Marimo Moss Ball - The plant that lives underwater!
Get to know the Marimo Moss Ball!
Love it or hate it, these guys were a hit in 2020, and they look like they're here to stay.
The Marimo Moss Ball, also known as the Aegagropila linnaei, is not actually moss at all! This rare specimen was first found in Japan and parts of Northern Europe and was discovered to actually be a filamentous, freshwater green algae colony. In their natural habitats, the rolling of waves and currents in rivers and lakes causes algae to form into a ball in order to roll along with the motion without any issue or resistance.
These low maintenance little plants come with very few care requests, which means they are perfect for anyone – both experienced and brand-new plant parents alike. Marimo Moss Balls are typically found in bodies of freshwater where they rarely receive direct, bright light. At home, place your vase, bowl, or whatever you’re using as a home for your moss balls in a spot that receives medium, indirect light and never sees the direct sun’s rays for more than a few minutes otherwise your Aegagropila linnaei could turn brown.
Marimo Moss Balls have the natural ability to purify water of any toxins that may be floating around in it, but that doesn’t mean it should live in the same water for its entire life. Every other week (at the very least) schedule a time to remove the plants from their container to swap out the water completely. As a good rule of thumb, don’t put your plants into cold water straight from the tap; let the new water sit out overnight to adjust to the room’s temperature so you don’t shock your plants.
While Aegagropila linnaei can also go by the names Lake Ball and Cladophora, the name Marimo Moss Ball was first used then popularized by Japanese botanist, Tatsuhiko Kawakami. He combined the two Japanese words “mari” (meaning ball) and “mo” (a general name for aquatic plants) when he described the spheres after finding them growing in a lake on Hokkaido Island. The name stuck ever since!
Location: anywhere as long as it’s in water.
Soil: no soil needed – just water.
Light: low to medium, indirect light.
Water: keep submerged in water, changing it out every two weeks to discourage dirt and waste build up.
Care: extremely easy to care for but can be quite slow to grow.