Kokedama Succulent Ball – Making A Kokedama With Succulents

A Kokedama Succulent Ball
(Image credit: Dane Moore)

If you’re experimenting with ways to display your succulents or looking for an unusual indoor decoration with live plants, perhaps you’ve considered making a succulent kokedama.

Making a Kokedama Succulent Ball

The kokedama is basically a ball of soil containing plants with peat moss combined and most often covered with sheet moss. The translation of Japanese kokedama to English means moss ball. 

Any number and type of plants may be incorporated into the ball. Here, we’ll be focusing on a kokedama with succulents. You will need:

  • Small succulent plants or cuttings
  • Potting soil for succulents
  • Peat moss
  • Sheet moss
  • Water
  • Twine, yarn, or both
  • Rooting hormone or cinnamon (optional)

Soak your sheet moss so it will be moist. You’ll use it to cover the finished moss ball. You’ll also need your twine. It is most convenient to use sheet moss with a mesh backing.

Prepare your succulents. You can use more than one plant inside each ball. Remove side roots and shake off most of the soil. Keep in mind, the succulent will fit into the ball of soil. When you’ve gotten the root system as small as you think is still healthy, you can make your moss ball.

Start by moistening the soil and rolling it into a ball. Include peat moss and more water as needed. A 50/50 ratio of soil and peat moss is about right when planting succulents. You can wear gloves, but it is still likely you’ll get your hands dirty, so enjoy. Include just enough water to hold the soil together. 

When you’re happy with the size and consistency of your ball of soil, set it aside. Drain the sheet moss so it is just slightly damp when you wrap the moss ball with it.

Putting Together the Kokedama

Break the ball into halves. Insert the plants in the middle and put them back together. Treat the plant roots, if you like, with rooting hormone or cinnamon before adding them. Note how the display will look. Roots should be buried. 

Mash the soil together, keeping an eye on the round shape always as you’re working with it. You may cover the ball of soil with twine or yarn before enclosing it in moss if you feel it would be more secure.

Place the sheet moss around the ball. When using the mesh-backed moss, it is easiest to keep it in one piece and set the ball into it. Bring it upward and fold it if necessary, keeping it tight. Secure it around the top with the twine. Insert a hanger, if needed.

Use the twine in a pattern you choose to hold the moss onto the ball. Circular patterns seem to be favorites, wrapping several strands in each spot. 

Succulent Kokedama Care

Put the finished kokedama in light conditions suitable for the plants you used. Water by putting it in a bowl or bucket of water for three to five minutes, then let it dry. With succulents, the moss ball needs watering less often than you would think.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.