Making a Tropical Bloom: A recipe for Marimo House Plant

“I put out just enough of it to make it a beautiful mess.”

— Sarah Ohl, owner, Marimo houseplants, from her blog,

Surely, the ultimate low-maintenance houseplant! On the Marimo website, Sarah Ohl describes Marimo as, “one of the most exquisite and beautiful flowering houseplants in the world.”

It might have started as a labor of love for Ohl, who grew up in a neighborhood with several Japanese maple trees. After reading a description of Marimo’s production values, she fell in love with the plant and began using it as her centerpiece until, one day, she decided to create a website where she could sell her blooms.

The name comes from the phonetic pronunciation of the plant’s name. Marimo means “jungle leaf,” and it is the background element in the Japanese kami.

Fans of Ohl’s content and blog can buy Marimo online from Marimo House Plants or at the plant nursery in Terwilliger, Nebraska. The name can also be found on Web stores including You’ve Got A Houseplant, Fresh Home Herb Farm and Gardeni Buy.

However, Do-It-Yourselfers might also find the benefit of making their own Marimo moss balls. Yes, you do need to cut the top off the moss and pour some compost into it. I used this simple method to make my own water-holding moss.

Decoration with the moss balls is pretty straightforward.

First, soak your indoor Marimo in water. Place it in a ceramic bowl and leave it overnight. The next day, plunge the mold into the water again and repeat the soaking and submerging process.

After about an hour, you will find that the dried mold is hardening and can be removed easily with a fork or spoon.

Now you need to arrange your Marimo in a vase.

To begin, cut the Marimo in half with a saw or a knife.

Gently loosen the mold by running your cut edge against the inside of the mold. Using your utensil, loosen and unblock it. Do this step three or four times.

Then arrange the Marimo in the vase in a way that makes the base of the plant appear centered.

Pick a vase that isn’t too large because the Marimo will eventually take up a lot of space. Fill it halfway with your favorite water (soaked in an hour), top with the top half of the Marimo, and fill with water again. Leave the Marimo in the water for an hour, then drain.

You should find that it has begun to dry and will absorb water readily.

Continue the process until your Marimo is completely dry and water will no longer flow from the bottom of the mold.

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