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"Love Love Marimo"

Back in August of '05 I wanted to be part of the Japanese fad of growing cacti on your key chains. But we're in '07 now and I'm onto something completely different, this time I want a Marimo. I'm sure I'd be the only one on my block with one. :0)

"What's a Marimo?"

Well, really it's just an algae that grows in a spherical shape but they're kept as "pets" in fish tanks. Click the image for a larger view and notice the two green balls. I took the screen capture from this website where you can learn more about Marimo. I guess they're the pet rocks of the plant lover world and I want one-actually I'd like a whole colony of them growing in a fish tank like in these images from Google.

You can learn more about the classification, nomenclature and growth habits of Marimo on Wikipedia.

I just purchased one. You can see the new post at Marimo, Japanese Moss Ball.


  1. Looks like a good thing to have in the aquarium except for having to rotate the ball so every part of it gets some sunlight and that it may be close to being an endangered species. We bought some algae from a pet store once that sort of reminds me of the Marimo. Long filaments that were very dense so the plant attached to a rock looked ball like. It's about the only water plant we've been able to grow in the aquarium - only it grew too well filling the tank in a few months. Growing plants in an aquarium is a pain because if you give it too much light, brown algae will grow on the glass, obscuring the fish. Too little and the plants die.

  2. Oh I think I know which plant you're describing I thought about getting some of that many moons ago when I used to keep aquariums. I love the green carpet it can make and you're right about the difficulty involved especially if you have fish.

    I used to keep fancy goldfish and it eventually became too expensive to try to maintain a planted aquarium because they eat everything.

  3. That's pretty neat but it seems geared towards girls.

    I used to have aquariums myself but never had any living plants. I tried once but they never lasted longer than a week and I knew it was way beyond what I could ever do (all of this was pre-internet time and I don't have any aquariums anymore).

    I discovered those cacti keychains on ebay. I don't get how they would survive while being jangled around so much.

  4. Anonymous12:40 PM

    comments don't work. Have to be a blogger member?

  5. DS that heart shaped thing does seem like it's marketed to girls but you could grow one in whatever container you wanted too.

    You know I wondered the same thing about the key chain thing and wondered if the bouncing around would damage the roots.

    Hi Anonymous, The comments seem to work, you just left one. You don't have to be a blogger member to leave a comment. If you're using something like TypePad or WordPress and want to link your profile use the "other" option to "sign" your name to the post.

  6. Anonymous9:33 AM

    well, i have heard of spiltting marimos apart to form new marimos. I would like to try it on my marimos, but then im afraid that i would hurt or kill it. i would like to know how do you spilt it and well, is there anything i need to do after i spilt them.

  7. Hi Anonymous.

    Yeah I've heard of splitting them to propagate them but I've not seen anything that showed you how or suggested a method of doing it.

    Most of what I've read on Google happened by accident. Maybe some fish tore it up or it got caught in something and broke into pieces. They look ratty for a while but then take on their familiar round shape.

    It's algae it's not like there are stems or buds or anything like on a foliage plant.

  8. Anonymous9:45 AM

    hi, you might not reconize me but im the person who asked for the spilting of the marimo balls. I had spilt mine, but im not so sure whether i did it properly, but i have two small balls now.

    I spilt it by pushing the ball slowly into two parts. I didnt rush, i did it over a couple of days, until the gap is wider, and easier to break.

    Is it correct?

    And another thing, my sister placed my marimo into the chiller, and i was so angry. But after defrozing it, they're still okay, still spongy. Are they dead or alive?

  9. Hi Anonymous,

    From what I've read it looks like you have propagated it the right way. That is how it happens in nature.

    I wouldn't be very worried about it spending some time in the fridge if it looks to be doing ok.

    Good luck with your plant.



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