How to Make Japanese Moss Ball Planters
Kokedama (ko-ka-DAH-ma), an ancient Japanese form of bonsai, zoomed from relative obscurity to Pinterest stardom when Dutch artist Fedor Van der Valk playfully hung several from string. (You can check them out at stringgardens.com.) The spherical "container" is really just a ball of moss and mud tied with string. Though Van der Valk strung up everything from flowering bulbs to a horse chestnut tree, tropical plants and houseplants are good for beginners and will easily last a few years with proper water and light.
Buy a plant that likes bright, filtered light. Gently remove all potting soil from the plant's roots with your fingers.
Combine peat and bonsai mix in a 2:1 ratio. Add water until mixture holds its shape. Pack a dense ball (like a snowball) around the roots, or form a ball and poke a hole with your finger. Tuck in the roots, then firmly repack.
Wrap live moss (sold at plant stores) around the ball; secure the ball by wrapping twine several times around it.
Some people mist the moss ball daily; others wait until the ball feels light or dry and then submerge it in water. When bubbles stop rising from the ball, let it drain, then hang or display again.
Hanging your string garden makes a dramatic statement, but string gardens look lovely displayed on tables as well.
Kokedama planters share the spotlight with mini lanterns dangled from tree branches for a magical mood. Flameless votive candles operated with a remote on set on a timer are the safest, easiest option.