Origins Of Kokedamas

Origins Of Kokedamas

Kokedamas originated in Japan and is a contemporary style of bonsai.

Nearai bonsai.

Nearai bonsai.

It’s said the idea of Kokedama originated from Nearai, which was a popular bonsai style during the (AD1603) era in Japan. The bonsai was first grown in a pot until it was root bound. The bonsai was so tightly packed in, that the root and soil maintained it’s shape once it was removed from the pot. Kokedama takes the planterless bonsai method a step further and covers the root base with moss. Today’s Kokedama have evolved into the string bound orbs we see in home decor now.

 

 

Large statement Kokedama. Studio fifty-three.

Large statement Kokedama. Studio fifty-three.

Loosely translated ‘Koke’ means moss and “dama’ means ball. Thus they are also known as Japanese moss balls. Kokedamas imbues the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-sabi meaning the appreciation of the imperfections of nature and the transience of natural beauty. Kokedamas are a reflection of Wabi-sabi principles.

 Displaying Your Kokedama

Hanging Kokedamas.

Hanging Kokedamas.

A wide variety of plants can be used in the making of Kokedamas.  They can be hung and suspended or displayed on their own base. Grouping them together can make a dramatic display or added to a vignette. They are a great alternative to the way we have displayed our indoor pot plants in the past.

Decorative vignette. Studio fifty-three.

Decorative vignette. Studio fifty-three.

Today Kokedamas are one of the biggest trends in gardening and indoor plants. They are easy to care for and look fantastic. It is a lovely way to bring the outdoors into your home. I call them living sculptures.

 

People are loving the unique style, natural influence and lovely, calming atmosphere that Kokedamas bring to their lives. They make a perfect decorative addition to a home’s decor as well as to commercial spaces such as cafes, restaurants  and offices.

How to look after your Kokedama.

Easy Kokedama watering method

Easy Kokedama watering method

Kokedamas are relatively easy to look after. You only need to water your moss ball once or twice a fortnight depending on the plant. If you pick up your Kokedama and it feels light, like cork it needs watering. I have found the easiest  way is to dunk them in a tub of water. Hold the ball under water until bubbles stop rising to the surface. (I usually let them have a good soak there for about 10 minutes.

Let your kokedama drip dry then re-hang or place back in it’s dish. You can place your Kokedama on a towel or hang until it no longer drips.

If your Kokedama is hanging and you can’t take it down for a soaking, you will have to use a spray bottle to water it. Using this method you will have to spray it a lot more regularly but the weight of the ball will tell you when you need to.

Like any houseplant it generally depends on care and the chosen plant. I have been making Kokeamas for over 2 years and still have plants thriving from back then. I find most plants love their little encapsulated ecosystem.

Kokedamas are air filters in your home or office.

Kokedamas are air filters in your home or office.

Indoor plants are also great air filters so not only do they look aesthetically pleasing they also help the air quality in your home or work space.

We have Kokedamas available for sale at Studio fifty-three ($15 – $50). Contact us if you would like to arrange a time to come and visit Studio fifty-three shop/gallery. Or if you would like to learn how to make them yourself, we can teach you at our next workshop.

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