Marimo Moss Balls – My Love & Their Story

My Love

Plants and flowers are everywhere, in the jungle, mountains, and sea. I first saw these beautiful aquatic plants called Marimo Moss Balls on Pinterest and completely fell in love. As a green person,  was immediately obsessed. I had to have one… maybe ten! I had no idea where to buy them so I checked on Craigslist. Because they literally sell anything and everything on Craigslist. I found this sweet woman who was selling super healthy Marimo’s out of her home. She gave them such care and was beyond passionate about them. Her love of them was more than contagious, I bought 15! 


What in the heck are they? 

Marimo’s are an aquatic plant and have gain huge popularity recently. Marimo is a Japanese word that means “seaweed ball” but this is no seaweed. It’s actually not even moss. It’s a form of algae that glows in water. And as it grows, it roll deeper from the shore into the body of water creating a round shape. They grow slowly… veeeeerrrryyyy slowly! We are talking 4mm a year. Marimo’s obviously take time to get large but have been found up to 8 to 12 inches. Their natural habitat is in very cold lakes in Japan, Australia, Iceland, Scotland, Estonia. They have also been found in oceans as well. Marimo’s float and sink depending on the amount of oxygen they create from photosynthesis.

The history and story around the Marimo Moss Ball is beautiful. Coming from a Japanese Folklore, the legend goes a beautiful young girl from Hokkaido falls in love with a commoner. The two, lovers who wanted nothing more than to be together, were banished from seeing one another. They decided to run away together and during their escape, they fall into Lake Akan, sinking to the bottom. They became Marimo’s, to live and love together, forever.

Marimo’s are a token of love, affection and prosperity for those who give and receive them. They help those accomplish their hearts deep desires. I love this legend. I love how the lovers hearts love and live on forever. Marimo’s will live for over 100 years if you care for them correctly. They can be an heirloom you pass on. The oldest recorded Marimo is over 200 years old! 

How to care for Marimo Moss Balls?

Caring for your Marimo’s is very easy. They require very little maintenance. 


Marimo Moss Balls are aquatic plants so they need to be full submerged in water to live. I personally don’t do anything special to my water, I use tap water after letting it sit out for a day. The container and rocks they are kept in should be cleaned every two to three weeks depending on the size of the container, amount of warmth and light it gets. I change my water and wash my container more like
every six weeks and they still love me and look beautiful! 

I try not to squeeze mine. I rinse them off gently and place them back into the clean water. 

Light & Temperature 

Marimo’s grow on the bottom of the lakes so they don’t like direct sunlight or warm temperatures. If you keep them away from sunny, exposed windows they will live much longer and be much healthier. They adapt, grow and can photosynthesize just fine with your household lights or low light from non direct sources of sunlight. 

If they do start looking a little brown or faded, place them in a much cooler area or even the fridge for some healthy healing. If they need some extra recovery help, consider can add a pinch of aquarium ocean salt. 

Keeping Their Shape 

Marimo’s are round from the waves and currents rolling them on the lake floors. I have rocks in the
bottom of my Marimo terrariums which can affect their shape. They can get a little flat spot. To avoid this, gentle twirl the water and watch your Marimo’s roll to a new spot. Hopefully on a new side, that’s
the goal.

 If you see a little piece coming off your Marimo on a flat side… thats a new Nano Marimo! Roll that little piece and add it to your terrarium.

Where to Buy Marimo’s?

When it comes down to sourcing Marimo’s, I recommend turning to the internet. There are so many private sellers who are selling great healthy Marimo’s just ready to take home. Now if you want one that is done a little fancier in its own terrarium, I would turn to Etsy. There are tons of beautiful artisans with very creative ideas.

Pinterest is also full of fun ideas on how to make your own!

Make your Own Terrarium of Marimo’s!

It is fun and super easy to make your own Marimo home. Here are the basic supplies I used for my Marimo’s:

  • A large Glass container with a lid ( I like a glass lid to keep the dust out) 
  • Decorative medium to small Rocks for the bottom of the container
  • Decorative or Natural elements like special stones, shells, sticks, etc. 
  • Tepid Water 
  • MARIMO’s of course

I love my Marimo’s. At the end of my day I look forward to swirling their container and watching them dance! They bring me peace, love and joy.

Warning: People have been selling “fake” or dead Marimo’s. They use moss glued or sell faux moss that comes in a ball shape. Don’t buy ones that are falling apart or if it doesn’t look a vibrant green. Also ask the supplier where they are sourcing them from.