How To Grow Moss Balls In 6 Easy Steps

Moss balls are so much fun and they look great as decorations. Today we will be diving in how to grow moss balls in 6 easy steps. While gardening can feel stressful, it is actually stress-relieving and a great way to do exercises while also growing something you love.

Moss balls have a unique shape and are not the easiest to grow, but you can always try! Instead, this step-by-step tutorial is best suited for intermediate gardeners with past experience growing houseplants with water. Ready to learn how to grow moss balls? Keep on reading!

What Are Moss Balls?

Moss balls are actually marimos, a type of algae that forms at the bottom on many freshwater lakes in North Europe and Japan. They are super common, but in the last few decades more and more people have begun growing these fun moss balls at home with water and in different sized containers.

Moss balls naturally form in lakes. They are actually a type of algae with little green hairs. As the moss balls roll around on the floors of the lakes, they tangle and form balls. These interesting plants will float to the top during the day and fall to the ground at night.

Why Should You Grow Moss Balls?

You can grow these interesting algae plants for many reasons, but usually aquarium users and lovers grow them to increase oxygen in the water and decrease carbon. These balls will suck up all the ‘bad’ and toxic parts of the water and are natural cleaners.

 Do moss balls need to be submerged in water?

For example, moss balls are known to get rid of toxins in the water like phosphates, nitrates, and ammonia. Another benefit to growing your own moss balls is that they can be expensive to purchase from a company or nursery. However, when you grow your own moss balls, it is easy to duplicate and multiply.

Moss balls are also safe for aquatic creatures like small fish. There is a low-chance of these small algae growing ‘plants’ to bring and spread diseases to the fish. They also rarely lose their color and stay a vivid green, which requires limited maintenance.

Read more about How To Grow Autoflowering Seeds Outdoors In 5 Steps

How To Grow Moss Balls

Everyone has their own methods, but these six steps are a great start for beginners with no experience growing algae pets at home.

Step 1: Acquire Baby Moss Balls

Baby moss balls are not too hard to find, but you won’t likely find them in just any nursery or garden center. Instead, these are mostly grown as ‘pets’ or ‘decorations’ for aquariums and fish bowls. Go to your local aquatic center or fish store. While they are considered plants, they are actually algae.

You don’t grow baby moss balls from seeds, but buy them as small and young algae formations. They do grow very slow and have a long life. Moss balls live up to 100 years and remain vibrant. They don’t grow much larger than a full foot in length.

Step 2: Use Fresh Water

As soon as you have purchased your baby moss balls, the next step is to set up their new home. Although these interesting creatures may look like they belong in the deep blue salty sea, they thrive in fresh and clean water. Before you set up their permanent home, add fresh and clean water in a container and drop the moss balls inside.

Step 3: Create a terrarium

The third step in how to grow moss balls is to create their permanent home. Put them in a container, it does not have to be large. They are small plants that usually hang around the floor unless they are sunbathing and getting light for photosynthesis.

You will have to make sure that the container is not tightly screwed. They do require some oxygen flow as well as a lot of direct sunlight. If you cannot provide sunlight, you can always purchase a grow light which uses LED lights to produce warmth and replicate the sun.

Step 4: Care For the Moss Balls

The fourth step in how to grow moss balls is to care for the moss balls. There is little that you have to do for this fourth step. They are great and carefree pets because of how easy they are to grow. It is hard to kill a moss balls since it is resilient against many diseases.

Although it is tempting to add nutrients to their water or space, it is not necessary. They do not require additional food and make their own energy through photosynthesis.

Step 5: Propagate the Moss Balls

Once you know how to grow moss balls, you can easily propagate them! It does take them a while to grow though, so don’t be too nervous if your new baby moss balls only grow an inch in a year. As long as they are still a vibrant green, they are alive!

To propagate moss balls, you will need to snip and break off a small part of the ‘moss’ (algae). Then, with your hands and on a clean surface roll the piece of moss into a ball shape. Place it back in the water.

 How do moss balls multiply?

Step 6: Tips and Tricks

The best way to ensure your adorable moss balls grow well and are happy is to play with them and keep them active! They are living things and require some kind of movement. If you need to, move their container or terrarium so they don’t sit in one place for too long. You can also squeeze the moss ball gently to clean it.


Moss ball pets are the crazy right now, so it is no wonder that you want to learn how to grow moss balls. It is an easy process, but it takes time. Have you learned anything new or interesting about these fake ‘moss’ balls? As we know, they have nothing to do with moss and are actually fuzzy algae!

What do you think about our article? Are you ready to grow your own moss balls from the comfort of your home? Let us know down below! If you know someone else interested in making moss balls, share this how-to article with them to spread the knowledge!

 How do you plant moss balls?


How long does it take for moss balls to grow?

In one year, a moss ball can grow up to 5 mm. They are slow-growing plants and rarely reach larger than 12 inches in natural conditions and 5 inches in healthy aquariums.

How do you plant moss balls?

It is very easy to plant moss balls and mess-free, you don't even need dirt! Instead, you can plant moss balls in a large container with water and enough bright light to grow.

How do moss balls multiply?

Moss balls multiple naturally through propagation. They reproduce asexually through budding.

Do moss balls need to be submerged in water?

Moss balls need water to live and a lot of it. Make sure to replace the water every 7 days.