Is Star Moss Easy to Grow? (Guide for Beginners)

Is Star Moss Easy to Grow? The Star Moss plant compared to the other plants is an easy plant to be grown with the minimum requirement given to it.

This plant is able to survive itself alive for years without water and gets back in life when it is given the required amount of water.

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Is Star Moss Easy to Grow?
Is Star Moss Easy to Grow? : Image Source


The Star Moss or scientifically known as the Tortula Ruralis is also identified in many other names as the Side Walk Moss, Hairy Screw Moss, Tortula Moss and the Twisted Moss.

By its name itself this is a very versatile plant which has a dark greenly Starry Shaped Leaves. The gorgeous look in this magical plant has made this plant a highly popular plant for decoration among the Aquarists in the Aquarium Industry.

The Star Moss is a very Short plant which is around 1.1 inches tall and grows in the Grasslands, Forests, Desserts and the Arctic.

The Star Moss is a Native plant to Europe, Asia, North America, Middle East, Pacific, South Africa, North Africa and Australia.

Growing Problems of Star Moss

Even though the Star Moss is an easy plant to grow there are certain problems that you will have to face when using this plant in your Aquarium.

These problems are certain common problems that you will have to face with any aquatic plant in your tank and can be dealt with very easily.


When having this plant in the Aquarium for a certain time Algae and left over food particles of fish will invade these plants. Therefore a regular cleaning of the Aquarium will help you to get rid of the Algae Growth and have a healthy Star Moss plant growing in your Aquarium.


Another problem that you have to deal with when having a Star Moss plant and Snails together in the same Aquarium.

Both add beauty to Aquarium. But there are certain snails that can eat up the plant and its leaves causing damage to the plant. Therefore taking care of the Star Moss plant from the Snails in your Aquarium will help its growth.

Turning Brown

At times the Star Moss plant in your Aquarium will change its colour into Brown. The main cause of this will be too much of sunlight or bright lights received on the plant.

Therefore if the plant is at a place receiving too much of light it is better to move the tank towards a place with less light with a cool temperature.


Giving the minimum care required by the Star Moss plant in your fish tank is very much important for its growth in the tank. When this minimum amount of requirement is not given on the plant the ultimate result might be the death of your Star Moss plant.

The Causes for your Star Moss to die might be due to the improper amount of light received on the plant, not clean enough water on the plant, Algae attacks and other tank mate attacks.

Enemies Fish

Fish of different types and colors are a perfect and a common addition with Aquatic plants in any tank. There are certain types of fish which feed on these Aquatic plants.

Certain types of Small fish might only nibble a small amount on these Aquatic plants , but fish such as the gold fish which are herbivorous tend to eat much bigger parts of these Aquatic plants.

So having such fish and the Star Moss plant together in a tank will cause problems in the growth of this plant.

So if you are willing to have these types of fish and the Star Moss together you will have to keep an eye on the plant and see that your fish are fed enough so that they don’t harm the Star Moss plant in your tank.

Growing Methods of Star Moss Plant

Growing your Star Moss plant in your Tank or Aquarium can be done using different Methods. You can use this Star Moss as a Carpet in your Tank, or a Wall as well as grow the Moss on a Driftwood.

Star Moss Carpet

The Star Moss plant has a very slow growth and is also short in size which is around 1.1 inches in length. Therefore with this length you can use the Star Moss plant as a beautiful carpet decoration in to your tank or aquarium.

Star Moss Wall

Another method in which you can use the Star Moss plant in to your Aquarium or tank is as a Wall.

This can be added on in any side of your tank as per your wish. Be it either on all four sides of the tank or only on one side of the tank.

Star Moss on Driftwood

The Star Moss plant is able to grow itself on any surface. Therefore you can even grow this plant in a driftwood and add a beautiful decoration to your tank or aquarium.

Growing Surface of Star Moss (Gravel/Rock)

The Star Moss is a miraculous plant which can grow itself in any type of Surface. But it has certain bestly preferred Surfaces of Growth as the below.


Gravel is a collection of loose rock fragments. As a much preferred Surface the Star Moss plant grows on Gravel very easily.


Another preferred surface that the Star Moss is likely is Driftwood. The Star Moss grows on Driftwood easily and therefore Driftwood is also added to the Aquarium or Tank as another decoration.


Like on the Gravel the Star Moss also grows on Rocky Surfaces. Rocks are another preferred Surfaces for the Star Moss to Grow.

Tank Requirements for Star Moss (Tortula Rurails)

  • The Star Moss plant is not an aquatic plant but still can be grown in the fresh waters.
  • The Star Moss plant is not an aquatic plant but still can be grown in the fresh waters.
  • Do not add any salt water into the tank as it is harmful to the Star Moss plant.
  • Also when this plant is grown within the tank it should be looked into that the plant is not fully submerged in the water, because a fully submerged star moss plant will not survive in the tank for long.
  • Also see that the tank receives the enough amount of light for its growth.

These are the basic requirements for a Star Moss to grow within a tank.

Can I Grow Star Moss by Seeds?

Star Moss Plant can be grown using its seeds on any type of Surface.

As this plant is not an Aquatic plant you can Grow this plant on a preferred ground surface such as Gravel, Rocks or Drift Wood. But also any other Surface is also possible to grow the Star Moss through Seeds.

What is the Best Way to Grow Star Moss?

Star Moss propagation can be done to get new Star Moss Plants. You can split an existing Star Moss Plant in to different parts and have them sit in different places.

This will help you in getting new Star Moss Plants and this is the best method to grow the Star Moss .

Is Star Moss Growing Fast?

Compared to the other types of plants the Star Moss plant growth rate is very slow. Therefore it will take a certain time period may be some years for itself to grow.

Is Star Moss need CO2 for fast Growing?

The Star Moss plant like every other plant produces its own food through the process of Photosynthesis. This food making process gives the Star Moss plant the enough amount of CO2.

But on your own wish if you think of having a manual infusion of CO2 to the plant by yourself for its growth you can add it with the CO2.

Is Star Moss need Light for Growing?

The Star Moss is able to grow itself from very low light to medium amount of light. Therefore like every plant the Star Moss also requires itself with a certain amount of light to grow.

But if this plant receives too much bright light or sunlight then there might be a problem. Too much of light will make the plant dry and even die.

How long Star Moss takes to grow?

The normal size of a Star Moss plant is only 1.1 inches tall.

The Star Moss unlike the other plants take a longer time to grow in this size. Therefore this plant can be considered a very slow growing plant.

Fertilizer for Star Moss

The Star Moss makes its own food through the process of Photosynthesis. Therefore there is no requirement to add any other Fertilizer to the plant which will save your time and money.

However if you wish to you can add a Fertilizer to the Plant to easy its growth.

Why is my Star Moss Slimy Green?

A healthy Star Moss Plant has a dark green shape in it .However when in the tank it might at times change to a Slimy Green colour. This may be due to the fact that the Star Moss in your tank is under an Algae Attack.

Therefore you will have to look in to this matter and clean the tank to remove the Algae from the Star Moss plant.

Maintaining Star Moss (Right Parameters for Star Moss)

The Star Moss plant unlike the other plants require only a minimum amount of maintainance.This minimum maintenance includes clean water in the tank without Algae which will affect the Growth of the Star Moss Plant.

Required amount of sunlight .Be it either a low a medium amount of light. Too much of light will cause the Star Moss plant to die.

And also keeping away this plant from the harmful tank mates in the tank is another factor that has to be taken into consideration when maintaining the Star Moss plant in your tank.


The Star Moss plant even though not an Aquatic plant is best in fresh waters. And is a great addition as a decoration to your tank or Aquarium.

Not only this plant is a decoration but it also has certain other advantages to you tank as well as its tank mates like providing oxygen, a great hiding place to small tank mates etc. So try and add one of these magical plants in to your Aquarium and add colour to 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.