After recently discovering and studying Marimo moss balls I had to share more about these fascinating fellas. There’s even a legend that comes with them, which is just as adorable as they are.
Marimo moss balls are a must have to anyone’s budding collection, they’re super cute, so easy to care for and love cool dark spots. Perfect if you live in a basement flat like myself!
Latin name: Aegagropila linnaei
Marimo is a Japanese word that translates to ‘seaweed ball’. They’re technically not moss, but a rare form of algae that grow in lakes in the Northern hemisphere. These slow growers can live for hundreds of years and naturally form into spheres from the currents. Growing at a rate of 5mm a year they grow between 8 – 12 inches in the wild. Their natural habitat is fresh water lakes in Japan, Estonia, Iceland, Scotland & Australia. They’re even considered a national treasure in Japan with some parts of the country having Marimo Festivals.
Japanese folklore has it that Marimo came from the spirits of two lovers. The legend has it that a tribals chief’s daughter fell in love with a commoner but their love was forbidden. The couple decide to run away but tragically fell into the Lake Akan where their spirits changed into the moss balls.
Marimo moss balls are a token of love, affection and good luck. It is also said Marimo bring the giver and receiver their heart’s desire.
Your Marimo will like being kept somewhere with low-medium indirect sunlight and out of direct sunlight completely. Place them somewhere cool, keep away from any heat source in the winter.
Change the water every couple of week, you may be able to get away with changing it once a month in the winter. I prefer to collect rainwater for my Marimo moss balls, but you can use tap water, just let it sit for 24 hours before placing the Marimo in.
I’d recommend cleaning the glass each time you change the water as you might find there might be a buildup of unwanted algae.
Marimo should be a lovely deep green colour. If your Marimo are browning place them in a cooler, darker space and hopefully they’ll change back. If not you may need to add some aquarium ocean salt.
You can find our Marimo moss ball terrariums here.