DIY Garden: Hanging Kokedama Plant

UPDATE: This post originally ran on June 27, 2012. We wanted to highlight it again because this would be the perfect activity for a warm August afternoon!

Are you guys familiar with the awesome Japanese gardening technique known as kokedama? These hanging string gardens have been catching my eye all summer, and I knew I had to make my own!

I met up with Tim Mountz, Nursery Manager – A.K.A Horticultural Ninja – at Terrain, to find out how it’s done. Turns out it’s super easy to make these guys – and so much fun! I have a feeling it may be raining kokedama gardens in my apartment by the end of the week.

What you need:

DIY Garden: Kokedama Hanging Plant, What You Need

Plant of your choice
We used a succulent because they require very little maintenance – and they look gorgeous! I love the little yellow flowers on this one.

Sheet moss
Sheet moss comes in lots of different shapes and sizes. Just make sure you have enough to completely cover the soil beneath your plant. Soak the moss in water and drain before using.

We used white string, but you could use any kind as long as it’s strong enough to hold up the entire plant. I would love this with a brown twine for an earthy feel, or a bright yellow to match the flowers!

What you do:

DIY Garden: Kokedama Hanging Plant, Step 1aDIY Garden: Kokedama Hanging Plant, Step 1b
Step 1: Remove your plant from its container (or from your garden), leaving enough soil to completely cover its roots. Use your thumbs to pat down the soil, forming a sphere. Add more soil if you wish – this will create a better growing area for the roots.

DIY Garden: Kokedama Hanging Plant, Step 2aDIY Garden: Kokedama Hanging Plant, Step 2b
Step 2: Place your ball of soil directly in the center of the sheet moss, with moss-side facing down. Wrap the base of your plant completely, pressing thumbs down gently to make sure it stays together.

DIY Garden: Kokedama Hanging Plant, Step 3aDIY Garden: Kokedama Hanging Plant, Step 3bDIY Garden: Kokedama Hanging Plant, Step 3c
Step 3: Grab the end of your string and wrap away! You can wrap your string in any pattern or design you like – or with none in mind at all! It’s cool to see the different string patterns that emerge when you’re not even trying. Just be sure that the moss is adequately covered – the string is what helps keep the ball shape, and it will support the plant once it’s hanging.

DIY Garden: Kokedama Hanging Plant, Step 4aDIY Garden: Kokedama Hanging Plant, Step 4b
Step 4: When you’re finished wrapping the string around your moss, tie a strong knot. You may want to double or triple knot it, just to be sure it holds.

DIY Garden: Hanging Kokedama Plant
Step 5: Hang and enjoy! You can truly have a kokedama hanging garden anywhere you like, as long as it’s in an ideal living environment for the plant you choose. This plant will make a huge statement on its own, and an even bigger one in a cluster with others! You can experiment with different string lengths, sphere sizes, and types of plant to create the kokedama garden of your dreams.

Watering your plant:

Watering Kokedama Plant 1
Step 1: dunk the base (moss end) into a bucket of water and watch for bubbles. When you no longer see bubbles, your plant is fully watered.

Watering Kokedama Plant 2

Step 2: Remove the base from the bucket  and give it a little squeeze to remove excess water. If your plant hangs indoors, you may want to hang in outside in the sun or over a sink directly after watering, until your plant has completely finished draining.

Some plants will stay hydrated for up to a week – it all depends on the type and size of the plant. When your plant is ready to be watered, it will feel very light in weight, so always check its weight before watering!

Photos by fp brigette.

More DIY projects on the BLDG 25 blog!



  1. Wow I was not aware of this! How cool!! Thanks for sharing! Hey when does the July catalog drop??

  2. I am going to use the mesh bags from potatoes and onions to hold the moss together! Thank you so much for the idea!

  3. You can also do this with small trees as well and hang them they look gorgeous, particularly citrus trees when they grow fruit.

  4. I saw a few pics of these … & I thought “how impossible” … thanks for posting a full tutorial!
    Your Kokedama is beautiful, & your tutorial is detailed, to-the-point, (at the same time!) & easy-to-follow!
    I’m going to try this this very week.

  5. We’re such big fans of hanging kokedama! We did a handful for the windows of a Union Square office – lovely to look at, and they boost work morale :)

  6. I’m excited about trying to make one but
    I noticed that you did not mention what and how
    much soil you
    used for ball that
    covers plant before putting on sheet moss and string.

  7. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you ought to write more on this issue, it may not be a taboo matter but
    usually folks don’t discuss such subjects. To the next! All the best!!

  8. Howdy superb blog! Does running a blog similar to this require a lot of work?
    I’ve no understanding of computer programming however I was hoping to start
    my own blog in the near future. Anyways, if you have any
    ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.
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