More About Spiky Moss (Beginner Should Try)

Spiky moss, a variety of Selaginella, is named so after its bright green spike-shaped leaves.

Thriving in well-lit and nourished aquatic conditions, it’s an ideal aquatic plant for any aquarium, irrespective of your tank housing fish, shrimp, a combination of the two kinds, or even other aquatic animals such as turtles.

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How can I grow Spiky Moss?

Spiky moss can be grown either on land or even in water. This versatility is advantageous for aquarists.

Within an aquarium, Spiky moss can be grown on a variety of substrates, such as rocks, driftwood, or any other aquatic decoration.

How to grow Spiky Moss?

Spiky moss can be grown using two methods, either by using cuttings or reproducing using spores.

However, growth by cuttings is recommended as it is a relatively easier process with a higher chance of healthy plants being regrown.

Steps of growing Spiky Moss?

Growing Spiky Moss in your Aquarium only requires a few stages to be completed.

  • Get a sample of Spiky Moss
  • Rinse and wash thoroughly to get rid of any mud, soil, dirt, and pests
  • Separate the sample into multiple cuttings (each of at least 2 to 3 inches in length)
  • Wash once more
  • Attach onto a substrate with the help of an Aquarium-friendly glue (such as flourish glue or super glue)
  • Insert into the Aquarium

The fresh Spiky Moss cuttings will take a few days up to a week to acclimatize themselves to the aquarium environment. Maintaining the conditions of lighting, temperature, water balance, and nutrients at a constant level is even more important during this period for the stabilization of the plant in the tank.

What is the life cycle of Spiky Moss?

The life of a Spiky moss plant begins within a spore that is found in the sporangia on the underside of the moss leaf.

These spores that are then released to the ground or planted in the soil germinate into gametophytes with small root-like structures forming.

It is at this stage that the moisture levels of the soil play a vital role, as it’s only under moist soil conditions that the sperms are released and the egg is fertilized, creating the first ball of cells of first the zygote and then the embryo.

This then produces the first sporophyte which is the first leaf of the moss plant.

This leaf then matures and divides to form more stems and leaves, giving rise to a healthy young Spiky moss plant!

Is Spiky Moss an expensive plant?

In comparison to other aquatic plants such as Anubias or Amazon Sword plants, Spiky Moss is quite inexpensive.

Can Spiky Moss live out of water?

Yes, Spiky moss does have the ability to grow on land.

Where does Spiky Moss grow?

Preferring a moist and shady environment to grow in, it can be found growing on soil or attached to rocks or trees with ease in forests, gardens, or even on shady sidewalks.

Does Spiky Moss attach to objects?

In addition to growing on soil, Spiky moss can be grown attached to other solid objects such as large stones or rocks, pieces of wood, mesh, and in the most extreme cases, it could grow even on concrete.

As long as there is space for the roots to spread and attach themselves and there is enough nourishment surrounding it, Spiky moss will grow. This makes it one of the easiest plants to care for, especially as an aquarist.

Does Spiky Moss produce seeds?

Spiky moss does not produce Seeds. Instead, it produces spores. These spores can be regrown to produce more Spiky Moss plants.

Is Spiky Moss good for a terrarium?

Yes! Spiky moss makes an excellent addition to a terrarium!

With simple nourishment requirements, Spiky moss adds beauty to the terrarium landscape with its layered growth and spread with hardly any effort for maintenance.

Is Spiky Moss an algae?

No, Spiky moss is not an algae. Algae could be either unicellular or multicellular plant structures, whereas all Spiky moss species are multicellular.

Is Spiky Moss a fungus?

No, it isn’t. Although Spiky moss produces spores similarly to fungi, Spiky moss is not classified as a fungus.

Is Spiky Moss a perennial plant?

Perennial plants are those that survive over a long period, for example, more than about 2 years.

Spiky moss plants do have a long life span in nature. For instance, the Golden Spike moss plant is a perennial moss. However, it may not always be possible to maintain a Spiky moss plant for such elongated periods in an aquarium unless it’s regularly well maintained.

Does Spiky Moss have true roots & stems?

No, it does not have true roots!

Spiky moss is a vascular plant, with the xylem and phloem taking prominence in the plant structure. This is what makes up the stem of the moss plant. These stems divide among themselves to form leafy structures, creating the leaves of Spiky moss.

The roots of Spiky moss are identified as adventitious roots, as they arise in any part along the stem of the plant and help the plant stay attached to its substrate. These roots also contain root hairs through which both water and nutrients are absorbed from its surrounding.

Is Spiky Moss a heterosporous plant?

Yes, it is.

All species of Spiky moss are known to produce both megaspores and microspores. Megaspores are larger and form female gametophytes, while microspores are smaller and form male gametophytes.

Is Spiky Moss an edible plant?

Largely, no, Spiky moss is not an edible plant.

That being said, in some parts of the world, young shoots of certain species of Spiky moss are boiled and eaten. However, it is not recommended to do so with every Spiky moss plant found unless known.

Is Spiky Moss a true moss?

While Spiky moss is not considered a true moss, it does share many similarities with both mosses and ferns. Its clustered growth pattern combined with spreading wide along the ground when multiplying creates a moss-like nature, because of which it is termed a moss.

Is Spiky Moss an invasive plant?

Spiky moss is a moss that grows upwards in layers and also spreads outwards. This nature of spreading wide while growing does prevent any other plant from being grown next to it as it will be invaded by the Spiky moss growth.

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 searched more details about aqua plants for create my home aquarium. So I created this site for share my knowledge and long term experience with all of you. If you an aqua plant lover or hope to start an aquarium definitely my site will give a better guidance to you. I would like to invite you to refer my site and feel free to contact me if any inquiry.