If it’s one thing millennials aren’t killing, it’s plants. In fact, the 2016 National Gardening survey found that 5 million out of the 6 million Americans who took up gardening that year were between the ages of 18 and 34.
The latest trend to come out of the generation’s plant obsession? Kokedama, a ball of soil covered with moss on which an ornamental plant grows. Its style is like bonsai, and the plant’s root system is wrapped in moss and bound with string, making it a sculptural work of art. With origins in Japan, kokedama is barely a new practice, but it’s popularity is growing in the United States.
Want to incorporate kokedama plants into your home? Here’s what you need to know.
How to make kokedama
To make kokedama you’ll need bonsai soil, peat moss, sphagnum moss, your plant of choice, assorted twine, scissors and water. Follow these steps to create your kokedama:
- Mix the bonsai soil and the peat moss together in a bowl, and stir in water until the soil is damp
- Form a ball with the soil mixture around the plant’s roots
- Wrap the ball with sphagnum moss
- Wrap and tie with twine
- Attach another loop of twine to hang
Best kokedama plants for use
ProFlowers lists string of pearls, button fern, macho fern, pothos and peace lily as the best types of plants to use in a kokedama, and also states that you should avoid cacti, succulents, flowering plants and ming aralia.
Caring for kokedamas
Better Homes & Gardens suggests keeping your kokedama watered by misting it daily. The soil needs to remain damp for the moss to survive, so every few weeks, take down the kokedama and soak it in a sink full of water. Allow it to drain before hanging back up.
Learn more about kokedamas and get help with building your first one at Botanologica, a local garden and gift retail shop. It’s hosting two kokedama workshops for $40 each, one on Jan. 27, and another on Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. to noon. The workshops will provide background on the ancient botanical art form and will teach you how to design a kokedama with tropical houseplants. Botanologica will provide a selection of plants and materials, as well as coffee and light bites. // Botanologica: 817 W. Broad St., Falls Church; $40