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WTF is a Marimo Ball?

blog plant tips

I get this question a lot. People are constantly asking what is a marimo ball and what makes it so special? Well, look no further - here are some fun facts about these adorable little things.

Often called marimo moss balls, these things are actually not moss at all. They are actually a rare type of algae that forms in a ball like shape. You can find them in a number of lakes across Japan and Northern Europe, but can also sometimes be found in parts of North America and Australia too. 

The plant was named mari (bouncy play ball) mo (generic term for aquatic plants) in 1898 by Japanese botanist Takiya Kawakami.

With an average rate of 5mm per year, these things are slow to grow, and reach about 2-5 inches in an aquarium or 8-12 inches in the wild. They can also live up to 200 years!

They enjoy being in relaxed, cold water with low light settings. Although they're not a replacement for a filter, people often add them to their home aquariums as they have some benefits such as absorbing toxins and creating oxygen while provide a natural decorative element. 

In recent years, they have become increasingly popular amongst house plant hobbyists as they are both adorable and extremely easy to care for. They make a great gift for people who don't have a lot of time or luck with keeping plants alive but want to add some greenery and life to their home. 

Care Guide

Keep in mind, like other house plants, these are living things that need a bit of attention and care. If you notice it's not as bright green or it's looking a little sad, a quick Google search should help point you in the right direction. Here are some general tips and tricks to keeping your little friends happy:

- Keep out of direct sunlight, in a cool to mild location.

- Marimo balls aren't too picky about water. They can survive in most types, such as tap water to mildly salty water. 

- Change the water semi regularly or if you notice it getting a bit murky. 

- If you notice the marimo catching dirt you can gently clean it off.

- You can roll the marimo ball if you notice it starting to loose shape.

- They can be planted with other aquatic plants.

These are one of the easiest plants you'll ever care for, and can be very long lasting one if taken care of properly. Whether it's for yourself or a gift for someone else, everyone can appreciate these adorable marimo balls. Now that you know all about them, why not add one to your collection?


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