All About Marimo


Despite being known as Marimo moss balls, these quirky plants are a species of filamentous green algae. The scientific name of this algae is Aegagropila linnaei and lives in freshwater where it can occur attached or unattached. It is widely known for its unattached spherical growth form, also referred to as “Marimo,” “lake balls,” or “Cladophora balls”.

They can be found growing at the bottom of lakes and rivers in Japan and Northern Europe. This rolling moss was even featured in The Green Planet: Water Worlds featuring Sir David Attenborough.


The young Marimo rolls thanks to the currents formed in the lakes where they live. Using these currents, they need to find the perfect spot: away from predators (like swans) but not too deep in the lake, or else it would not receive enough sunlight.

They form colonies of thousands of Marimo moss balls.

Care Instructions

Marimos are very easy to look after. They are perfect as a first household plant, for busy plant parents and they make a quirky and unique gift.

Light Conditions

Your marimo should live in a spot with low to medium indirect light. Think about its natural habitat, we are trying to recreate the dark cold bottom of a lake. Direct sunlight will make your marimo start to turn pale or developing brown spots.


Marimo should live underwater and require occasional water change, ideally every 2-3 weeks with cold water. You might need to top up the water more often during summer as evaporation will occur more rapidly.

Tap water can be used safely, though they will remain cleaner longer in filtered water.