The Amazing Marimo Ball


The Plant Ally Marimo Ball

Although Marimo Balls are often called “Moss Balls” they are indeed not moss at all, but instead a freshwater algae! Their round shape is naturally occuring and comes from gently rolling on the bottom of freshwater lakes from waves, as they typically live at a depth of around 6-8 feet in lakes in Japan and Northern Europe. This round shape also helps them photosynthesize from all angles and rolling around helps to keep the Marimo clean from debris which also helps it continue to photosynthesize, despite being at a depth of water that receives such filtered light. 

Caring for your Marimo: 

When you first get your Marimo, please take it out of the packaging and rinse under cool water for 30 seconds. After the Marimo is rinsed, you can put it into your container and fill your container high enough so that the Marimo is submerged with cool water. 

Water: Marimo Balls do best with cool, distilled water. If you have tap water, please let the water rest at least 4 hours so that the chemicals don’t hurt your Marimo. You’ll want to change the water roughly every 2 weeks to keep your Marimo happy & healthy. 

Light: Marimo Balls live on the bottom of lakes so they do not want much light! If they are getting any light, make sure it’s highly filtered and out of direct sun! Marimo Balls can get “burnt” and it’ll look like your Marimo is brown on the side that is facing the light. This means it is getting too much light. 

Shape: Marimo Balls get their round shape by rolling around the bottom of a lake. To keep their round shape, you can squeeze your Marimo Ball when you’re changing the water every couple of weeks.  Another way to ensure it’s round is to change which side it’s resting on and letting it roll around your container. 

Size: Your Marimo Ball will grow! You can happily size up the container your Marimo Ball is in. We like using a container with a cork lid since it keeps dirt and dust out and yet allows for air flow. Marimo Balls are capable of living a long life and growing quite large! The oldest Marimo’s in the world are over 200 years old and over 35’’ in diameter! Growing in your home with proper care, you could expect your Marimo to get to be 8’’-12’’ and live to be over 100! 

Movement & Air: Your Marimo can move! If your Marimo is floating at the top, it just means it has oxygen in it. It’s ok! You can either squeeze to remove or wait for it to sink to the bottom (often it’ll sink back down at night). Notice the little air bubbles on your Marimo? That’s it creating oxygen with photosynthesis! 


The Legend of the Marimo: Representing Everlasting Love 

The legend of the Marimo comes from Japanese folklore. Once there were two lovers who wanted nothing more than to be with one another. When their love was forbidden, they ran off together to live the rest of their lives in the dark, misunderstood woods. It is said that shortly after, these mysterious algae balls started showing up in the nearby lakes and that it must have been their love - manifested into the form of a Marimo. It is because of this that the Marimo has been given as symbolic gifts to represent everlasting love - to yourself and others, and serves as a remembrance of how love endures. 


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