Living

The rise of the string garden

The Japanese art of kokedama (simply translated as moss balls) is making waves in the world of indoor plants. But don’t be fooled by their intricate appearance – these hanging string gardens are super easy to make.

You will need

Small potted plant
A 7:3 ratio of peat and potting mix
Bowl for mixing soil
String
Moss or coconut fibre
Sphagnum moss
Bucket of water
ScissorsWater spritzer

1. PREPARE Remove plant from its pot and shake away the excess soil to expose the roots. You may also have to trim the roots.

2. MIX Combine peat and potting mix together, adding water until it’s at a consistency where you can shape it into a small ball. Make sure the ball is big enough to contain the roots of your plant.

3. PLANT Break soil ball in half and insert plant into the ball, adding more of the soil mix if necessary. Lay pieces of string across a bowl, cutting lengths long enough to wrap around the soil ball and plant.

4. WRAP Moss is often used to cover the soil, but in this instance we used coconut fibre. Line the inside of the coconut fibre with sphagnum moss to help retain moisture in the soil. Gather the coconut fibre up around the plant and begin to wrap and tie strings around the ball.

5. BIND Once the basic ball structure is secured, it is time to bind it together by continuing to wrap with string. This is easier achieved with two people – one holds the ball, while the other winds the string around the ball, making sure to leave enough room at the top for the plant to breathe. Tie off the string at the top of the plant, so it will hang upright.

6. SOAK Once you’ve made your kokedama, soak the ball in a bucket of water for about 5-10 minutes. Wipe off excess moisture, and then it’s ready to hang. Keep your kokedama hydrated by spritzing with a spray bottle once a day.

Project & photography Duncan Innes