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Kokedama: Zen Gardening on your Desktop

Posted by Kevin Land on


Kokedama: Zen Gardening on your Desktop

Photo by Gregely Hideg

The latest gardening trend from Japan, Kokedama is sweeping across the the Western world as more and more people learn about it and see how cool it is! Kokedama is a Japanese method of growing a plant without using any kind of pot. House plants and flowers instead grow straight out of moss balls (‘Kokedama’ literally translates to ‘moss ball’ in English.) In fact, the ‘moss ball’ is actually a ball of soil or substrate covered in moss, making these beautiful and natural looking pieces of living decor.

The substrate used in Kokedama is very similar to that used in the more familiar Bonsai gardening, and it’s composition is very important to the health and growth of the plant. The substrate must provide the correct ratio of water drainage to water retention while also aerating the roots of the plant, a delicate balance that ensures the plant will gets enough nutrients for it to grow while protecting the roots from harmful rot.

People often use “Akadama” soil, a type of Japanese granular clay, in substrate for both Kokedama and Bonsai gardening.

The moss is then wrapped around the ball of substrate to keep it all in place, as well as make it look that much cooler. Finally, string or aluminum wire is used to tie it up and keep it all together.

Kokedama style gardening can also host a wide range of plants, from ferns to flowers or even small trees. You can even grow plants that can help to purify the air in your home, giving these artistic plants some function on top of their form.

Photos by Gergely Hideg

 Perhaps the best part about Kokedama, it may be the closest you ever come to owning an actual Pokémon!


We here at ADI love the zen and naturalistic feel of these Kokedama plants and certainly appreciate anything that helps us bring a little bit of nature back into our increasingly modern world. If you’re interested in putting one together yourself, check out this awesome guide we found over at Bloomzine: Japanese Art of Kokedama.

- Kevin Land, Team ADI

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