Our newest passion at Airplantman is the Kokedama, a fresh take on traditional 17th century Japanese bonsai. Sculptured bonsai trees originally were displayed in handmade pottery or pieces of driftwood. When it was discovered a rootbound bonsai's roots held their shape even when the plant was removed from its pot, the new moss-covered-roots style was born. Next came a more modern version known as 'string gardens,' where a variety of epiphyte (air plant) species are suspended in air.
Traditional Kokedama with moss covered roots sitting on a shallow dish
Over the last 30-years, the Kokedama (Koke, moss + dama, ball) has been gaining in popularity around the world, typically as a moss-covered ball suspended by twine. After extensive research, experiment and testing, Airplantman has once again avanced and refined the form:
Seating an epiphyte (of species including ferns, succulents, orchids, cacti and tillandsia) in a proprietary mix of moisture-absorbing, purifying growth-medium, Airplantman was inspired to contain it in a beautiful orb of handmade wool. Wool is perfect for plants in many ways: it insulates the root zone from temperature fluctuation while allowing it to breathe; it absorbs and holds water near the roots, encouraging root growth; and it is natural, durable, lightweight, recyclable, antibacterial and antimicrobial.
Handcrafted by agitating wool fibres until they bind together, each felt Airplantman Kokedama is a unique, one-of-a-kind object available in tones of blue, red, or black and white in 3", 4" and 6" sizes. Although wool is stain resistant, over time some changes in coloration are to be expected. While it is possible to wash with warm water any area that is stained, we suggest welcoming these changes as expressions of the natural way. Each order contains a plant (species will vary, but we will do our best to accommodate written requests), a Kokedama orb containing custom planting mix , and an extra packet of planting mix (in case you prefer to plant your own). If you would like your plant to arrive already planted and ready for hanging, an optional upgrade is available.
Care is simple for the Airplantman Kokedama, and Airplantman will gladly advise on your plant's light requirements. We recommend you find the right plant for a given exposure, or relocate your plant until you find its preferred light. In general, cacti and succulents require full sun; orchids indirect or filtered light, and ferns, partial shade. Airplantman has recently begun stocking rhipsalis, a type of tropical epiphytic cactus that grows well in dim, dry conditions. Over time, rhipsalis leaves cascade gracefully downwards, creating the perfect hanging Kokedama profile.
Watering the Airplantman Kokedama is easy. You only need to pull the felt back a bit where it meets the plant, and gently pour a small amount of water onto our special absorbent, well-draining mix. It is best to let the Kokedama dry completely between waterings, measuring dryness by weight and feel to the touch. While it is not necessary to fertilize your plant, Eleanor's VF-11 Plant Food can be mixed in water or sprayed on the leaves to promote growth and maintain longterm health.