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Kelp Plant.gif




Blast resistance



Any tool




Yes (64)





Data value

dec: 393 hex: 189 bin: 110001001

Namespaced ID

See § Data values

Jasper Boerstra Mojang avatar.jpg

Kelp is the first plant to utilise a new kind of visual feature: Animation. Before, the only things that [were] animated were either particles or the lava/water and some other solid blocks. But we never animated a plant that used transparency.

This was a new challenge for the style of Minecraft - as it has never been done before, we had no frame of reference to adapt the animation style to - so we had to find it.

Jasper Boerstra[1]

Kelp is an underwater plant that generates in most oceans.


Kelp can be mined instantly with any tool or without a tool. Breaking one part of a kelp stalk will destroy all kelp blocks above it. Each block has an undetermined chance to drop a kelp item.

Natural generation[edit]

Kelp naturally generates in any ocean biomes, except frozen and warm oceans, near and around seagrass.

Growth mechanics[edit]

Kelp can be planted on a broad variety of blocks, but it will only grow underwater if it has either a source block of water or flowing water above it. In case that there is flowing water above it, the kelp plant will transform the flowing water into a water source block when it grows into it. Neither players nor dispensers can remove the water source block a kelp grows in without breaking the kelp first.

Kelp can grow in complete darkness and does not require any light level to grow. Kelp also grows without having sky access. In Bedrock Edition, bone meal can be used to grow kelp a few blocks taller.

Kelp, when planted, is generated with a randomly chosen age value, which can be checked when pressing F3[Java Edition only]. The age value of a newly planted kelp plant varies randomly between 0 and 24. Each time the kelp grows in height by one block, the newly generated top of the kelp plant increases its age by 1. When the top block of the kelp plant reaches an age of 25, it will stop growing. This means that kelp can naturally grow to a height between 2 (if the first kelp plant had an age of 24) and 26 blocks (if the first kelp plant had an age of 0).

Interestingly, when breaking the very top of an age 25 kelp plant the kelp plant block underneath it will have its age randomized again to a value between 0 and 24 and continue to grow until it reaches age 25 again. It is possible to use this mechanic to cultivate a kelp plant to further increase its growth height beyond its natural maximum height of 26 blocks. This can be done by breaking the very top of the kelp plant each time it reaches age 25. A kelp plant cultivated by a player in this way repeatedly grows until it reaches sky limit.

Each time it receives a random tick, kelp has a 14% chance of growing.

Based on testing, a 20x20 square of kelp (400) down results in a rough 50% gain over the course of 1 minute, or about 600 kelp. Note that this does not mean that half of the kelp will grow 1 block, the random nature of the growth creates a negative logarithmic curve of how many plants reach certain heights. (L shaped curve)

Here is the results from a 256 kelp test over a period of 1 real-life minute (1,200 ticks) All kelp were made to be less than age 20 for the trial, so age will not matter as none grew to 6 tall.

Category Data
Height Of Kelp 1 2 3 4 5
Number Of Times Grown 0 1 2 3 4
Number Of Kelp Plants 106 109 33 7 1
Percentage of Kelp Plants 41.41% 42.58% 12.90% 2.73% 0.38%
Percent that reached each stage starting 58.59% 16.02% 3.12% 0.39%


Kelp farming is similar to farming sugar cane, although kelp must be placed underwater. Automation of harvest is easier because, as of the aquatic update, items float up in water.


Kelp can be bought from wandering traders for 3 emeralds.


Kelp can be placed underwater by hand, or anywhere by the use of commands such as /setblock. Placing it by hand will give it a random age value between 0 and 24. Kelp can only be placed in water source blocks or downward flowing water, not horizontally flowing water.

Besides for decoration, kelp can be used to turn flowing water into water source blocks, which can be useful for faster bubble column elevator creation. Any building block can be placed on top of a kelp plant, which can be useful for building underwater.

Smelting ingredient[edit]

Name Ingredients Smelting recipe
Dried Kelp Kelp +
Any fuel


Placing kelp into a composter has a 30% chance of raising the compost level by 1.

Data values[edit]


Java Edition:

Block Namespaced ID Item Form
Kelp kelp Yes
Kelp Plant kelp_plant No

Bedrock Edition:

Block Namespaced ID Numeric ID
Kelp kelp 393

Block states[edit]

Top only

Java Edition:

Name Default value Allowed values Description
A freshly-planted kelp will have a random age between 0 and 24.
Below age 25, a kelp may try go grow more kelp above it with the same age value incremented by one.
Kelp will no longer grow at age 25.


Java Edition Classic
May 21, 2009Notch shows interest in adding a "seaweed" block.
November 18, 2017Kelp plants were shown in a clip of MineCon Earth.
Java Edition
1.1318w07a Kelp Top Revision 1.png Added kelp.
18w07bKelp will now behave more like water, meaning mobs can no longer spawn within the plant under water nor can they replenish their breath by swimming through it.
18w10aKelp Top Revision 2.png The top texture for kelp has now been overhauled.
18w14aKelp Top.png The kelp textures have now been shifted slightly downwards.
The generation rules for kelp have now been changed, it will now mainly generate in cold ocean biomes and can no longer generate in warm oceans.
18w20aChanged the "kelp_top" ID to "kelp", and "kelp" to "kelp_plant", for both the block and item forms.
pre2Kelp is now destroyed by sponges.[2]
pre6Added 5 new sound events that apply to kelp: block.wet_grass.break, block.wet_grass.fall, block.wet_grass.hit,, and block.wet_grass.step.
1.1419w03aPlacing kelp into the new composter has a 10% chance of raising the compost level by 1.
19w05aKelp now has a 30% chance of increasing the compost level in a composter by 1.
Bedrock Edition
1.4.0beta Added kelp.
beta The kelp item texture has now been updated to the Java Edition's.
1.5.0beta texture of the top of kelp plant has now been updated.
1.10.0beta can now be bought from wandering traders for 3 emeralds.
1.11.0beta can now be used to fill composters.
Legacy Console Edition
TU691.76Patch 38 Added kelp.


Issues relating to "Kelp" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • In real life, kelp isn't considered a plant, but rather an algae.
  • Minecraft's Kelp appears to be based off of the real-life Giant Kelp, given its size.



  1. "How We Ruin-ed Minecraft" –, March 5, 2018
  2. MC-127111