Taking care of kokedamas is quite easy. The difference from plants in a pot is just in the way they are of watered. Conditions that plants need for their healthy growth remains the same. You can find specific demands of plant species underneath.
Watering kokedamas is done by soaking them in stillroom temperature water. According to the demands of the plant species we use either a pot (for full soaking) where we place kokedama for few minutes until the bubbles stop rising and the moss ball will sink to the bottom, or we can use a bowl with an appropriate amount of water (for mild soaking). Do not leave kokedamas in the water for too long, a few minutes is really enough, otherwise precious nutrients will leak into the water from the substrate. After soaking, let the kokedama stand in an empty bowl for a few minutes so the water is soaked properly and when hang it back in its place once it has stopped dripping.
The frequency of watering depends on the plant species and also on the environmental conditions in which the kokedama hangs. The usual interval for watering kokedamas is once a week but it can vary with warm weather or for example Airconditioning – in which cases the kokedama can dry out quicker, so it is important to adjust watering to the actual climate conditions.
The need for watering is best estimated by the weight of the kokedama. Simply hold the moss ball in your palm to find out if it isn’t too light and dry. It should be noted that by soaking the kokedama in a pot the plant usually receives much more water than plants in pots, so it is important not to soak it too often otherwise the roots can start rotting.
The moss covering the kokedamas is natural material which works like a natural flower pot and prevents leaking of the substrate. In a standard interior the moss is not capable of life so eventually it turns brown – although it doesn’t lose its function. If the conditions for moss growing are good it can also start to grow and cover the whole kokedama ball.
If you grow outdoor kokedamas or you want the moss to grow it is best to use rainwater for watering as the moss is very sensitive to chlorine.
Kokedamas work a bit like bonsai trees, small space for roots don’t allow them to overgrow. Some plants need pruning. Because we don’t repot kokedamas it is necessary to add fertilizer for houseplants every spring, to add nutrients to the soil.
Comes from the rainforests of Central and South America and is one of the few houseplants that bloom well even in a shaded place. Anthuriums love warm places, ideally 18 – 25°C even in winter and without direct sunshine. Water the kokedama moderately with room temperature water, as anthuriums hate cold and chlorinated water. Do not spray the leaves and flowers with water, anthurium prefer drought to humidity. Especially at lower temperatures a combination of cold water and chilly air can be fatal. Under good conditions anthuriums keep flowering year round.
– the cold and humidity can cause loss of leaves
– if dry spots appear on the leaves do not overwater the plant and do not spray the plant with water, just remove affected leaves as it is usually a fungal disease spreading via moisture
– if the flowers do not get a proper colour and stay green, the plant doesn’t have enough light
Asparagus comes from South Africa. Although its leaves often look like fern it doesn’t belong to the fern family. Asparaguses are very undemanding plants that grow the best when they have enough moisture, but also tolerate drought in the short term. They need a bright spot without direct sunlight. In low light or water they turn yellow and fall off, they also don’t like dry air or temperatures below 15 °C.
– yellowing leaves of small shoots in the middle – the cause is lack of light inside a clump
– yellowing and loss of leaves – the cause may be a lack of watering, draft or little light
Ficuses come from tropical Asia, where they grow to enormous sizes. Ficus microcarpa ‘Ginseng’ is quite easy-care, enjoys plenty of light but can tolerate the sun. It is resistant to drought but does not like draft, temperatures below 15 ° C and cold water. Water if the kokedama is almost dry with water of room temperature. The crown can be shaped by pruning.
– significant loss of leaves can be caused by cold water, underwatering, low temperature or draft
– often mealybugs can occur on them
Comes from Brazil from the rain forests. It is a nice house plant with very colourful bright leaves. It preferes humidity and brght place without direct sunlight that can cause fading of the leaves. Marantha often rolls up its leaves for the night time. It blooms with tiny unobtrusive violet flowers. This plant loves humidity and warmth, the temperature shouldn’t go undre 12°C.
– drought, over watering, draft causes yellowing and falling of the leaves
– fading of the leaves is caused by too much or too little light
Myrtle is an aromatic shrub which is native to the Mediterranean. That’s why it loves to be outside during the summer and throughout the winter it prefer light place without frost, ideally with temperatures 5 – 15°C. Myrtle likes plenty of light with occasional sunshine and plenty of moisture, it should never dry out. In summer the myrtle blooms with small white flowers, which then mature into purple berries. This small evergreen shrub is a symbol of youth, beauty and love so it is often used in wedding arrangements.
– it can dry out very quickly so water it carefully and often
It comes from the Mediterranean and thus it loves to be outdoors for the summer, but in winter it needs a cool light place without frost, ideally with temperatures 5-15 ° C and moderate watering. It doesn’t tolerate drought well and responds to it by the twisting of its leaves. The olive tree can be shaped by pruning.
– changing spots causes a stress, which the plant responds to by a partial loss of leaves, in this case avoid overwatering
– brown scales can occur very often so the tree should be checked from time to time
Crassula comes from South Africa and it’s a succulent. For it’s round shape of leaves is called a Money Plant. Because it is succulent it loves sun and stands some drought and dry air, that also makes it ideal house plant. During the time it is on sunny place it needs plenty of water, during winter period when there is not so much light the watering should be reduced. Too high winter temperatures can lead to loss of foliage. For compact growth it is necessary to remove the tops of the plant and keep it in optimum size. Fertilize once a year during the growing season by adding fertilizer to the watering.
– long branches with small leaves = too much water and not enough of light
– sudden loss of leaves = too cold water or lack of water
– losing branches = too much water and rotting of the plant
Aloe species are hygrophilic succulent plants from subtropical Africa.There are more than 500 species, which differ in size and shape. They require a sunny location and limited watering for optimal growth. Water regularly during the summer and less through the winter, the ideal temperature for the winter is 15-19° C. When the plant has a water shortage it wrinkles or its leaves roll.
– there is a danger of overwatering and roots rotting during the wintertime
Asplenium antiquum and Asplenium nidus are ferns native to East Asia, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan where they grow mainly like epiphytes on rocks and tree trunks in the woods. Asplenium has a bright green tongue-shaped foliage which is arranged in a dense rosette, in Japan they are therefore also called “fern bird nests”. They require bright spot without too much sunlight that can cause fading of leaves. These ferns can tolerate short-term drought, but they like high humidity and dew.
– dry ends of leaves – the cause is dry air, dew the plant from time to time
– if the leaves loose colour it is usually caused by sun
This citrus is a hybrid of the mandarin and the kumquat and it is one of the least demanding citrus species. Citrus trees are generally demanding in terms of light, they need at least a little sunshine to grow well, but otherwise their cultivation is not too difficult. They need lower temperatures during winter of 5-15 ° C, therefore a winter garden, bright hallway or cold bedroom is ideal for their growing.
Citruses tolerates pruning – just be careful though, as citruses bloom on young wood usually in the spring and early summer. The fruits matures for a year so quite often there are also flowers and fruits on one tree. Fruits of citrus calamondin are not sweet but you can use them for tea, cakes or sauces, they are high in vitamin C. During the growing season it’s good to fertilize 1-3 times.
– sudden loss of leaves is usually caused by underwatering
Cycas species are among the oldest plants on earth, they are contemporaries of the dinosaurs. Cycas revoluta comes from southern Japan and is the most popular species among about 300 species of cycases. It’s a very slow-growing plant that resembles a palm tree, one to two new leaves per year is a success. It requires plenty of light, preferably in direct sunlight, but if the plant is not used to the sun, it can easily be burnt. If possible keep it in colder areas with low temperatures during winter times (0 – 15° C) and also reduce watering as lack of light during the winter deforms the leaves. During the summer cycas should never dry out.
– lack of light deforms leaves which get yellow
– attention to the combination of low temperatures and humidity, the lower the temperature the lower the watering, if wet and cold the roots rot very quickly
Tropical creeper is originally from Central and South America. Leaves of young plants are heart-shaped and undivided, adult plant has split and perforated leaves. Monstera has white quiver-like flower and later fetus-shaped buds. The fruit is edible and has a pineapple flavor, however, in room conditions the plant blooms exceptionally. Because monstera has a creeping stems it need to be either tie to the string or let it blend into the ground. The plants require plenty of light without direct sunlight. The temperature should not drop below 12 °C and the substrate should never dry out completely. There are usually aerial roots growing from the trunk that shouldn’t be removed. Monstera plant likes high humidity and dew.
– yellowing of leaves is a sign of lack of light or spill
– does not like the combination of cold and water
Nolina originates from Mexico and due to the shape of its bulbous trunk it is also called “elephant foot”. Thanks to this storage, the organ tolerates drought very well. Nolina like sunny or shady spots and prefer not so frequent watering, otherwise its roots could rot. Nolina is one of the most undemanding houseplants you can find.
– less water is better than too much
– watch out for sharp edges on the leaves which are able to cut you
From Asia and Australia, it is an epiphytic plant living in the crowns of trees and it’s a very undemanding plant. Staghorn fern has two types of leaves, a fertile green one that often resembles antlers and sterile leaves used for collecting water and debris, which eventually turn brown. Requires sufficient light and watering, the moss ball should never dry out completely. Platycerium does not like temperatures below 15 °C and loves high humidity and dew.
– air that is too dry causes vulnerability to mealybugs
– there are small white hairs on the leaves that shouldn’t be removed
It comes from the Mediterranean and the Middle East where once extensive laurel forests formed, growing to a height of 12 meters. From Antiquity it’s known as a symbol of victory when winners wold wear a wreath of laurel twigs. Laurel has very aromatic leaves containing essential oils – they are often used in the kitchen, fresh or dried. It loves warmth and sun, should never dry out and the crown should be pruned into shape.
– check often for pest such as brown scales
Comes from China, which is why it is also called the Chinese rose. Hibiscus is quite an easy houseplant, it likes plenty of light and to bloom well it needs some sunshine, just watch out for too much sunlight. It likes plenty of water especially during the summer – and throughout the winter reduce watering slightly. Room temperature all year-round is ok. For good flowering it is necessary to fertilize at least once a year in spring. Hibiscus tolerates cutting, so you can safely shape the crown as you wish.
– insufficient watering, overflowing and drafts can cause yellowing and leaf fall
– loss of buds can be caused by lack of water or nutrients
– buds are very fragile, so be careful when watering the kokedama
– check for aphids time to time, can appear during the summer
I use a lot of different plants to decorate the aerariums. The selection is usually mainly limited by the size of the plants and the aerarium. The level of care needs to be adapted to the type of plant. My favourite plants to use in the aerariums are tillandsias, bromelias that live like epifyt, so they don’t need any soil but just need to be sprayed with water.
Aerariums are a very mutifunctional decoration, you can fill them with anything you can imagine and change the filling according to the season, mood or style of the room. You can use for example dry flowers, shells, stones, dry leaves, Christmas decorations or you could even fill them with live flowers with a little bit of water. The possibilities are endless.
If you’d like to try to plant the aerarium by yourself it isn’t as difficult as it seems. You will just need suitable small plants – usually succulents are the best choice – and some decorative stones and gravel. You can find a DIY on my blog, in Czech, but there are some descriptive photos that could help you.
Tillandsias are plants of the genus bromeliaceae that live epiphytic lives, that means they don’t need any soil and live just from humidity. The care is quite easy, you just spray them once a week with distilled water which won’t block the spiracles of the plant and also won’t leave any stains on the glass. Tillandsia should never lie in the water because it could rot so it is important to always get rid of surplus water or put some stones at the bottom of the aerarium.
Succulents are plants that need lots of light and sun. The sunnier the place, the better if they don’t have enough light, cut the watering down to a minimum, for example during the wintertime. Watering should be done very carefully, use a teaspoon to measure the amount of water you pour in – if you overwater the succulents they will most likely rot.
During the vegetation period, water once a week or 1 – 4 spoons of water every 10 days, according to the size of the aerarium. During the wintertime once a month should be enough. I use succulents that have generally slow growth or can be pruned.
Orchids are epiphytic plants and they need enough light and moisture even for their roots. A glass aerarium is an ideal microclimate for their growth. Water them once a week so the moss soil is still a bit wet – i recommend using distilled or rain water. Avoid overwatering the plants so they don’t risk rotting.
I use mainly orchids of the genus Phalaenopsis which are very easy to take care of. If they don’t prosper well usually the reason is lack of light – orchids won’t flower if they don’t have enough light, and ideally need a bit of sun too. Green algae can also grow inside the aerarium, which doesn’t have any bad influence on the orchid.
There is a better enviroment for hydrophilic plants in aerariums then there is for them in normal interiors. Aerariums have a high level of humidity – an ideal microclimate that is almost closed so the water doesn’t evaporate so quickly and there is no need to water them too often. Aerariums with hydrophilic plants need watering approx. once a week – pour enough water to leave cca 1 cm at the bottom. If needed you can prune the plant a bit or leave it to grow from the hole outside as well.
Moss needs high levels of humidity, which is why the microclimate of aerariums is so good for its growth. You can keep these conditions in the aerarium simply by keeping the moss wet, with stones uderneath. Once a week watering with distilled or rain water is usually enough, and note that moss doesn’t like chlorine.
Carnivorous plants love sun and high humidity therefore aerariums offer a great environment for their growth. They need moist soil and there should always be a centimeter of water at the bottom of the aerarium. Dead parts of the plant should regularly be removed so nothing rots inside. You don’t need to feed the plant with insects as it will grow even without them and you don’t need to fertilize it either as carnivorous plants don’t take minerals from the soil but from their prey.
All aerariums are made from quality technic glass that can stand high temperatures – even the heat from a candle flame. Please note that aerariums will get very hot from the flame so they should only be hung on the string that comes with them – please do not use any plastic materials which could melt! Do hang the aerarium out of reach small children and pets as it gets very hot while in use. Aerariums are designed for using all standard tea candles with diameter of 4 cm.
Aerariums can also be used as a vase for live flowers. It is also best to use distilled water which doesn’t cause any mineral circles on the glass.
There are several different types of plant terrariums according to the plant species used inside. I would divide them into two categories – hydrophilics and succulents. It’s important to choose the right of terrarium shape to fit the purpose we want to achieve or we risk failing.
Plant terrariums are known for their unpretentiousness and minimum care . Proof that such a terrarium can survive without maintenance even for several years can be found in an article on my blog.
Succulent terrariums use plants that tolerate sun and drought. These terrariums are usually open so the air can circulate well and keep the microclimate dry. Succulent terrariums can be placed even on high sun-exposed sites. We should be also very careful with watering as water once poured inside can not be withdrawn.
Vlhkomilná rostlinná terária mohou být uzavřená či otevřená. Uzavřená terária mají pokličku, víčko či špunt, tzn. že se z ních voda vypařuje minimálně a mají tak uzavřený vodní oběh. Tato zavřená vlhkomilná terária jsou pak prakticky bezúdržbová, musíme ale dbát na jejich čistotu a pečlivě odstraňovat odumřelé zbytky rostlin aby netlely a netvořily se plísně. Do otevřených terárií se musí průběžně doplňovat voda, která se odpaří, protože se ale pro vlhkomilná rostlinná terária používají hlavně nádoby s úzkým hrdlem, i tak je péče o ně snadná.
Rostliny pro vlhkomilná rostlinná terária mají rády vysokou vzdušnou vlhkost a dostatek vláhy. Ve vlhkomilných teráriích proto udržujeme vlhké prostředí rosením a případně doplňujeme vodu tak, aby zemina v teráriu zůstávala vlhká. Množství vody se snadno kontroluje na dně v drenážní vrstvě. Vlhkomilná terária umísťujeme na světlé místo bez přímého slunečního osvětlení, které by mohlo díky vysokému obsahu vody rostliny doslova uvařit.