Every artist goes through phases. Picasso had his Blue Period, George Harrison embraced the sitar for a spell. My crew and I are in a kokedama phase. We have used them all summer long in outdoor parties and interior spaces. Our clients have been fascinated by them, and we think you will be, too.

If you haven’t heard of kokedamas, allow me to introduce you to this Japanese variant of bonsai. Translated, “kokedama” means “moss ball.” This free-form style of planting is created by encasing a plant’s root system in a mud ball, enveloping that in a layer of green moss, and then wrapping with string to hold it all together.

For the holidays, kokedamas can be displayed in a decorative bowl with ornaments, hung individually for a whimsical display, or in a grouping for an eclectic, suspended Christmas tree alternative. They can also be a unique gift for everyone on your list. Below are a few inspirations for contemporary kokedama Christmas décor.

For this design, a Cyclamen kokedama is nestled in a large orb balanced on a bubble bowl vase filled with ornaments.

Christmas Kokedama — Photo courtesy Lynne Tischler, AAF, CPFD, PFCI, with Keith Osborne and Jessie Thompson of Your Enchanted Florist in St. Paul, Minnesota. https://yourenchantedflorist.net/

Here, a yellow dogwood armature holds three polka dot plant kokedamas and battery-operated tealight accents. This arrangement would be beautiful hanging above a table for a living chandelier.

Christmas Kokedama — Photo courtesy Lynne Tischler, AAF, CPFD, PFCI, with Keith Osborne and Jessie Thompson of Your Enchanted Florist in St. Paul, Minnesota. https://yourenchantedflorist.net/

For those in apartments and small homes, a miniature lemon Cyprus tree hanging with ornaments can be an eye-catching substitute for a Christmas tree, without sacrificing floor space.

Christmas Kokedama — Photo courtesy Lynne Tischler, AAF, CPFD, PFCI, with Keith Osborne and Jessie Thompson of Your Enchanted Florist in St. Paul, Minnesota. https://yourenchantedflorist.net/

These creations are relatively easy to care for — simply drop the moss ball in water once or twice a week (depending on the plant) and allow the excess water to drip before returning your kokedama to its display. Ask your florist for the water needs on your particular plant.

Talk to your local florist about options for creating a festive custom plant kokedama or floral kokedama for you this holiday season.

Thank you Keith Osborne and Jessie Thompson for contributing to this blog.