How To Grow Willow Moss? (Guide For Beginners)

Interested in cultivating and growing willow moss? Its popularity has been increasing along with other variants due to the visual it adds, its benefits for the tank mates, and minimal care.

Once the beginners get familiar with the basic and initial stage, that is, adjusting it properly in the water, the following steps won’t be difficult to perform.

Growing willow moss involves attaching it to an appropriate substrate with a fish rope or elastic string and submerging it into the freshwater. Through natural interaction with the new area, it will start spreading when the conditions are optimum.

In this blog post, I have mentioned some easy ways to harvest and cultivate willow moss, along with other factors that are favorable and unfavorable for plant growth.

Table of Contents

Grow Willow Moss
Grow Willow Moss

How To Grow Willow Moss?

Growing Willow Moss In Ponds:

A convenient method to plant willow moss in ponds is to tie the stem with some land feature like stone or driftwood underwater using a strong thread. This activity helps moss to immediately adhere to a nearby substrate it finds, be it sand, gravel, or rock.

Some buyers might also notice a nursery offering moss in bunches according to specific weights. It facilitates the plant settlement in a particular spot underwater.

The easiest way to grow willow moss is just placing the unit in the floating aquatic environment. The moss will select the preferred location on its own and start spreading.

Growing Willow Moss In Aquariums:

The effective way to grow willow moss in aquariums is to cut the culture into some parts. It is a safe method that ensures that no area of the plant gets damaged.

The next stage is cultivation which involves simply placing the separated segments in the spots you like or find suitable for moss.

Wait for some time so that it makes a connection with dry features in the aquarium, after which the branching will start creeping into the water and occupying more area.

Is Willow Moss Easy To Grow?

Willow moss does not require much effort for its plantation and cultivation, which makes it an attractive and best option for adding it to the pond or vivarium.

Growing Problems Of Willow Moss

Growing Problems Of Willow Moss


The development of algae is probably one of the most irritating and tiresome issues that one might face while growing willow moss in a fresh-water enclosure.

When the ecosystem favors the growth of this organism, it starts spreading in the aquarium and hinders the development of Anti fever Fontinalis moss.

It consumes most of the nutrients, particularly nitrates, and receives some portion of light as well, which makes it difficult for willow moss to survive longer.

Usually, the thick culture of willow moss and its leaves act as a shelter for algae and protect it from getting eaten by animal life, eventually resulting in unwanted growth all over the place. Other causes that might lead to this issue:

  • Unfiltered water
  • Less exposure to light
  • Improper distribution of carbon dioxide


Before adding fauna into the tank or pond, it is necessary to get familiar with them thoroughly since some might be favorable and suitable for the willow moss, while others might damage it.

Similarly, when it comes to snails, some species of this mollusk tend to consume the parts of this vegetation.

Therefore, if one has chosen some kinds of snails that are not good for the propagation of this moss, he might have to face problems of removing several snails from the tank after noticing the breakage of leaves, stems, and branches of moss.

Leaves Turning Brown Color

Another issue that has a great chance of occurrence is the change of willow moss leaf color. In case the conditions are not right or the bryophyte has been receiving insufficient light, that is, less than the recommended level, the compounds in leaves cannot carry out the photosynthesis properly, which results in the reduction of pigment and shift in shade from green to brown.


Dead fish and amphibians can make the whole tank stinky. Similarly, when vegetation such as willow moss in aquariums rot, turn brown, and die, it can release a foul odor which negatively affects the quality of the water ecosystem.

Furthermore, it can get challenging to deal with the removal of moss and replace it with another bunch if it has spread its branches to a major portion of the water.

Also, the larvae of fish and invertebrates might be present on the surface of plant parts. Removal of the entire plant will also remove them and impact the fauna population.

Enemy Fish

Some types of fish in the vivarium or pond might be unsuitable for the willow moss’s optimal development. It is because they start eating the leaves and long branches of the plant or might break it as well.

Growing Methods Of Willow Moss

Three main ways of growing willow moss in an enclosure include:

  • Tying it with a dry substrate
  • Placing the bunch in the desired spot
  • Planting the broken parts in another spot

Growing Surfaces Of Willow Moss

There are multiple substrates or land features that act as growing surfaces for willow moss. These include sand, rocks, gravel, stones, and driftwood.

Does Willow Moss Need CO2 For Fast Growing

Willow Moss or Common water moss generally has a medium speed of development. However, one can speed up the process by using carbon dioxide injections in the appropriate quantity. It promotes the fast growth of this bryophyte, increasing its height to the maximum earlier.

Fertilizers For Willow Moss

The function of fertilizers when it comes to willow moss is speeding up the process of its growth, which is not necessary. Still, if someone is considering using the chemical compounds for this purpose, these fertilizers can be purchased from local nurseries or online stores.

These substances have a composition that works well with plants having low pH or acidic requirements such as Miracle-Gro. You can also formulate the growth-stimulating compound yourself by mixing distilled water, bleach, and skimmed milk in a spray bottle.

Does Willow Moss Need Light?

Like other kinds of moss, willow moss also needs some light to grow even though the common place for moss to grow is in damp and dark places. This moss needs only a partial amount of light, which can be coming from the sun or any bulb installed above the tank. The leaves of the plant are usually green in shade in this case.

In addition, Fontinalis antipyretic also shows normal growth when completely exposed to sunbeams. Here, due to more absorption and photosynthesis, one might notice that the leaves of moss are dark green.

How Long does Willow Moss Take To Grow?

Once you connect the willow moss with a rock or debris in an aquascape, it will take a few days to form a connection with the environment and adjust to a new place. Generally, it takes a few days to show a noticeable increase in size with the branches protruding from the stem.

Why Is My Willow Moss Not Growing Well?

If you have been noticing that the willow moss you have decorated in your tank or pond ecosystem is showing stunt growth, there can be numerous possibilities due to which it is not growing well. These include:

  • The alkalinity of water above 8
  • Warm or hot water
  • Less intensity of light
  • Water is not replaced frequently
  • Algae outbreak in tank
  • Smaller tank size
Willow Moss

Final Thoughts

Willow moss or greater water moss is easy to grow and maintain due to its ability to grow in a wide range of conditions and slight changes in parameters. I hope that those who are considering purchasing this amazing plant have found this post beneficial.

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.