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 degree F 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 it into the substrate. Instead, you will need to tie it down, glue it in place, or weigh it down with rocks to get it to stay in place in your aquarium.
  • Weeping Moss is an efficient grower, and you may have to trim it down to keep it the size and shape that you want.
  • Weeping Moss was first introduced into the aquarium hobby in 2004. It is often misidentified, and it is important to make sure before purchasing that you are getting actual Weeping Moss.
Weeping Moss (Vesicularia Ferriei)
Weeping Moss by Carnat Joel (CC BY 2.0).

What is Weeping Moss?

Weeping Moss is an aquarium plant that is a welcome addition to any tank setup. It is often chosen for its unique, downward branching style to add a nice pop of dark green to any aquarium. Weeping Moss can be identified by its frond shaped shoots, and it’s downward growth motion. The offshoots of the Weeping Moss plant have an interesting texture as well.

This plant is believed to have originated in China, and has since become very popular among aquarium hobbyists. You can easily find Weeping Moss for sale online. It is important to make sure you are getting actual Weeping Moss, as it is often misidentified.  It can grow up to an inch tall, and the shoots are bright green, with a teardrop shape at the end. Weeping Moss does not root into the substrate, but rather grows attached to driftwood or other aquarium decor. Weeping Moss does not have roots, but instead it has rhizoids. Rhizoids function as a method of attachment for the plant, but unlike a root system, they do not absorb any nutrients for the plant. 

Weeping Moss Water Parameters

Weeping Moss is an extremely hardy plant that will survive in a wide range of water parameters. It is a freshwater plant that will thrive in temperatures ranging from 60 degrees F to 85 degrees F, and a pH of 5.0 to 6.0. Weeping Moss is not a hard plant to please when it comes to lighting. It can grow just as well in low level light. The more light Weeping Moss gets, the faster it will grow. This is because Weeping Moss does not have roots, and it gets the nutrients it needs from the light. In its natural habitat it grows on wet rocks, riverbanks, and in the damp soil near streams.

Is Weeping Moss easy to grow?

Weeping Moss will grow readily in a wide variety of water parameters, and this makes it an easy choice when selecting your plants for your aquarium. Weeping Moss is a good plant to choose for your tank if you are new to the aquascaping hobby. Weeping Moss does not require a special light, and will grow quickly. It will sometimes need to be trimmed to keep it at the desired size. Once placed in your aquarium, you will want to leave it be so that it can grow and develop the Weeping shape. If your plant does not develop the weeping shape, you may want to use fertilizer. New plants planted in your aquarium can be susceptible to algae growth, and you should monitor it as you would any new addition to your aquarium.

You can encourage your Weeping Moss plant to grow by trimming the ends of the shoots regularly. Propagation of Weeping Moss is easy. If you want to propagate your Weeping Moss, you can just simply break up the moss, and attach it to where you want it.

Once your Weeping Moss is settled in, it will grow outwards and spread. It does this by sprouting small stems with spores on the tips that fall off and allow a new patch of Weeping Moss to grow.

How do you 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 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

Java Moss, like Weeping Moss, is also a relatively easy aquatic plant to care for as it too 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. 

Fish Laboratory

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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