26 Types of Air Plants That Are Most Beautiful | Best Air Plant Varieties

Sherin Woods is a California-based DIY enthusiast and garden design aficionado. With a background in Environmental Science, she combines creativity and sustainability in all her projects. A Pinterest favorite, Sherin is committed to eco-friendly solutions and has contributed to various home and garden publications. Her areas of expertise include DIY project planning, sustainable garden design, and content creation.
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Learn about 26 Types of Air Plant Varieties that are most beautiful & colorful, and surprisingly low maintenance!

You must already be aware that air plants are epiphytes, which means they don’t require soil to grow. If that isn’t enough, the absence of visible roots makes these plants even more interesting! But hang on, before you buy some of them, learn about some of the best Types of Air Plants in this list.

1. Tillandsia ionantha

Commonly known as the sky plant, it’s one of the most popular air plant varieties. It bears bright blooms during the last living days, with glossy greenish-silver foliage enhancing its beauty. Being a bromeliad, it has short stems and does well in a tropical climate.

Popular Ionantha Varieties: Ionantha Fuego, Ionantha Mexican, Ionantha Rubra, Ionantha Guatemala

2. Tillandsia andreana

The thin and delicate leaves of Tillandsia, shoot out from the center, capitulating the eyes because of the overall shape they form. It is native to Columbia, and being a caulescent plant, it doesn’t grow on stems.

3. Tillandsia maxima

Tillandsia maxima is a sun friendly variety as it originates from Mexico. Multiple purple blooms adorn the coral colored foliage and look great in terrariums. It requires filtered sunlight to thrive well and grows to a height of six inches.

Also Read: How Much Sunlight is Required to Grow Air Plants

4. Tillandsia usneoides

This variety is different from other types of air plants, as the leaves cascade in a downward direction rather than upward. Also known as Spanish moss, it spreads a mild fragrance in the surroundings as it blooms. Tillandsia usneoides, Tillandsia ‘Nezley’, and Tillandsia ‘Kimberly’ are some of the varieties to grow as well.

5. Tillandsia cyanea

Pink bracts protruding from the center look just like a feather quill, hence the name Pink Quill Plant. Although it’s an epiphyte, still it does considerably well in soil, unlike other air plants. Provide bright natural light, and it’ll continue to bloom!

6. Tillandsia caput-medusae

The shape of this plant distinctively reminds us of the head of the mythical creature ‘Medusa.’ Don’t be afraid, unlike medusa’s head; snakes don’t grow out from it! Although in summers it does bear attractive red or blue flowers.

7. Tillandsia bulbosa

The bulb-like structure at the base is the reason for its unique name. Bulbosa Belize and Bulbosa Guatemala are the two most interesting types. To grow, mist regularly, keep it in a dry location, and save from the direct, scorching sun.

8. Tillandsia aeranthos

Tillandsia aeranthos is a maintenance-free variety that can brighten up your office table with its pink and blue flowers and spiky leaves. Growing up to nine inches tall, it requires bright, indirect sun to thrive.

9. Tillandsia kolbii

Image Credit: Glass Gardens

It’s a cute little plant and with its straight upright foliage, has a very neat and attractive look. The pink blush before blooming makes it even more stunning. As long as you are protecting it from frost, it’ll continue to thrive.

Tip: Place it amongst colorful pebbles to further enhance its look.

10. Tillandsia stricta

Think of anything, and this air plant can grow on, be it rocks, ceramics, wood, or seashells. It is adaptable to many climatic conditions and grows well in direct (light morning sun) and indirect light, both. Plus, its gorgeous pink flowers are worth the wait!

11. Tillandsia xerographica

As the plant’s leaves grow, they give it an overall spherical look. It looks fabulous when planted in cups or bowls, making it perfect for a coffee table or desk. Gently shake off the excess water after misting or soaking.

Also Read: Plants You Can Grow for Coffee Table

12. Tillandsia brachycaulos

When it’s ready to bloom, the whole plant starts to look like a big red flower. Finally, when it flowers, it’s in a beautiful shade of purple. Keep the plant between 50-90 F (10-32 C) and save it from frost.

13. Tillandsia capitata

The thick and soft leaves of Tillandsia capitata also change color when it’s ready to bloom. The plant prefers slightly humid conditions for optimum growth. As its a drought-tolerant plant, avoid overwatering.

Also Read: How to Water Air Plants

14. Tillandsia seleriana

This sculptural beauty is a must-have plant for home decor. The bulbous base looks like various small bulbs fused together, while the upright growing leaves turn to a beautiful shade of red before blooming.

15. Tillandsia Cotton Candy

26 Types of Air Plants

This hybrid cultivar got its interesting name because of the pink, cotton candy-like flowers. The silvery green leaves change color and recurve elegantly, as the plant matures. Because of its shiny, reflective foliage, it can be safely kept under the direct morning sunlight.

16. Tillandsia cacticola

An air plant variety that doesn’t produce offsets often, but the exotic lavender flowers make up for this! The flower resides on a long stem, growing out from the center, giving it a very appealing look!

17. Tillandsia didisticha

If you are looking for an air plant variety that can grow big, then this one is for you! Growing around a foot tall, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better centerpiece plant than this one! Plus, it bears beautiful flowers.

18. Tillandsia circinata

This unusual sturdy plant brightens up the surrounding with its striking yellow blooms. Mount it on a woodblock or have it in a small vase for an enhanced appearance.

19. Tillandsia tenuifolia

Is pink is your favorite color? Then this cultivar is just for you! Its spikes have one of the most beautiful shades of pink you’ll ever come across. Also, blue to purple flowers contrast well with the spikes.

20. Tillandsia loliacea

This cute little variety of air plant does not grow more than 2-3 inches tall. Yellow flowers on the top are also tiny and adorable. Many gardeners prefer to have multiple loliaceas clustered in open terrariums.

21. Tillandsia funckiana

Tillandsia funckiana will be a unique addition to your air plant collection. It’s known for its foliage that creates a quill-like shape, making it perfect for growing on creative air plant holders. Even the flower appearing at the top is exotic, with a stunning shade of orange.

22. Tillandsia fasciculata

It is commonly known as the giant air plant because of the large size. The straight green leaves grow up to 12 inches long, and on top of them, a tricolored flower bract rises from the center!

23. Tillandsia chiapensis

Tillandsia chiapensis x velutina hybrid

You can have it in both indoor and outdoor spaces. This plant does well in the partial sun because of the abundance of trichomes. Chiapensis’ blushing foliage produces pink flowers on pink spikes.

24. Tillandsia gardneri

Originating from Brazil, Columbia, and Venezuela, gardneri is one of the most low maintenance air plants. It can reach a height of 9-12 inches and blooms in late spring, bestowing with glorious pink flowers.

25. Tillandsia abdita

26 Types of Air Plants
Image Credit: Air Plant Supply Co.

The search for a most colorful variety of air plants ends right here! The symmetrical rosette of leaves with red and green hues and purple blooms is enough to enhance the appeal of any space!

26. Tillandsia Tectorum

Its leaves look like they just had a fresh dab of snowfall. Having fuzzy trichomes, this air plant looks amazing on driftwood. Keep it near a sunlight source, and it will continue to grow for long!

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