Air plants for beginners are a favorite among many gardeners and plant collectors. They are pretty hardy and forgiving for beginners learning to care for plants.

13 Air Plants for Beginners The Best Low Maintenance Plants

There are over 500 varieties of plants growing, so you will have more than enough options to grow.

We have prepared a comprehensive beginner’s guide below that gives all plant lovers a list to try their hand at, keep reading and discover more.  

List of Air Plants for Beginners 

Air plants are known by the general term Tillandsia, which you will notice in this entire list. These indoor plants are epiphytic, meaning they absorb water and nutrients using their leaves instead of their roots.

1. Tillandsia Xerographica

Xerographica is a native to Guatemala, Southern Mexico, and El Salvador. 

– Features

It is a stunning spherical shape, broad at the base and taper at the top. It has pale silver spiral leaves that grow from the center and curl around the plant, creating a beautiful form. 

This plant has tubular red or purple flowers that bloom for a long time. It is known for its curly leaves.

Tillandsia Xerographica

It is key to know that the less you give it water, the more it makes the leaves curl tighter, while frequent watering loosens the leaves.

– Growing Conditions 

It is a slow-growing plant that thrives in average temperatures ranging from 22 degrees to 28 degrees Centigrade. Not only that, but it prefers full sunlight and for about six hours daily. Furthermore, this plant requires less frequent watering and likes to be misted or soaked in water. 

2. Tillandsia Harrisii

The Harrisii airplant is native to Guatemala and belongs to the xeric group, and these air plants live and grow in the warmest parts of the world. 

– Features

It has soft, silver-grey leaves with many trichomes on its stem growing in a rosette shape. The flowers produce a stunning red bloom that opens into purple flowers when they are at least a year or two old, hence, you can place them in an air plant terrarium and they would thrive perfectly.

Tillandsia Harrisii

– Growing Requirements

This plant tolerates dry conditions and does not need frequent watering, which is perfect for beginners who might forget to water their plants often. If you notice the leaves looking fuzzy and dry, it’s time to water the plant. This plant grows slowly, reaching up to eight inches tall. 

Place this plant on a windowsill where it gets bright and unfiltered light all day, especially in the morning, and afternoon. On the other hand, during winter season, you may use artificial lights like LED light to keep it growing.

3. Tillandsia Tenuifolia

Originally, Tenuifolia hails from the Caribbean and Argentina. It is commonly known as a narrow-leaf air plant. 

– Features of the Leaves

This genus looks similar to the tiny spiky evergreen bush. It has stiff but beautiful green leaves growing in a natural curve.

Tillandsia Tenuifolia

Depending on the amount of light this plant receives, the leaves could be bright green if receiving high light or dark green if receiving little light. The leaves will blush a deep violet as the plant blooms, eventually producing a gorgeous, almost neon-pink flower. 

– Growing conditions 

This plant thrives under full light. It produces offsets quickly, forming into beautiful plant clumps over time. Nonetheless, it attracts butterflies, bees, and even birds for pollination if grown outdoors, and these plants live happily when they get pollinators.

4. Tillandsia Caput Medusae

The Caput Medusae is a bulbous plant native to Mexico and Central America. 

– Characteristics

It has snake-shaped, silvery green leaves with hues of purple at the base, extending to the leaves. Some air plant varieties have green leaves, while others have a more frosted white appearance due to the richness of trichomes.

– Growing Conditions

This plant thrives under plenty of light, enabling it to develop purple coloration on its leaves. However, it is also very common to find them growing on tree branches where they can receive direct sunlight.

Tillandsia Caput Medusae

which means if you are wondering where to put air plants, you can easily place it where it will receive unfiltered morning and afternoon sun, under direct sun. It requires less frequent watering, which is ideal for beginners not used to tending plants.

However, you must know that it prefers growing in dry conditions. When watering air plants, do not soak them; mist them at least three times a week in summer, once in winter, and twice in spring and fall. Shake off excess water to prevent its roots from rotting.

5. Tillandsia Tectorum 

The Tectorum is native to Peru and Ecuador, where it grows in large populations. This is one of the most popular plants for beginners. 

– Features

This plant has many trichomes for water absorption, making it highly tolerant to drought. It blooms at a mature size of three to four inches tall and wide. The flowers are pink with tiny violet bracts. It is an adorable slow, growing plant with whitish fuzzy leaves.

Tillandsia Tectorum

– Growing Requirements

This plant thrives in a dry climate, and you will see it growing alongside cacti and in full sun or unfiltered light. It has adapted with large trichomes that reflect the intense solar radiation. 

If you have doubts about how to water air plants, this notion is quite simple, you must water them by misting them at least three to five times a week when it’s hot. In the spring, fall and winter, cut back misting, only spraying twice a week.

6. Tillandsia Ionantha

The beautiful ionatha is native to South and Central America, growing on trees and using its small roots to anchor itself, which is why if you find one growing in nature, you can have your own free air plants.

It is popular due to its vibrant colors and small to medium size. It has fuzzy leaves that develop a reddish hue. 

Tillandsia Ionantha

– Growing and Care Guide 

How to take care of air plants is not challenging, which is why the Ionatha thrives under filtered or indirect light, so you can place it near a window but make sure you provide proper ventilation. It is one of the most common plants for people with busy lifestyles and beginners, because the care guide is quite simple.  

In addition, you can even provide good misting habit instead of deep watering and shake off excess water. Remember that during summer, mist it two to four times a week; during colder periods, it only occurs once or twice a week. 

7. Tillandsia Stricta

The Stricta is native to Brazil, Trinidad, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, Northern Argentina, and Guyana. 

– Physical Attribute

It has densely packed leaves ranging from hard and stiff to soft with a silver and light green color. One type of this plant has an almost black coloring, known as the stricta midnight. 

This plant matures in the summer producing a beautiful white bloom spike displaying blue, yellow, and purple flowers. These flowers only last a day, but the colorful leaves remain beautiful for nearly three months. It also produces one to three-inch pups that can be removed or left in place to form a clump over time.  

Tillandsia Stricta

– Growing Conditions

These plants grow on dunes and trees and can survive in different climates. You must water these plants at least two to even three times a week in the summer or once a week in winter. 

Remember that the Stricta loves to have perfect airflow, so ensure it dries before the next watering. Provide it with bright indirect light and keep it indoors when the weather gets cold, as it does not tolerate low temperatures. On the other hand, during winter, you can invest and use fluorescent lights to keep it growing, and it will do just fine.

8. Tillandsia Fuchsii

The amazing Fuchsii is native to Guatemala and Mexico. 

– Features

It grows in a symmetrical pattern forming a perfect sphere. It has silvery or gray to light green narrow leaves and many trichomes to withstand hot climates.

– Growing Conditions

Provide this plant with sufficient water, at least a bowl of water every hour for seven to ten days. This will allow it to absorb enough water fully. Do not water by misting; although you can do so from time to time, the best method is to allow it to soak until it gets enough. 

Tillandsia Fuchsii

Dried or brown leaf tips indicate the urgent need to water these house plants. Water it several times a week in summer and mist heavily in winter at least twice a week. Be sure to provide enough airflow. 

Grow this plant in bright filtered light, however at ever cost, remember to avoid direct sun as it dries up the leaves quickly. Remember that this is an indoor air plant that loves to shelter from low temperatures. 

9. Tillandsia Streptophylla

Also known as Shirley Temple, streptophylla is native to Mexico, West Indies, and Central America.

– Characteristics

It has curling leaves that make it stand out among many air plants. When the conditions get too dry, the plant becomes curlier, with the leaves curling into tight ringlets. However, when adequately hydrated, the leaves will get straighten up.

Tillandsia Streptophylla

– Growing Conditions

This plant thrives in low-humidity areas as it carries plenty of trichomes. It needs at least two hours of direct sunlight daily and develops a pinkish tint when exposed to too much light. 

Water them by misting them instead of soaking them to prevent them from root rot. Mist it three to four times a week during summer or twice a week in winter. Provide it with lots of bright indirect light or at least two hours of direct sunlight daily.  

10. Tillandsia Aeranthos

The Aeranthos is a hardy plant, and best for beginners and experts at the same time. 

– Features

It has a set of striking, healthy green leaves that are stiff and sharp to the touch. The stiff green stems grow upwards, maturing by producing purple and pink flowers. 

– Growing Conditions 

This plant requires less water; you can soak it for at least 15 minutes once a week during summer and once a week in winter.

Tillandsia Aeranthos

However, misting the plant is also preferred and enough to provide adequate watering. Aeronthos do not like being wet or being soaked up with water, hence you must make sure that you do not overwater and on the contrary, dry it appropriately. 

Remember to provide this air plant with bright filtered light. You can even place it indoors during hot summers or winters, although it withstands freezing, so you can leave it outdoors. 

11. Tillandsia Capitata

Capitata is a native of Cuba, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Honduras. You can find it commonly growing in deciduous and evergreen forests. It grows on trees, canyons, and cliff faces along the riverbanks. 

– Maturating Property

It grows larger than many plants, with light green leaves in a rosette shape. Not only that, but it has plenty of trichomes that give it a velvety appearance.

Tillandsia Capitata

Capitata has greenish-yellow inflorescence, which would be opening to purple blooms afterward.

– Growing Conditions

You can grow air plants as they would thrive in plenty of water. During summer, soak it in water for about 15 minutes a couple of times a week, and mist heavily at least twice a week in the winter, basically it has an easy care guide which is why it is popular.

12. Tillandsia Butzii 

The butzil is native to Central America, growing mainly in the areas of Panama and Southern Mexico. 

– Features

It is a quirky plant with wispy tentacle-like leaves that look more like something you find in the ocean than a tree. Its leaves curl a little, and the flowers bloom to pink color. This plant reaches up to 10 inches tall and produces impressive red blooms. It has a bulbous base with some thin wavy lines.

Tillandsia Butzii

– Growing Conditions 

This plant loves good watering, so give it a good soaking for about 20 minutes every two to even three times a week in summer on the other hand, once a week in winter. During winter, you can also mist it once a week instead. Ensure that it dries in between the waterings to avoid root rot.

This plant grows faster than other plants producing beautiful red flowers. They have pups that can grow into a beautiful clamp if you don’t separate them. Provide it with bright filtered light.

13. Tillandsia Usneoides

Spanish moss is native to Mexico, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Central America, South America, and West Indies. You can also find some on the rocks, deserts, cliffs, and cacti.  

– Placement

It is a delicate trailing plant that you can creatively hang where you want, which is why they are great for plant terrarium.

Tillandsia Usneoides

This air plant care is easy for any beginner plant lover. It has slender stems and curved or curly and heavily scaled leaves. This plant has no roots but has green, gray, or yellow tiny flowers.  

– Growing

This plant thrives commonly in humid rainforest climates, growing on trees, which means proper misting must be given to it in order to keep the humidity of its preference.

In addition, it requires indirect light, so keep it away from direct sunlight. Provide it with regular watering to grow to about 25 feet tall, and they will be the best house plant. 


Air plants for beginners present an excellent opportunity for everyone to have a low-maintenance plant in their home.

Here are a few pointers to remember from the article above.  

  • You can grow Tillandsia Harrisii, Tillandsia Butzii, Tillandsia Fuchsii, or Tillandsia Aeranthos, and they will still tick your list for the best air plants.
  • All the above listed plants are quite easy to be cared for; they are the best if you are a plant lover with limited time.  
  • Air plants will give you that magnificent bloom as a sign that it’s all grown and matured; what a beautiful way to reward you!
  • To grow air plants and their varieties, you do not need soil or the typical plant fertilizer, but water, light, and the proper temperatures. 
  • Flowering in these plants signifies they are getting what they require. Snip off that flower to allow more growth and more blooms.

At the end of the day, we all would like to have flourishing houseplants without much care. After discovering all these plants and the plant care for beginners, when are you going to buy air plants and begin your journey?  

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