Tillandsia Stricta Air Plant with Pink and White Bloom Bud

Top 10 Most Popular Air Plants

1 comment by Jamie Beck

Air plants have become very popular over the last few years, and we can see why, they are versatile, don't require soil, and are easy to care for. Today we are going to talk about some of the most popular varieties of air plants. These top 10 are some of the most purchased air plants and seem to be the top favorites of both experienced collectors and newcomers to the world of air plants. To learn more about each specific species, we have included a link to their corresponding Tillandsia Spotlight Blog Posts. 


1. Xerographica 

This slow growing large plant is a crowd favorite that grows naturally in Guatemala, Mexico, and El Salvador. This stately and large plant is characterized by its full and striking spherical shape and can withstand more sun and less water than most air plants. Learn more about the xerographica air plant in our Tillandsia spotlight: The Great Xerographica Air Plant 

Tillandsia xerographica air plants

The queen of air plants, the Tillandsia xerographica


2. Ionantha

One of the most popular air plants for terrarium design, the T. ionantha is a hearty variety sought after for its unique spiky shape and variation in size. There are multiple varieties of the T. ionantha including the T. ionantha guatemala, T. ionantha rubra, T. ionantha mexican, T. ionantha vanhynigii, T. ionantha fuego, and many others. Learn more about this beginner-friendly air plants in our Tillandsia Spotlight: Ionantha Air Plant Variety and Common Tillandsia Ionantha Forms blog posts. 


Tillandsia ionantha air plant variety

3. Stricta

The Tillandsia stricta is a variety that can be found growing naturally in various climates and environments which makes it a very easy plant to care for and perfect for beginners. Characterized by bright green leaves, these plants bloom stunning pink blooms. Learn more about the T. stricta variety in our Tillandsia Spotlight: The Stricta Air Plant.


Tillandsia stricta air plant

Tillandsia stricta hybrid in bloom


4. Brachycaulos

The Tillandsia brachycaulos is one of the most common air plants and readily hybridizes with other varieties. It is found in numerous climates and is very adaptable to different conditions which makes it a perfect beginner air plant. Take an in-depth look at the T. brachycaulos air plant and learn about its hybrids in our Tillandsia Spotlight: Brachycaulos Air Plant blog post. 


Tillandsia brachycaulos abdita air plant

Tillandsia brachycaulos abdita air plant 


5. Aeranthos

Another beginner-friendly air plant is the Tillandsia aeranthos. This stunning air plant originates from Southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paruguay, and Argentina. It blooms stunning pink blooms, and readily forms pups. Learn more about the T. aeranthos in our Tillandsia Spotlight: Aeranthos Air Plant blog post! 


Tillandsia aeranthos air plant

6. Capitata

Coveted by collectors, the T. capitata is a soft leaved variety that can grow to be quite large over time. This is another plant that has numerous beautiful hybrids and can grow both in trees and on rocks in the wild. Learn more about the Tillandsia capitata in our Tillandsia Spotlight Capitata Air Plant blog post. 


Tillandsia capitata peach air plant in bloom

7. Bulbosa ( Guatemala + Belize)

With their tentacle-like leaves and bulbous bases, the T. bulbosa variety of air plants are unique and make a statement wherever they are displayed. The smaller of the bulbosa varieties is the T. bulbosa guatemala, which is the perfect size for terrariums. The larger variety with darker green leaves are the T. bulbosa belize. Learn more about where these unique plants are native to, and care tips in our Tillandsia Spotlight: Bulbosa Air Plants blog post. 

Tillandsia bulbosa air plants 8. Caput Medusae

This fuzzy sea creature-esque air plant has an abundance of trichomes and is native to Central America and Mexico. These can handle more sunlight and less water than most air plants due to their trichomes. These neat air plants get their name from Greek mythology's Medusa. Take an in depth look at the T. caput medusae in our Tillandsia Spotlight Caput Medusae Air Plant blog post! 


Tillandsia caput medusae air plant


9. Streptophylla 

The Tillandsia streptophylla is known as Shirley Temple for its curly mane of leaves. The name "streptophylla" means "with twisted leaves," and this unique and curly species is considered to be a xeric Tillandsia, meaning it thrives in drier conditions. When the leaves are more dehydrated, they curl up into tight ringlets. This beauty grows a gorgeous, pink inflorescence that is frosted with trichomes. Learn more about this interesting hybrid in our Tillandsia Spotlight: Streptophylla Air Plant blog. 


tillandsia streptophylla air plant


10. Tectorum Ecuador 

One of our favorite air plants is the fuzzy snowball shaped Tillandsia tectorum Ecuador. These rare little plants are native to the high mountains in the Andes of Ecuador and coastal deserts of Peru. They get all the moisture that they need in these dry climates by absorbing moisture from the air with their fuzzy trichomes. Learn more about these little fuzzy air plants in our Tillandsia Spotlight: Tectorum Air Plants blog post. 

Tillandsia tectorum ecuador air plant