How to Grow Star Moss? (Easy to grow guide for Beginners)

The Star Moss or scientifically known as Tortuola Ruralis is a small plant which is around 1.1 inches tall. Normally this plant is not an Aquatic plant and grows in the grounds of Grasslands, Forests, Desserts and the Arctic.

However with its beautiful look with Starry shaped leaves has made this Plant to be used in the decoration of Aquariums as well.

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How to Grow Star Moss
How to Grow Star Moss : Image Source

Compared to the other types of Mosses this Moss is a very slow growing plant.

The specialty of this plant is that when it receives the required amount of water the leaves of this plant takes a dark greenly color and when dry turns to a red brownish color and survives itself even for years until water is received.

So according to this the Star Moss can also be known as a Magical plant.

How to Grow Star Moss?

Star Moss is an easy plant to grow and will grow anywhere that it is held with the minimum care requirement.

This plant grows at a very slow rate and will reach up to a length of 1.1 inches in size.

The easiest way to grow the Star Moss is to divide one individual Star Moss plant into several and place them elsewhere which will help them grow new.

Temperature and Humidity for Star Moss

The Star Moss survives itself in low to high humidity. That is from 20 % to 80 %.

And this plant can hold itself in a temperature of 55 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.(That is 12-26 degrees Celsius)

What is the suitable Substrate for Star Moss?

Star Moss is a plant that is found in forests as well as the desserts. This plant is able to survive itself in any type of climate.

Therefore when held in an aquarium any type of substrate is suitable to grow the Star Moss.

This plant specially prefers rocks like surfaces and limestone.

Basic Tips to Care and Maintain Star Moss

Water Parameters

As said the Star Moss has the ability to survive itself in any climate.

This plant changes in appearance to a dark green colour when it receives more water. However in an aquarium when this plant is fully submerged in the water its life will be short.

This plant is able to survive itself in fully submerged water for only about 90 days of time.


The Star Moss unlike the other mosses is able to be alive in any type of lighting conditions.

Lighting conditions from the very lower levels to the bright levels can be handled by this plant. But receiving too much of bright sunlight on the plant will make the plant to dry out.

Therefore when you have an aquarium with the Star Moss in it, it is better to keep it in a cooler environment away from bright sunlight or lamp light.

Nutrients and Fertilizers

Like all other plants the Star Moss also produces its food through the process of photosynthesis. Therefore other kinds of Nutrients and Fertilizers are not required on the plant.

However if you feel that you require the addition of additional fertilizers to the Star Moss in your Aquarium you can add the same.

PH Levels

The Star Moss is able to survive itself in a PH level range of between 5 to 7.5.

This plant is a freshwater plant and is unable to survive itself in the salt waters.


The Normal Habitat of a Star Moss varies from Grasslands and Forests to Desserts and the Arctic. Therefore accordingly this plant is able to survive itself in any type of temperature.

The Normal temperature for the Star Moss varies from 55 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

How can propagate Star Moss?

Propagating a Star Moss is not that difficult.

You can take an existing Star Moss plant and divide it into several. Thereafter place these divided parts attached to different places in the tank.

After a certain period of time you can see the new Star Moss plants growing.

Does Star Moss Spread Fast?

The Star Moss is a slow growing plant when compared to the other plants .Therefore this plant takes a long time to spread itself.

Can I Grow Star Moss by Seeds?

Yes, you can grow Star Moss using its seeds.

How long Star Moss take to grow from Seeds?

Star Moss is a slow growing plant and therefore growing this plant using it’s seeds will take a longer time than splitting an existing one to produce another.

Growing Problems of Star Moss

As well as each other aquarium plant growing a Star Moss in your Aquarium also has certain problems as the below,


Like in every Aquarium, its plants are affected by Algae, the Star Moss plant will also have difficulties in growing with Algae Attacks. Therefore it should be carefully checked and a proper cleaning to the tank will help get rid of Algae attacks on the Star Moss.


Some Aquariums use in certain types of Snails as a decoration to their tank and most of the time these snails might feed on the plants. So if there is are such types of Snails added in to the tank with the Star Moss plants they might harm the plant and cause problems in the growth of them.

Leaves Turning Brown Colour

The Star Moss Leaves will tend to become brown in colour when they are dry .Therefore in such cases you can spray a little amount of water on the plant so that they gain their colour back.


A fully submerged Star Moss plant can hold itself in the waters for a period of only around 90 days. Having this plant for more than the period in water will make the plant to die.


Certain tank mates in your tank at times will try to nibble on this plant and at times will try to eat a larger amount of the plant .This will be a severe problem for the growth of this plant.

Right Parameters for Star Moss

As a ground growing plant having a Star Moss in your tank, you should always have this plant partially submerged in the water.

As the Star Moss is unable to hold itself in the fully submerged water. Also the water should be fresh water as the Star Moss is unable to survive in the salt waters.

Also having a Star Moss plant in your tank you should see that it receives only the required amount of the sunlight for its growth as too much of sunlight is not good for the plant.

Fertilizers for Star Moss

You can use the common Fertilizers and CO 2 in to your Star Moss plant in your tank .However this is not a must as these plants produce their own foods.

How much light do Star Moss need to grow?

The Star Moss plant is able to grow itself in the lower lights as well as the bright lights.

But when growing this plant it is better to keep your fish tank or terrarium away from too much of bright sunlight or house light which might badly affect the Star Moss and cause it to dry.


Star Moss plant is an easy plant to grow when compared to other plants. Even though this plant is not an aquarium plant, this plant is a great addition to the Aquarium .And this plant also has great benefits to the tank as well as the tank mates in it.

By Uswatta Liyanage

Hello. I'm Uswatta Liyanage from Galle, Sri Lanka. I am the founder of this website. Since my childhood I'm an aqua plant lover and I have professionally learned more about aqua plants. So I created this site for share my knowledge and experience with all of you. Now you can refer my site and feel free to contact me if any inquiry.