8 Different Types Of Plants In The Ocean (With Photos)

Photo of author

By Bryan Peters

This article may contain some affiliate links and if you make a purchase after clicking on any of teh links, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

The ocean is a home for many different animals, wide comprehensive, and plants that are not even discussed. These ocean plants are essential. They greatly oxidize oceans, which comprise about 70% of the entire universe. 

Some of the most common types of plants you would be coming across in the oceans include kelp, seaweed, seagrass, red algae, etc.

In this article, we will reveal to you the different types of plants in the ocean you should really know about.

Let’s get started!

How Do We Classify Ocean Plants 

Unlike the plants on land, plants in the ocean can blossom under salt water even as they live deep down in the deepest part of the ocean. So you would find several plants deep in the sea, some being pretty and others not so cute. 

Even with all these diversities, these plants can be highly nutritious and even serve as medicines for several ailments, while others can be very poisonous and harmful. There are two primary classes of plants in the ocean; 

  • Floating plants
  • Rooted ocean plants

As the third name implies, floating plants can lie freely on the water surface while the latter is deeply rooted in the ground. These rooted plants require adequate sunlight to thrive, which is why they are primarily in shallow waters.

See Also: Types Of Plants In The Desert

Types Of Plants in The Ocean 

There are several types of plants that you can find in the ocean bodies; some of these plants include; 

1. Kelp Plants 

The kelp plant is one of the most thriving plants in the ocean’s central parts. An amateur would find this plant a usual rainforest plant, but experts recognize it as one of the plants that can survive the intensity of the ocean floor. 

You can find these plants in the coastal regions where the waters seem to be freezing. Some researchers claimed their presence in the Pacific Ocean, but it has not yet been confirmed true. 

The kelp plant is similar in tone and is also said to be one of the fastest-growing plants in the water bodies. With sufficient light and nutrients, this plant can last in depths of about 20-90 feet. 

Kelps sometimes grow up to 250 feet and are one of the most significant plants in the world. Due to their anatomy, kelp centers on rocks and even stays afloat with the help of small bulbous strands. 

2. Seagrass

You can classify seagrass as a rotten plant and see them as one of the most significant plants in the ocean. The reason is that these plants require a good amount of sunlight to flourish along the shoreline. 

There are several types of seagrasses; turtle grass, sandbar grass, manatee grass, and so on. All these grasses mentioned once survived on land but developed over the years and now can stay in salty water. 

These grasses serve as a food supply for lobsters and even crabs through the swamp waters where they usually develop. These seagrasses are very vital because they contribute to oxidizing the ocean and also serve as food for several ocean plants. 

These seagrasses also carry up the duty of fertilization. It can release pollen grains from its flowers, fertilize sea plants, and serve as a defense habitat for small marine life against several predators. 

3. Phytoplankton 

The name “phytoplankton” generates from the Greek word “Phyto,” which means plant. This plant belongs to the kingdom Protista and is similar to microorganisms. You can see these plants with a microscope as they cannot be seen with the naked eye. 

These plants move in large clusters like the kelp plants to photosynthesize, and it is shown that one of this plant’s classes, Prochlorococcus, might even be one of the highest photosynthesizing plants in the world. 

Apart from producing large amounts of oxygen to oxidize the ocean, this sing single-cell microscopic organism serves as a food source for other higher animals like whales. 

4. Red Algae

The growth of red algae has made up about 90% of the humid, tropical waters for over 500 million years. The red coloration is from phycoerythrin, which is a color that retains blue light and gives off a red light. 

Like the kelp, the red algae are also very nutritious and rich in proteins, making them an excellent food source in continents like Asia. The red algae are very diverse, and you would be fortunate to come across coralline algae, a rare type of red algae. 

These coralline algae have great strips which are as hard as the rock borders that grow on the coral reefs. 

5. Sargassum

Like holly plants, the sargassum possesses a berry-like filled gas that helps it stay afloat in water, which is why it is referred to as the ocean holly. 

Other features that this plant possesses are its rugged fronds and tarnished green coloration, which helps it play a role in the existence of several other ocean plants. In addition, since these plants can float on water, it is closer to sunlight, enhancing the photosynthesizing process. 

Due to its movement mechanism on water, it can serve as a safe food for the less. The sargassum plant is abundant in the north Atlantic gyre, which is why it has been named the “sargasso sea.” 

Threesome species of these sargassum plants were discovered in the north Atlantic gyre that can not be found anywhere else in the world; that’s to show you how amazing this water body is. 

6. Sea Anemone

The ocean anemone usually develops in bunches throughout the tropical reefs. However, some groups of sea anemones are found in deep blue waters around the cold areas where you can find the kelps.

The characteristic feature of the sea anemone is its toxic stings that keep off predators. 

The only creature immune to the anemone’s sting Is the clownfish. The reason is because of the symbiotic relationship between these two plants.

They both share a mutual relationship because while the clownfish keeps the anemone tidy, the anemone provides shelter for the clownfish. 

7. Irish Moss

The Irish moss is a plant that is native to the Atlantic Ocean. Apart from that, you can also find it in oceans near the European and North American regions. The Irish moss is very rich in proteins and minerals, and for that reason, they are incorporated into several dishes. 

Due to their delicate nature, their surface becomes jelly-like, much more so that these plants are cooked in much more.

As a result, these Irish mosses thrive more in areas around the coastal rock zones of the sea and can be found in several colors like red, brown, yellow, and even purple and greenish-brown. 

8. Water Hyacinth

The splendid violet and bright blue color of the water hyacinth plant makes it a sight to behold. These plants are one of the most sought-after ocean plants, and the reason is farfetched.

Many mentalities mislead many people that this plant can only thrive on land but also thrive effectively on the water. 

There are several uses for the water hyacinth, ranging from; medicinal purposes, producing ropes and furniture, wastewater treatments, biomass, and even serving as food for humans and other animals. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Are Three Plants That you Can find in The Atlantic Ocean?

Some plants that thrive in the Atlantic Ocean include the need, sea grass, sea oats, and algae. You can be able to find all these plants around the coral reef regions to form a marine biome. In addition, some plants, like plankton and algae, can live in the oceans. 

What Plants Can Grow in Salt Water?

Some plants that can grow in salt water include the Adams needle, Japanese pittosporum, lantana, pink muhly grasses, bee balms, bougainvillea, daylilies, and gaillardia. 

What Are the Two Main Types of Marine Plants? 

The two major marine plants are algae and seagrass. Just like the plants on land do,  these plants also need sunlight to synthesize, which is why they live on the topmost layers of the water. 

How Can Many Plant Species Be Found in The Water?

There is a total of about 194,000 plant species found under the water. 

What Tree Can Grow in Sea Water? 

The mangroves are tolerant of salt and adapted to live in very harsh weather conditions. So if you could immerse these trees in the water, they would be able to cope due to their salt filtration and complex root systems. 


Ocean plants are essential parts of today’s ecosystem, even if such people are not familiar with their importance. This list consists of just a few beneficial ocean plants compared to the enormous biomass they occupy. 

There are still several undiscovered plants in the ocean that have the potential to provide us with as much importance as these listed. We should ensure that we keep our water bodies clean so we do not harm these useful ocean plants.

Related Posts: