The New House Plant Pet Rock?


Remember this photo from Wednesday? Did you recognize it as a marimo moss ball?

Depending on your point of view, these are some of the coolest things going, or they are the house plant equivalent of the “pet rock” from a few decades back.

I have the one above on my desk at home. It’s actually kind of nice to look at. There are surprising variations in it, and little air bubbles form–it’s not quite as static as one would believe.


These are some others. You can see that they come in various sizes. You can get them from plant companies or aquarium suppliers. That’s where these came from. I thought that I would try them with my fish but no. All she does is make a mess of her tank with them. So they are now my plant pet rocks,

These balls of moss are harvested from different lakes in northern parts of the world. Try to find a supplier that claims yours is sustainably harvested because–with this suddenly becoming a “thing”–these moss balls are declining.

They are slow growing–the smaller ones that you see are supposedly 6-8 years old, so you can see why sustainability might become an issue.

And like most moss, they do not want to be in direct sunlight. Bright indirect light only for these guys.

If, however, you want a plant that has proven harder than an air plant to kill, (at least for me) this might be right for you.

9 thoughts on “The New House Plant Pet Rock?

  1. Delia Paul September 13, 2019 / 7:28 pm

    Too cool! I’ve gotta have one.

  2. gardendaze September 13, 2019 / 7:37 pm

    I’ve gotta warn you–they are strangely addictive.


  3. tonytomeo September 19, 2019 / 10:28 am

    Pet Rocks are better. The live much longer. Mine has been with me since I was a kid. You know, they were actually invented here in Los Gatos.

  4. gardendaze September 19, 2019 / 11:38 am

    Well, I am not sure about living longer, but I will go with being harder to kill, for sure!

    And I did NOT know they were “invented” in Los Gatos. Hmm….


  5. mathtuition88 October 6, 2019 / 8:21 pm

    Cool! Do you know if chlorinated tap water is ok for them?

    • gardendaze October 7, 2019 / 5:07 am

      They suggest using untreated tap water. What I do when I know that I want to do a water change, is just fill. My watering can up the day before and let it sit. Supposedly the chlorine will evaporate.

      On occasion (like when they all arrived and I didn’t have that much untreated tap water on hand–because you’re supposed to rinse them a couple of times. I am not sure how important that step is if they don’t go in your aquarium, but I did it) I used regular tap water.

      They survived just fine as you can see.


      • mathtuition88 October 7, 2019 / 5:29 am

        Great. Thanks for your reply. I intend to keep it in my office where the only practical option is tap water.

  6. mathtuition88 October 7, 2019 / 1:29 am

    Very nice! My fish love the Marimo moss as well.

  7. gardendaze October 7, 2019 / 5:38 am

    An office should be the perfect place. The large one you see in the photo above is on my desk at home. It’s at least 10 feet from a window and so far is doing well. Yours will benefit from some overhead lighting, which will be fine. Just make sure, if you are lucky enough to have a window, that it won’t get direct sunlight. Enjoy!


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