa. The snow on my deck is 4 feet deep. That’s a conservative estimate. These little moss pots will make it feel like Spring. Thanks, Karen! 🙂

  2. Kari in Dallas says:

    Love it. I just purchased moss garden mix for my wet shady areas outside, but will also try this for indoor houseplants. Hopefully I don’t kill all the things.

  3. Elaine mclaughlin says:

    Where do you buy sheet moss? Thank you

    • jaine kunst says:

      I get my sheet moss at Walmart and I also use the moss growing on my landscaping rocks.

      • PegB says:

        I use a flat edge shovel to harvest the moss growing on my property. If you soal it in warmwater and glycerin, then let dry on paper (I use parchment paper) for a few days in a warm dry place, you can have a never ending supply of sheet moss.

    • Karen says:

      I’ve linked to where you can buy it on Amazon it in the post Elaine, but you can also find it sometimes at local nurseries or garden centres. ~ karen!

  4. Kathy says:

    Where do you buy sheet moss in Ontario?

    Loved the hobo comment. Where does your mind travel?

    • Karen says:

      I got my moss at a local garden centre that also has a florists department. Most garden centres are likely to have it as well as Michaels. ~ karen!

    • Alena says:

      Bought mine at Sheridan’s. It was not sheet moss exactly, but bits and pieces. Worked well. Aboux $17 per box.

  5. Patti H says:

    What is that lovely plant? My grandmother used to have several of those and I was fortunate to receive one. Unfortunately, it needed water to survive. But I’d love to try this.

  6. amanda says:

    “ And you’ll have killed yet another thing.” 😂😂😂 Who’s been telling you about my houseplants?!! Thanks for another great idea that I will definitely try. You know the coolest stuff!!

  7. Jan in Waterdown says:

    I’m guessing that would be lovely done with a maidenhair fern sitting on that little glass pedestal you own? You know, the one with the cookies under the cloche? I saw it while peeking through your window…… 😏

  8. Jack Duncan says:

    What kind of fern is that with the crocus? Love the shape. Thanks

    • Cussot says:

      Looks like a common asparagus fern, Jack. And that’s not a crocus, but a daffodil, perhaps the miniature Narcissus Tete-a-tete.

  9. Alena says:

    I have kokedama’d my Platycerium and it seems to loving it. I usually water it (i.e. let it soak) when it’s bone-dry (not recommended but in my house, the theme is “the survival of the fittest”). It is easier keep it moist longer than when potted. If anybody is interested I can post a pic (will have to wait since I am at work right now).

  10. Laurie says:

    Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for an idea for the spring humane society fundraiser! I am fortunate enough to have tons of moss growing around our place so that will be free. I think I will use pansies and put it on a vintage plate, tea-cup or bowl.

  11. Liz says:

    Love this idea! I’m a hopeless plant hoarder, but haven’t tried this technique yet. Thanks for sharing, and love your comments along the way!

  12. We have moss growing around our cabin. I wonder if I can do this with outdoor plants and perch one on this big old stump we have. The stump is already growing moss. That would look so amazing!
    Two years ago we bought a cubic yard of compost, spread it all around the yard that we had carefully raked all the moss from, seeded it, sprinkled with more soil and watered it carefully. What grew up was…moss! So we’re giving up and hiring a Japanese landscaper to create a garden from the two things it wants to grow: moss and rocks.

  13. Paulette Kirkey says:

    This is brilliant! I needed this last September when I had a bumper crop of moss. Big cushy swaths. You know the place: the spot where I should have had lawn.

  14. Kim says:

    I was wondering how you manage to have a plant as well as cats. My cats tear into anything green on a counter, dresser, top of the fridge, nothing is safe. 😕

  15. Lisa says:

    What a beautiful idea! I’m trying this!

  16. Melissa says:

    This is super cool. And those footed trays are gorgeous!!

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