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Kokedama is sometimes called "poor man's bonsai," and the two do share some features: They're both small displays of plants and moss.The basics couldn't be simpler: Put a plant in a ball of soil, wrap it in moss and tie string around it. In Japan, kokedama are made with bonsai soil, but that's not necessary or even a good idea in some climates. In Southern California, Yamada says that bonsai soil or any soil with too much clay will dry out too much, so she simply uses the soil the plant is potted in, adding peat moss if necessary.Plants that don't rely as much on getting moisture from the soil are particularly easy.Yamada says you can cut off the moss, prune the roots and put new moss on, the same technique used in bonsai to keep the trees small. But, she says, after a few years she usually likes to move the plant to a pot and let it spread. Hill says that for many people, kokedama may not be a long-term way to grow plants in any case.
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