Best Air Plants to Grow for Beginners at Home – Garden Tips 2024

Save for later!

Air plants are just plain cool. They don’t need soil and you can place them anywhere in your home, even hanging from your ceiling. If you’re a beginner when it comes to plants, here are some amazing air plants to try.

The best air plants to grow for beginners at home: When selecting an air plant for the first time, it’s best if the plant is drought-tolerant, in case you forget to water or mist it. Plants that are smaller may also be good choices as they don’t take up much space. It’s also nice if you can find plants that group together well for a more pleasing look.  

Are air plants good for beginners?

Air plants are great for beginners. They don’t need soil, which means you don’t have to worry about containers or mess when you repot them.

Furthermore, it can be fun to have air plants as you can find interesting homes for them, such as in shells and even in crocheted holders.

The only thing you need to remember about air plants is watering them. Most air plants will benefit from being submerged in water for 10 minutes each week. Then, between these dunkings, regular misting will help mimic their natural tropical locations.

Is it easy to grow air plants?

As air plants don’t require soil, this reduces their needs, which makes them easier to grow. There are two remaining factors to help air plants grow: light and water.

You will need to know what sort of light your air plant requires before you purchase it. While some prefer full sunlight, others like indirect light.

Large, bright rooms are best for air plants. If you can, give them access to direct light in the morning but indirect sunlight in the afternoon as it can be too hot for them.

As for water, most air plants should be placed in a dish of water once a week. Keep them there for about 10 minutes and then allow the plants to dry completely so there’s no risk of rot.

During the week, you can mist your air plants daily. These plants are native to tropical locations, so misting will help create the humid atmosphere they are used to.

15 Best Air Plants for Beginners

Tillandsia caput-medusae

With long tentacles that resemble an octopus, this air plant is named after the famed Medusa, who in Greek mythology had a nest of snakes in her hair. If you’re a fan of mythology or just like the look of this plant, it’s a great option for beginners.   

The leaves on this variety have a fuzzy texture to them and there is a silvery coating along the tops. You can leave this air plant in full sun and don’t have to worry about watering it as much as you would with other varieties.

Tillandsia seleriana

Also known as Rhino’s horn, this air plant has a large base and narrow leaves, so it looks similar to a horn. The foliage is green with a powdery layer on top of it for a nice contrast.

While it doesn’t flower often, when it does, this air plant has pink and purple flowers that provide a burst of color to the plant.

Tillandsia harrisii

Interestingly, this air plant variety is named after Bill Harris, who was an avid plant collector. It is perfect for beginners as it can withstand dry conditions and even rooms with low humidity.

The air plant has light green tendrils that are narrow in size, with a fine powdering coating. Simply place the plant in an area with plenty of light and ensure there is good airflow around the roots.

Tillandsia stricta

Another option that has long, thin foliage, this is a great air plant that will provide some character. Its leaves have a silvery green tinge to them.

Although the light purple flowers only last for a day, part of the plant will remain pink for longer, so you get a bit of color.

Tillandsia flabellata

Those that want a more colorful air plant option will love this variety. The foliage is nice and thick and the colors range from green to red. When it does bloom, you can expect orange and red pops of color.

This variety does better in a bit of soil, such as an orchid mix, so be aware of this before purchase. It grows quite large and prefers indirect sunlight.  

Tillandsia streptophylla

This air plant has a unique appearance that will make it stand out in any room. It has twisted, curling leaves and is also known as the Shirley Temple plant, as it slightly resembles the curly-haired film star.

The base is wide and the middle has a vibrant shade of pink when in bloom. This variety is easy to care for. It will remain healthy, even if you forget to water it, and the leaves will actually curl tighter after long periods of dryness.

Tillandsia aeranthos

A smaller variety the spikey foliage of this air plant lends itself well to many places in your home. When it blooms, it produces gorgeous, delicate purple flowers.

Grouping this variety together with other plants will make for a dramatic effect as its natural habitat includes colonies of the plant.

Tillandsia xerographica

The best place for this air plant is on a table so you can see it in all its glory. It is a large variety and can grow to be 3 feet wide, which is very impressive.

The light green foliage has a powdery white texture and the tendrils curl downward, so you can really experiment with the right container for it. Direct sunlight that doesn’t get too hot is perfect for this air plant.

Tillandsia fuchsii

This variety is also known as a pincushion air plant as its short spikes resemble a porcupine. It will add a lot of creativity to a room.

Along the foliage are many fuzzy hairs which means it can go longer between watering. It is small in size, you can easily group multiple plants together.

Tillandsia usneoides

This is a unique-looking variety that still falls under the category of an air plant. It is best when hung up as the tendrils drape down to the ground and if you have a few of them grouped together, the sight will be even more dramatic.

You may come across this variety of air plants under different names, such as Spanish Moss and Grey Beard. It enjoys a light misting over its tendrils to keep it healthy.

Tillandsia capitata

Unlike many air plants, this variety provides a bit of color as the foliage ranges from red to silver-green. It will add a bit of life to any room.

You can place this variety in a bright room with direct sunlight and is perfect for plant lovers that are busy and may forget to water.

Tillandsia tectorum

The thin and long foliage of this variety makes it quite attractive. The bright green color will instantly enliven any location.

You can place this variety in full sun and only need a light misting. In fact, unlike other varieties of air plants that should be dunked in water, this one doesn’t need to, which makes it even better for beginners.

Tillandsia ionantha

Thanks to their small size, this variety is perfect for beginners as you can mix and match them and not worry about them taking over your space. The leaves are nice and fuzzy and sometimes will change from a green to a red color.

Place these air plants in indirect light and in an area that has plenty of ventilation. If need be, you can avoid the water dunking part and stick to just musting them.

Tillandsia butzii

This may look like a bit of a mess but is perfect for plant lovers that want a unique focal point in their room. The plant has a bulbous center with long, thin tendrils that emerge.

The variety can grow to be quite large and is best if it is hung from the ceiling so its foliage can be on full display. When it blooms, expect light purple flowers.

Tillandsia filifolia

The origin of this air plant’s name becomes evident the more you look at it. The name comes from the Latin word filum, which translates to thin, thread-like projections.

This variety has hundreds of very thin tendrils that grow from the thick base. It is perfect for a wall so you can see the green leaves in all their glory.

How do you start growing air plants?

Air plants are becoming increasingly popular so it is easy to find them. Most local gardening centers will have some although it might not be a large selection.

If there are specific types of air plants that you want, you can order them online. As they don’t require soil, it is easier to ship them.


There are many varieties of air plants so you can find a selection that appeals to your tastes. They range in size and color so don’t be afraid to experiment with different groupings and placements.

Related Articles:

Save for later!

Leave a Comment