marimo

Marimo Moss Finds A Home

Remember when I started selling Marimo Moss on Peanut Butter Is My Boyfriend Blog? 

Marimo Moss

As a friendly reminder, they're a unique and rare form of algae that grow in cute little balls and roll around the bottoms of lakes. 

Sounds weird, right? 

But when you put them in pretty glass jars and decorate their new home with seashells, seaglass and sand - they're suddenly a perfect, easy to care for reminder of nature and the beach.

These hard-to-mess-up living creatures are a perfect alternative to plants if you're lacking a green thumb or simply can't be bothered by daily watering. They're also an easy to care for "pet" for kids!

Marimo Moss

I just wanted to give a quick update - I'm happy to report that my first marimo was successfully sent to Long Island and is happily living with this little cutie! 

Marimo Moss

If you want to learn more about marimo, you can read my other posts! Or skip the details and just buy one - I promise you'll love it! 

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HOW TO CARE FOR MARIMO MOSS

Hopefully my previous two posts about marimo have convinced you that you should buy one from my shop. If you're still a bit unsure, read on for all the information you'll need on marimo care. 

If you've already bought one - thank you! Here is how you're going to take care of it - I promise it's so simple. 

How to care for marimo moss

THE SHORT STORY 

  • Change water once a week - replace 75-100% of the old water with fresh tap water. 
  • Keep marimo out of direct sunlight 
  • Spin and swirl the jar around every few days so marimo maintain there spherical shape by receiving light on all sides 
  • Occasionally take marimo out of the jar and roll it in your hands/squeeze it gently to clean it and maintain its shape.  

IT'S THAT EASY 

  • Change Water 
  • Indirect Sunlight 
  • Spin 
  • Squeeze 
  • Roll 
marimo moss jar

THE LONG STORY 

MARIMO NEED TO BE MOVED AROUND EVERY SO OFTEN 

Since there's not going to be a  water current in your decorative jar, it's a good idea to swirl it around every once in awhile so that your marimo can receive light and grow evenly on all sides. It's as simple as twirling the jar around when you pass it and think of it. 

MARIMO DON'T NEED A LOT OF SUNLIGHT 

In fact, they do better in low-light areas and shouldn't be placed in direct sunlight. Naturally, they grow on the bottoms of lakes where there is little direct sunlight. 

CHANGE YOUR MARIMO MOSS'S WATER ONCE A WEEK 

You don't even need to buy any special water or filtering system - simply swap out around 75% of the water in your jar with fresh room temperature tap water. 

KEEP MARIMO MOSS COOL 

Since they are naturally found in Iceland and Japan in lakes with cooler temperatures, you should try to keep your marimo somewhere on the cooler side as well. If you ever notice your marimo turning brown during the summer - it may be because it's too hot! Consider moving it to somewhere cooler or even storing it in your refrigerator for a few days. 

TAKE YOUR MARIMO FOR A ROLL 

To mimic the rolling a marimo would do on the bottom of the lake, when you switch out it's water once a week you can also take your marimo and roll it around in your hands to maintain it's spherical shape. You can also feel free to give it a squeeze and get out anything that may have grown on it. 

Marimo Moss Jar

FAQ ABOUT MARIMO

SHOULD MY MARIMO SINK OR FLOAT? 

If your marimo sinks to the bottom of the jar - he's healthy! And if he floats around - he's also healthy! Whether they sink or float usually has to do with light. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY MARIMO STARTS TO TURN BROWN? 

It's probably time to clean it off - you can pick off brown spots with a pair of tweezers, squeeze it out, change the water and roll it around in your hands. If the brownness keeps happening - you might want to try adding some salt to the water to stimulate growth. 

CAN I PUT MY MARIMO IN AN AQUARIUM? 

Yes, marimo can live happily among lots of fish and aquarium animals - but not with goldfish! They may eat them!

HOW LONG CAN MARIMO BE OUT OF WATER? 

If you're concerned about a marimo being shipped to you - have no fear. They can live outside of water for up to a month! 

You can read my other two posts about marimo here: 
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MARIMO 
MARIMO MANIA: WHY YOU SHOULD BUY YOUR VERY OWN

 

 

Marimo Mania: Why You Should Buy Your Very Own

In part two of Marimo Mania I'm sharing all the reasons you should buy one ASAP

You might be thinking it's a little weird, buying a ball of algae. But we buy weird things all the time, am I right? Bagels that are dyed to look like rainbows? Freaky plants that eat bugs? Another coffee mug with some silly slogan? We don't need half the things we buy - but I promise that marimo are a worthwhile investment. 

Why To Get A Marimo

MARIMO ARE EASY TO CARE FOR 

I'll tell you all about how exactly you should take care of your marimo in a future post, but for now, just know that it's pretty simple and straightforward. Marimo naturally form on the bottom of lakes which means they don't require a ton of sunlight. Some fresh water and some movement and they're good to go. 

MARIMO CAN LIVE UP TO 100 YEARS 

Yep, you read that right. When you buy a marimo, you've investing in a living creature that may see things in it's lifetime that we can only dream about. Like instantaneous travel, calorie-free pizza and legs that can run forever without getting injured. 

MARIMO MAKE GREAT GIFTS 

How cute would a decorative glass jar with a marimo be as a housewarming/apartment warming gift? And they're known as the "love plant," - how perfect for Valentine's Day or an anniversary? Have a younger sibling, cousin or niece/nephew that isn't allowed to have a real pet yet? The list of opportunities to give marimo as a gift are endless.  

Marimo

MARIMO LIVEN THINGS UP

Do you ever wish your cubicle at work had a little life to it? Something green? Something to soothe you a little bit when you're inbox is stressing you out? Something to distract you from the fluorescent prison? A marimo can do that! 

MARIMO ARE A GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO PLANTS 

Not everyone has a green thumb. If you find that even air plants and succulents wilt under your care, it might be time to try a marimo. They're virtually impossible to kill - the cockroach of the algae world - sorry, is that not helping my sales pitch? Seriously, though. When I travel for weeks at a time for work, I can't take care of a plant. A marimo only need their water changed once every 1-2 weeks. Even I can handle that. 

MARIMO ARE GREAT REMINDERS OF THE SEA

If you're anything like this Long Island gal, you have tons of memories from the beach. Being stuck in a city or a land locked state can be hard for someone who grew up near the water. I was first drawn to marimo because they reminded me of days spent at the beach, collecting sea glass and wiggling my toes in the sand. 

MARIMO ARE GREAT DECORATION 

I'm so excited to create new, unique habitats for marimo. The possibilities are endless - from the shape of the container to the decorations inside - it's easy to use them as decoration around your house. Changing the color on your wall? Going for a new look in your kitchen? You can easily update your marimo habitat to reflect a cool new interior design look & feel. 

Marimo Moss

What are you waiting for? I just gave you seven solid reasons to shop Peanut Butter Is My Boyfriend for your very own marimo!

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Everything You Need to Know About Marimo

When I was in Denver in May, I discovered a green algae known as Marimo Moss ("ball seaweed") in Japanese. It was being sold in cute little glass containers and I just had to have one.

They immediately reminded me of home - flinging seaweed at my sister in the Long Island Sound, collecting sea glass along the shore during long walks with my father, attempting to catch minnows in our hands as we wiggled our toes in the sand. 

Before I even got home, I knew I wanted to create habitats for these unique little guys to sell on Peanut Butter Is My Boyfriend and at local craft fairs. I thought they would remind others of the amazing creations made possible by nature. 

I did more research, and realized that marimo were even more unique than I had imagined. 

Get ready for a 3 part series on everything you'd ever want to know about marimo - their history, how to care for them, and why you should buy one from my shop! 

Marimo Moss Habitats

 

HOW MARIMO FORM

Marimo Moss are a living organism, growing slowly over a long period of time (around 5 mm each year for up to 200 years). They're a rare form of algae in fact, not moss. They form by rolling along the bottom of lakes which is how they develop their cute, spherical shape. 

What's crazy is that there is no center to a marimo - they are pure algae through and through. They grow in the dark, murky bottoms of fresh water lakes and the rolling and floating allows all sides of a marimo to get the needed sunlight to grow into balls. 

WHERE MARIMO THRIVE

Marimo are much more rare than I would have thought - they are only found in fresh water lakes in Japan, Estonia, Iceland, Scotland and Australia. 

They are particularly abundant in two specific lakes - Lake Myvatn in Iceland and Lake Akan in Japan where marimo can grow particularly large - reaching up to 8-12 inches in diameter. 

NAMES FOR MARIMO MOSS BALLS 

Marimo was first coined in 1898 by a Japanese botanist named Tatsuhiko Kawakami but it's known by many other names as well. 

  • Cladophora ball 
  • Lake ball 
  • Mossimo 
  • Moss Balls 
  • Aegagropila Linnaei (genus & species where Aegagropila is Greek for "goat hair") 
  • Torasampe (Lake Gobline in Japanese)
  • Tokarip (Lake Roller in Japanese) 
  • Japanese moss balls (at many aquarium stores) 
  • Kúluskítu (kúla = ball and skítur = muck in Iceland) 
Marimo Moss Glass Jar

CONSERVATION EFFORTS

In Japan especially, marimo are considered extremely important. They have been a protected species since the 1920s and are deemed a "national treasure" with their home, Lake Akan, a national park. Every year the Ainu people who live near Lake Akan hold a three-day marimo festival on the second weekend of October featuring lectures on conservation, a parade, and a ceremony in which marimo are taken out in canoes and returned to the lake. 

Likewise, in Iceland, Lake Myvatn has been protected as a nature reserve in an attempt to reverse the declining population or marimo. 

MARIMO IN JAPANESE CULTURE 

In Japan, marimo inspired the creation of a stuffed toy character known as Marimokkori!

The marimo sold in souvenir shops throughout Japan are formed using free floating filaments that break off from larger marimo. Taking a marimo from Lake Akan is prohibited given their "national treasure" status. 

There is even ancient folklore surrounding marimo. According to legend, a tribal cheif's daughter ran away with her lover because they were forbidden to be together. They fell into the water and their spirits gave birth to the marimo. It's believed that their spirits are still embedded in the centers of marimo, the "love plant." Marimo, according to this story, can recognize true love and are therefore given as gifts between loved ones. 

Marimo are often passed down through families from generation to generation and given to children as "pets." They are easy to care for, which I'll get into in my next post! 

Marimo Moss Jar

Please leave a comment if you're interested in purchasing your very own marimo :) You can click the "SHOP MARIMO" tab on the homepage to see the two I currently have available - with many more to come! 

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