The art of sowing is an ancient art, since the cultivation of food has been fundamental for the conservation of human life on the planet. Over time, it was not only important for food, but also for medicinal purposes.
Currently, studies have shown that contact with the earth, work and its maintenance is beneficial for people, as it has relaxing properties.
In Japan, trends have emerged when it comes to planting, where the art of bonsai stands out above the rest , as well as kokedama , an imposing and ancient technique that has come to capture the attention of curious people by focusing on sowing in the absence of pots .
WHAT ARE MOSS BALLS?
The word kokedama comes from the Japanese and means ball of moss ( koke = moss, lady = ball), it is an artisanal cultivation technique that allows the development of ornamental plants without the need to plant them in pots or containers.
This consists of the planting of a plant in a ball of a prepared substrate and wrapped in a layer of moss, held by a cotton rope.
The main attraction of this technique is that the substrate of the plants is fully exposed , so it gives them an innovative and unconventional appearance to indoor spaces, in addition to purifying and moistening the air of the environment where they are, so they are beneficial for the skin.
HOW TO PERFORM A KOKEDAMA STEP BY STEP?
Before making a kokedama, you must choose which plant to sow.
Shrubs, ferns, trees, flowering plants, lichens, cacti, aromatic herbs , wild plants and even carnivorous plants are often used for this cultivation technique .
In addition to the plant, you also need soil, so it is recommended that you prepare a mixture of peat and akadama , a red-brown clay from volcanoes that is naturally found in Japan.
Similarly, you need fine river sand, moss or coconut fiber and a little thread or string. In case akadama is not available, clay is an ideal substitute.
The procedure for the formation of the moss ball is as follows:
Mix in a large container three parts of peat with one part of akadama (or clay, as the case may be) while adding a little river sand. It is important that the mixture is kept moist to promote oxygenation in the medium. It is given the rounded shape while it is moistened and a hole is formed in the center, in which the seedling will be introduced later.
After having the mixture and its shape ready, the plant is placed in the hole of the mixture, but not before cutting only what is necessary at the roots so that the plant fits without problems in the hole and then filling the hole with a little more mixing.
Spread the moss on a flat surface and remove the remains of branches and leaves that it may have. Moisten it a little with a spray or a spray bottle.
Spread the moss with the green side down and the brown side up and place the mixing ball with the plant in the center to proceed to cover it with the moss. When covering the ball of substrate there may be a surplus of moss, this excess is cut off with scissors and held in place with gentle pressure.
Take the thread or twine and turn the moss ball a series of turns until there is a web-like weave that maintains a stable grip and the kokedama is compact. Finally, tie a knot at both ends of the string so that it does not come loose.
They can be hung or placed on clay or stone trays , preferably in bright places without coming into direct contact with sunlight.
WHAT CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN TO PRESERVE A KOKEDAMA?
Moss balls are very easy plants to care for, they do not require much time or exhaustive attention, however, it is important to perform a minimum of care to keep the plant healthy and extend its life time.
- Do not expose it directly to sunlight. It is recommended that it be indoors or outdoors in the shade so that the moss or coconut fiber (as the case may be) does not dry out and can maintain the moisture of the kokedama so that the plant does not die.
- To water it , you simply have to submerge the moss ball in water for a few minutes, until bubbles stop coming out and then let it drain the excess water naturally.
- To maintain the humidity of the plant, it is sprayed using a spray or an atomizer both the plant and the substrate. In the same way, fertilizer diluted in water can be used so that the plant is better nourished. If the kokedama is exposed to the sun it should not be sprayed, as it can burn.
- From time to time cut the dry parts and where the flowers have fallen to favor the growth of new leaves and branches.
THE BEST PLANTS TO MAKE A MOSS BALL
While it is true that almost any plant can be planted using this technique, it is also true that some species lend themselves more to make kokedamas, mainly those that are stronger and more durable.
These hanging plants are very easy to care for and have great resistance.
They are climbing plants that can grow both indoors and outdoors. They are used to make kokedamas.
They are leafy plants that do not require much care and grow under almost any atmospheric condition.
They are ideal for kokedamas, as they are very resistant and stay well hydrated for a long time, which makes them very durable.