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Kelp Plant.gif




Blast resistance



Any tool




Yes (64)





Data value

dec: 393 hex: 189 bin: 110001001


See § Data values

Jasper Boerstra Twitter 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]

Derived from tests, rough estimates indicate that a group of kelp will increase by 50% every minute it is planted.

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.

There seems to be a random tick timer that assigns a random dice roll to each piece of kelp with the passage of a certain amount of time. Neither the amount of time between rolls or the chances of the rolls have been determined. This means that placing a 20x20 square of kelp (400) down will result in a rough 50% gain over the course of 1 minute, so up to about 600 kelp. Note that this does not mean that half of them 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.

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 very similiar to farming sugar cane, the only difference being that Kelp needs to be placed underwater which makes automation easier because, as of the aquatic update, items float up in water.


Kelp can be bought from wandering traders for 3 emeralds.‌[upcoming: BE 1.10]


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.‌[upcoming: JE 1.14 & BE 1.11.0]

Data values[edit]


Java Edition:

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

Bedrock Edition:

Block Name 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
1.13 18w07a Kelp Top Revision 1.png Added kelp.
18w07b Kelp 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.
18w10a Kelp Top Revision 2.png The top texture for kelp has now been overhauled.
18w14a Kelp 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.
18w20a Changed the "kelp_top" ID to "kelp", and "kelp" to "kelp_plant", for both the block and item forms.
pre2 Kelp is now destroyed by sponges.[2]
pre6 Added 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.
Upcoming Java Edition
1.14 19w03a Placing kelp into the new composter has a 10% chance of raising the compost level by 1.
19w05a Kelp now has a 30% chance of increasing the compost level in a composter by 1.
Bedrock Edition
1.4.0 beta Added kelp.
beta The kelp item texture has now been updated to the Java Edition's.
1.5.0 beta The texture of the top of kelp plant has now been updated.
Upcoming Bedrock Edition
1.10.0 beta Kelp can now be bought from wandering traders for 3 emeralds.
1.11.0 beta Kelp can be used to fill composter.
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