How to Care for a Marimo Moss Ball

How to Care for a Marimo Moss Ball

Marimo moss balls are a trend that is sweeping the plant industry. Marimo is a Japanese word that translates to “seaweed ball”. These plants have been increasing in popularity due to its easy, low maintenance care, and the fun of adding a new type of indoor plant to your collection!

For those new to plants, or those looking to add a unique and fun new pet to their apartment, we love the idea of adding a marimo moss ball to your collection!

Where to Buy a Marimo Moss Ball?

Lets talk about where you can buy a Marimo moss ball.

You can buy these moss balls from a number of places. You can find them on Etsy, places like The Sill, Amazon, or other online plant e-com sites. We personally think Etsy is a good option for purchasing a moss ball.

This Etsy seller is one of the most popular vendors for Marimo Moss balls online.

photo credit to EastWestSpiritCo

You can also purchase marimo moss balls from your local pet store. Often chains like Petco have marimo moss balls. The advantage of buying in person allows you to pick the healthiest looking moss ball of the bunch!

Important note – There is some controversy about purchasing moss balls online, so before you purchase one check out the company that is selling it to ensure they’re providing high quality plants.

You’ll likely notice websites will caution against buying Marimo moss balls online, as they believe that its possible to get a fake moss ball or one that is unhealthy. While it is important to do your research, we have not experienced this with the Etsy provider linked above. They also have many positive reviews to support this!

Marimo Moss Ball Care

First, lets take a look at some basics for caring for your Marimo moss ball.

Where Can They Live?

Marimo moss balls can live in a wide variety of tanks and containers. They don’t need a lot of space, but do have to be submerged in water. If you have fish tank they can be kept in the same tank as the fish – in fact, moss balls help keep an aquarium clean!

However, if you don’t have fish already, fear not. These plants will thrive in small jars or terrariums as well. The main thing they need is water, and after that they can essentially take care of themselves.

Creating your moss ball’s home is one of the most fun parts of getting your new pet. We love the idea of a fun jar for your moss ball to add to your décor. This jar is super fun and would work for a couple moss balls at a time.

And don’t worry – moss balls will be totally fine in an enclosed jar. With or without a lid – moss balls will thrive just the same.

How much light should you give them?

Marimo moss balls thrive in indirect low or medium light. If placed in direct sunlight, they risk getting burned from the suns rays. The best option is to place your new pet in a room that is indirectly lit, and never exposed to direct sunlight coming through a window.

Temperature is also a factor here. With your moss ball most likely being kept in a clear glass container the suns rays are likely to warm the water up which can also be harmful to your new pet. To be safe its best to keep your moss ball out of direct sunlight.

Do they need food?

Nope! In keeping with their low-maintenance persona, these pets don’t need any additional food. Just like normal plants they use photosynthesis to produce all the nutrients they need. They’re happy to exist in water and create their own nutrients without any additional help from you.

How fast will they grow?

Marimo moss balls grow very slowly. In fact, when you purchase your moss ball you’re likely getting one that is already a few years old. They can grow up to 5mm per year, but often grow less. However they live for a very long time, so if you purchase one that is already aged you can get a larger than average moss ball.

When keeping a moss ball in a aquarium or jar, your moss ball is not likely to exceed 10 inches in diameter no matter how old it is, and most will be much smaller than that.

Should I change the water?

Yes! We recommend changing the water every 1-2 weeks. Tap water is fine, no need to go over the top with anything fancy. If you’re using a tank with fish in it keep to your normal routine for water.

While changing the water, we recommend giving your moss ball a massage!

To do this, simply remove it from the water, gently squeeze the excess water off, and then roll back and forth between your palms while running under fresh water (again tap water here is fine). Don’t press too firmly, the goal is to keep your moss ball in a round shape while doing this without exerting too much pressure.

How long will my moss ball live?

With proper care, moss balls can live up to 200 years! Often when you buy a moss ball you’re buying one that is already 10-15 years old. These plants are one of the most unique and interesting plants. They make great housewarming gifts too. In fact, in Japan they’re seen as a sign of good luck!

Do you have a moss ball? Tell us your top tips in the comments below!

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