A Unique Way to Grow Succulents in Thin Air

If you’re looking for a really fun way to grow succulents (and many other plants) why not make Moss Balls to grow them on? These are also called ‘kokedama’ if they’re made the traditional way, with balls of special clay soil.


As with all my other crafts, I’ve given these my own twist to make them super easy to make with just a few supplies;


Simple supplies to make Moss Balls;

Sheet moss

Some soil, in my case, some clay based soil sieved to remove larger rocks, mixed with sunshine mix

Your choice of Sempervivum or other succulents

Panty hose cut into eight inch 20 cm (or so) lengths

Yarn like this wool in a soft green – this will eventually rot away

Fill the lengths of panty hose with the soil – be generous, as the nylon panty hose will stretch into a ball shape. 

The panty hose pieces can be easily knotted to form a bag shape out of the tube that you will have once the pieces are cut out of the legs. 

Hint; tie the lower end and then turn the bag inside out – this will hide the ends so they won’t show.


Place the ball on a piece of sheet moss – I found this growing on rocks on my property; you can also buy this kind of moss too. 

Wrap the string around, to hold the moss in place.  It’s important that it makes contact with the panty hose as tightly as possible.


Cut the roots off your succulents, and place them on the ball – you can gently work the chicks under the string to hold them in place – they’ll root quickly through the moss and panty hose into the soil.


Happy Sempervivum in it’s new home; These are going to be hung in a tree, where they can get more moss spores landing on them. 

Eventually, if the nylon doesn’t break down too quickly, they’ll be covered in natural moss, not just moss sheets.


Periodically, they’ll need to be put into a shallow tray where they can be thoroughly watered.


You can spray them daily to encourage the moss to grow into the soil through the panty hose and help keep it from drying out.

Hang them in a window or other bright place indoors, or in a tree, water occasionally and enjoy.

Other plants thrive in these conditions, even bulbs!  I’ve seen Amaryllis planted in them, along with Vinca minor (periwinkle), various ferns and even trees.  I would start these when the plants are quite small, to give them a chance to get really well established in the ball. 

Two years later…

I looked at these, which were sitting on a screen to keep them exposed to the air all around, and to my surprise, the moss is getting established! 

Time for an overhaul, and because the wool yarn I originally used to string them together was rotted, I’ve used tie wire.


For now, they’re hanging in a tree where they’ll get exposed to the elements, just what moss likes.


Miniature Moss Gardens – a book review