We are toe-deep in this air plant trend (I say only toe deep because they are very teeny plants). Also known as tillandsia, air plants are are everywhere you look. If you're like me and you're always on the hunt for an easy-to-care-for plant, chances are you owned at least one. Air plants are cool because they require no dirt, but what if I told you there was a plant that requires no watering because it lives in water?? Ladies and gentlemen, meet the coolest plants on the block: Marimo moss balls.
Meet the Marimo
Cool, right? These little guys are usually found in aquariums full of fish, but have been making appearances in terrariums all on their own. While they're called moss, they're actually more closely related to algae. They work well in fish tanks because they help lower nitrate levels in the water, plus they release a little bit of oxygen, too. On their own, all they require is the occasional rotation.
How to Care for your Marimo
It's pretty simple. Replace the water twice a month and keep the plant in low, indirect sunlight.
Yep, that's it. Who needs a green thumb, right?
When replacing the water, make sure it's at room temperature, and use filtered if you can. You'll also want to rotate the Marimo occasionally. It shouldn't sit on the same side for too long.
Additional Care Tips
If your moss ball starts to brown, it's probably getting too much light. Move it to a darker, cooler spot in your home.
In addition to changing the water, you may need to clean it out every now and then. This is more prevalent if you're keeping it in a tank with fish, but it's not a bad idea, regardless. Marimo moss balls suck up particulates in their water, and they hold onto that dirt (much like a filter). To clean out this dirt, rinse out the moss balls and squeeze out any dirty water - it's okay! They can take it. If you find that your Marimo moss balls floats after you've cleaned them or taken them out of the water, that's normal. They'll sink back down eventually. They have excess air trapped inside, which will eventually bubble out. They may also develop oxygen bubbles as they photosynthesise light.
How to Display
What can you store your Marimo in? Anything, really. Because it's a plant, you don't need to worry about suffocating it (it produces its own oxygen). However, if you do store it in an enclosed container, be mindful of sunlight. Check that it's not getting too much light, thus baking it inside the jar.
Where to Buy
If you're looking for aquatic plants (including Marimo moss balls), check out your local aquarium shops (if you're local to us in the Twin Cities, I visited a place called Aqualand Aquarium Center, and they had a slew of plants to choose from, plus the fish browsing is on point). You can also buy aquatic plants online. Try Pistils Nursery, The Sill, or Amazon.
So, would you get a moss ball as a houseplant? Do you think aquatic plants are the new thing in houseplants? Leave me a comment!