Gallery: DIY: How To Make a Hanging Bonsai String Garden


Step 4

Shape your soil mixture into a ball about the size of a grapefruit. Patterson notes that you should use your best judgement when shaping the ball, as plants vary in sizes.

Step 5

Break the soil ball in half and sandwich the roots between the two pieces, reshaping the ball around the roots. Add more soil if it's not holding its shape.

Step 6

Cover the ball with the sheet moss, making sure your twine is nearby. As you wrap the moss, secure it with the twine as you go. Continue to wrap the moss and twine until the ball feels secure. Don't forget to make a longer, handle-like piece so you will be able to hang the plant.

What You’ll Need:

- Shade-loving plants with small root bases. Wilder story author Taylor Patterson recommends ferns, begonias, or orchids, but notes that “most plants should happily thrive provided there’s enough sunlight.”

- A 7:3 ratio peat moss and bonsai soil (Akedama). Mix the moss and soil together, adding water if necessary, to make it a clay-like consistency

- Sphagum moss soaked in water. “Sphagnum moss is important because it holds water like a sponge and guarantees that the roots of your little Kokedama will stay moist,” says Patterson.

- Cotton thread

- Sheet moss

- Natural and biodegradable twine or string

To see this full printed article, order a copy of Wilder’s 2012 Winter Issue here. Wilder created a special discount code for Inhabitat readers. The first 100 readers to use WQ02 upon check-out will receive a 15% discount on either a single issue or one year subscription. Wilder donates a portion of the subscription price to support the Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit that provides free summer camp experiences to more than 1.7 million children from disadvantaged communities.

Step by step instructions created by Taylor Patterson and photos by Rory Gunderson for Wilder Quarterly. Text and photos used with permission.


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  1. dsanfrancis June 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    I can’t imagine how an orchid would fair in soil, even fast draining soil. I’ve seen a few pictures online of phalaenopsis and oncidium kokedama but no explanations on whether they hold up well or eventually suffer from root rot. Any idea?

  2. yanggers February 7, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Nice article. Bonsai soil media is not Akedama, it’s Akadama.

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