Monday, 17 September 2012 20:00

How to Make a Wabikusa

Wabikusa (侘び草) was a product coined by Aqua Design Amano, essentially a ball of straw or moss covered by aquatic plants. Wabikusas have quickly become a new "style" in the aquatic gardening community. The ball may be tossed into anywhere inside an aquarium, or grown in a shallow glass container as an island of emergent aquatic flora. Making one is very simple.



All you need to get started:

  1. A glass or acrylic bowl, or other shallow container;
  2. Long fiber spaghnum moss;
  3. Fish lines;
  4. Scissors;
  5. Water; and
  6. Aquatic plants (or terrestrial if only grown emergent)

Now, you need some dexterity. Wet a handful of spaghnum moss, and compact it tightly into a ball, place stems or runners of the selected plants along the top, and with the fish lines wrap several circles around the perimeter of the entire moss ball. Tie tightly.

For this wabikusa, I used a simple combination of Amazon microswords and marsilea minuta. Next, carefully place your wabikusa into the container and fill slowly with water. Spaghnum moss debris may float away, you can rinse and dump the water a few times for water clarity. For mine, I added in a pinch of dirt for fertilizer, and a few pellets of osmocote tablets.  

Because aquatic plants are so weedy and easy to grow, they make a perfect alternative to a traditional small desk plant or a dining room centerpiece. Pay attention to the lighting needs of the specific species. This one (very low light) is going on a computer desk with indirect ambient lighting.

Making your own wabikusa? Start a photo journal and share it with us in the forums!

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