Kokedama, what it is and how it is made. From the soil to be used up to the moss to collect the roots.
THEkokedamathey are known asmini bonsai without potorbonsai ruffle. Thekokedamait is not a modern day fashion but an ancient Japanese cultivation technique that has its roots in the 1600s. The main difference betweenkokedama and bonsaiconcerns the absence of a vase: with the kokedama the plants exploit an earthy substrate released from the classic container.
As well as the origins of this art, also the term Kokedamais Japanese and literally means "Ball of moss" even if some western translator has bowed the translation by reporting the words "moss pearl". In Japan ikokedamathey are characterized by an earthy substrate given by a large internal core ofAkadama (a layer of red mineral clay) e Keto (peat), completely covered with moss.
THEkokedamathey are prepared in a similar way to bonsai but, with this art, the roots are not inserted into a pot full of soil. The vase of thebonsaiis replaced by an agglomeration ofmudconsisting, as stated, of peat (keto or ketotsuchi) and a reddish clayey soil. Akadama is nothing more than the classicexpanded claymore finely structured. It represents the draining component and must be perfectly blended with ketotsuchi (peat).
THEkokedamathey are particularly suitable for the realization ofvertical gardens. This is because, once ready, they can be placed on bare trays, on bases made of pebbles or, more typically, suspended in mid-air tied with a nylon thread. As well as thebonsai, the technique ofkokedamaadapts to any plant.
Who intends to make akokedama do it yourselfcan take advantage of one of the small plants purchased in bonsai shops. For the preparation of the substrate, all you have to do is make a homogeneous substrate by combining keto and akadama. To give you an idea of the creation of a kokedama, we refer you toPhoto gallery: Photo by Kokedama.
You will need 5 parts of ketotsuchi (peat) and 1 part of akadama (fine expanded clay). The two soils are mixed by creating an amalgam with the water until a spherical shape of compatible size is obtained in order to contain the roots of the purchased plant.
The roots of the plant goincorporated(very gently) when preparing the sphere. The roots must be completely enclosed by the prepared substrate which must reach the collar of the plant, that is, the point where the roots attach to the stem.
Once the roots are incorporated into the drainage and peat mix, it is time to apply the moss coating. Moss can be replaced with thicker, fatty grass at your discretion. Among the most readily available materials we point out the green moss. We advise you not to collect the moss independently to use for the preparation of Kokedama, with moss you could also incorporate parasites, molds or harmful insects into the substrate.
On the market there is no lack of natural moss born for the decoration ofKokedama, an example is the Iceland moss in the photo above. The musk in question is completely natural and treated with vegetable dyes in order not to lose its original color and to ensure maximum elasticity over time. For the purchase of the covering moss of the Kokedama you can take advantage of Amazon or shops specialized in the sale of Japanese decorative products. For Amazon we recommend the products:
Bag of moss and lichen mixed Green 75 gr
Price: € 10.61 with free shipping
Bag of moss and lichen mixed Green 35 gr
Price: € 7.86 with free shipping
Remember to free the roots of the plant from the old soil as much as possible. If you have the opportunity, buy a bare root bonsai so as to make the whole process easier. To make theball of mudmore stable you can wrap everything with cotton twine, while the moss will adhere to the substrate with the simple pressure: it will be necessary to moisten the mud well with water!
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Photo | The Florida study - from Wikipedia