Weeping Moss Care: How to Grow, Attach to Driftwood & More


Common NameWeeping Moss
Scientific NameVesicularia Ferriei
OriginNative to China, found throughout Asia and Europe
Growth & SizeUp to 1 inch
Temperature60 to 85 degree F
pH5.0 – 6.0

Weeping Moss Facts

  • Weeping Moss is an extremely hardy plant that will grow in a wide variety of water parameters and lighting conditions.
  • Weeping Moss has no roots to anchor into the substrate, so it must be secured to an object with strings or glue.
  • Weeping Moss was first introduced into the aquarium hobby in 2004. To this day, they are often misidentified, so it is worth making sure that the plants are labelled correctly.
Weeping Moss (Vesicularia Ferriei)
Weeping Moss by Carnat Joel (CC BY 2.0).

What is Weeping Moss?

Weeping Moss (Vesicularia Ferriei) is an aquarium moss that is characterized by its downward sloping growth. Due to this unique style of growth, this plant has been used in many famous aquascapes. The deep green color and fine texture adds to the attractiveness of the plant as well. The plant will grow up to an inch in height.

The plant does not root into the substrate, so it must be attached to an object such as driftwood or rock. While they do no have roots, they have rhizoids. The rhizoids will allow the plant to naturally secure itself to an object. These rhizoids do not absorb nutrients for the plant. Therefore, these plants are water column feeders. In its natural habitat it grows on wet rocks, riverbanks, and in the damp soil near streams.

Weeping Moss is native to China, but due its popularity in the aquarium hobby, it is now available worldwide. Many vendors offer them online as well. However, keep in mind that this plant is often misidentified with other types of aquarium moss. Therefore, it is important to purchase the plant from a reputable source.

Weeping Moss Care

Weeping moss is very easy to grow, since they are hardy and adaptable. In fact, these freshwater moss can grow in a wide range of environments and water parameters. They can be grown by both beginners and experienced aquarists.

Regarding the water parameter, the plant will thrive in temperatures ranging from 60 to 85 degrees F, and a pH of 5.0 to 6.0.

Regarding the light requirement, they are quite adaptable and do not require specialty aquarium lights. They will grow faster with moderate levels of light, but they can survive in low light environments as well.

The plant may need to be trimmed occasionally in order to maintain its desired size. If the plant is growing well, it will develop the downward sloping growth. If these plant is not growing enough to slope downward, there may not be enough nutrients in the water. Additional fertilizer can be added, but it can also result in algae growth as well, so the aquarium should be monitored regularly. Keep in mind that the plant may be growing slowly simply because it was added to your aquarium recently. The plant may need time to acclimate to the new environment.

Once your Weeping Moss is settled in, it will grow outwards and spread. Trimming the ends of the shoots will encourage new growth as well.

By trimming and dividing the plant, it is possible to propagate and grow the plant very easily as well.

How to Attach Weeping Moss to Driftwood?

Weeping Moss has no roots, so you cannot anchor it into the substrate. Instead, there are a few simple ways that you can plant Weeping Moss into your aquarium. The first way that you could attach your Weeping Moss to driftwood, or a rock in your aquarium is to tie some string around the moss and the object that you want it to attach to. You won’t need to worry about tying it down with multiple strings or securing it with multiple knots, a simple once around the Weeping Moss and the object will do. Keep in mind not to tie the knot too tight, and tie it so that it is smugly against the object that you want it to attach itself to.

Another method of securing your Weeping Moss in place in your aquarium is using super glue. The downside to this is that you will have to remove and blot dry your piece of driftwood or stone for it to adhere properly. The wood can be slightly wet, but not dripping with water for this to work. The super glue will discolor driftwood in the spot that it is applied, but the Weeping Moss will quickly grow to cover the area.

If you are wanting to place your Weeping Moss in a certain spot, but don’t want to bother with tying it down or glueing, you can just simply weigh the moss down with rocks. Place the Weeping Moss where you want it in your aquarium, and then place a few small rocks on top of the moss to hold in place. If you have fish or snails in your tank, they may knock them out of place. You will want to check on the moss often, and may even have to replace the rocks to get it to stay where you want it.

You can attempt to place Weeping Moss into driftwood in your aquarium by breaking up the Weeping Moss cluster and placing it into the holes and crevices of your driftwood piece. Weeping Moss will eventually attach and grow this way, but again, if you have fish or other aquatic creatures in your aquarium, they could dislodge the Weeping Moss, and you would have to place it back.

Does Weeping Moss Need Aquarium CO2?

Having no roots, Weeping Moss is dependent on light and water parameters to grow. It can grow and thrive in a wide range of water parameters. Weeping Moss does not need co2 to grow efficiently in an aquarium, but it will help the plant to grow at a more rapid pace, and develop a more drooping to the offshoots. If your Weeping Moss is not growing to your desired specifications, you can supplement your Weeping Moss by giving it fertilizers. 

Why is My Weeping Moss Turning Brown?

Although Weeping Moss is a hardy plant, if the water parameters are off or the water condition is too harsh, you will see your Weeping Moss begin to turn brown. It will start to brown at the tips of the plant and work its way down. The good news is that if you catch it early enough, the Weeping Moss plant can be revived. If you are noticing that your Weeping Moss is turning brown, you will want to check the water parameters, clean the tank your moss is in, trim the dead ends off of the plant, and monitor it further.

A problem that Weeping Moss faces is algae growth on the plant itself. If there is too much light, and the tank is not cleaned properly, algae can grow on the Weeping Moss and block it from receiving proper light and nutrition. This is harmful to the plant, and will make Weeping Moss turn brown. 

Weeping Moss VS Java Moss

Both Weeping Moss and Java Moss are easy aquatic moss plant to care for as it readily adapts to a wide range of water parameters. Java Moss is also similar to Weeping Moss in that it will quickly grow and adhere to the objects in your aquarium that you anchor it to. Both Java Moss and Weeping Moss are a vibrant green color. Java moss is a lighter shade, while Weeping Moss is much darker.

Like Weeping Moss, Java Moss anchors itself in this using its rhizoids, and also like Weeping Moss, Java moss will require trimming as it grows to keep its desired shape and size. Both plants make for an excellent addition to a breeding tank, providing a welcome space for egg scattering fish, providing places for fish to hide, and adding a nice look to your aquarium.

Weeping Moss grows its offshoots downward, much like a Weeping Willow Tree grows its branches. Java Moss grows its offshoots upward in a longer, thinner string. Java Moss grows somewhat faster. You can find Java Moss in most aquarium stores, but to find Weeping Moss, you will likely have to purchase it through an online distributor. 

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With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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