Medusa Air Plant

Not the Greek mythical creature, but just as magical, the medusa plant grows in air!! No soil, give it a light spritz just once or twice a week, place somewhere lightly shaded, and voila — the medusa plant is happy! Perfect for newbie plant parents and busy yuppies.

The scientific name for it is Tillandsia caput-medusae, named after medusa because of its green curly tendrils closely resembling her snake hair.

As you can see in the photo, my medusa air plant is 10 inches tall with pink center leaves. When it blooms in the summer, dainty purple flowers sprout from within those pink leaves. Vibrant and such a joy to take care of, the medusa plant is very low maintenance.

Medusa Plant Care Guide

If you’re interested in adopting one yourself, here is a basic care guide and profile for the unusual medusa plant:

Plant Type:Epiphyte (air plant).
Height:Small (it grows to about 6-15 inches tall).
Water:Spritz/spray the bulbous roots once to thrice a week.
Sun:Light Shade (indoors/outdoors; avoid 24/7 direct sunlight).
Temperature:18-30 °C

Here are some terrific ways to display this beautiful air plant:

  • Stand in an elegant, breathable vase so that the plant gets lots of air;
  • Mount horizontally or vertically on dry wood, rock, or other similar bases that do not retain moisture, as fungal growth can damage the plant;
  • Terrarium: You can also use open or closed glass containers to display the medusa plant, just make sure that the terrarium is well-aerated if closed;
  • Aerarium: This is similar to terrariums. It uses glass containers with holes for air to get in and is usually hung from the ceiling or wall with a string.

You can make your terrarium/aerarium to look like mini-forest displays with small brown/black stones as a base, or perhaps use white pebbles and hang the glass container up with brown string to give it a beach-feel.

If you like plants and you are a foodie too, check out my other article on the Watery Rose Apple or Tambis!

How you choose to care and dress-up your plant baby is totally up to you. Do you have plant babies of your own? Do comment below and let’s encourage each other to be more drawn to the environment in our own little way.


Air Plant Forest. (2019, November 11). Tillandsia Caput Medusae. Retrieved July 2, 2020

Farid, A. (n.d.). University of South Florida (USF) Herbarium. Retrieved July 1, 2020

Written by

May Gordoncillo

May is a soul-searching freelance writer/editor who earned her BS and MA degrees in communication from the University of the Philippines. She unleashes her creative prowess in her blog, Luscious Mind.