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Caput-Medusae Air Plant

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  • Easy Care
  • Light Preference/Tolerated (Bright Indirect Light)
  • Above Average Watering Needs
  • Mature Height 5-6 inches
  • Pet Safe

Caput-Medusae is a unique-looking, flowering air plant and one of the most popular of the genus Tillandsia. They are part of the family of plants known as epiphytes, which anchor themselves to other plants. Their natural habitat is Central America and Mexico where you’ll find them growing on tree branches, rocks, or any surface that isn’t planted in soil. This allows them to get filtered sunlight from the tree canopy while their raised fuzzy hair or scale-like structures on their leaves absorb nutrients, humidity, and organic material from the environment–not from their roots. Caput-Medusae will tolerate a range of conditions and still thrive. 

Best Locations For Growing Caput-Medusae Air Plant

This plant is best grown in a warm location mimicking either a greenhouse environment or its natural tropical habitat. Provide plenty of bright indirect light, high humidity, and temperatures above 60 degrees, ideally between 65 to 86 degrees F to encourage flowering. Your air plant is versatile and can be mounted on a large tree branch, a piece of wood, a rock, or a specialty display. 

Caput-Medusae Air Plant Sunlight Requirements

Caput-Medusae loves bright light. Grow it in plenty of bright ambient sunlight, but avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch the plant's leaves. 

Caput-Medusae Air Plant Care

Air plants love warm, humid environments and appreciate adequate airflow. Moderate to high temperatures help this air plant to flower. Provide a good soaking a few times a month on top of regular misting.  

Watering Caput-Medusae Air Plant

Using rainwater or room-temperature filtered water is ideal. If you only have tap water, set a bowl of tap water out for 24 hours so some of the chlorine and other chemicals can dissipate.  Mist your air plant with a sprayer frequently, sometimes daily during the summer or dry months. Look closely at the leaves: if they have started to shrivel or curl, the plant needs moisture. 

Give your air plant a deep soak about once a week, fully submerging the plant for about 20 minutes. Then very gently shake out the excess water and place your air plant upside down on a towel and allow it to air dry for a few hours before returning to its designated spot. Be careful not to let water collect in the bottom leaves as this may cause rot. If you live in a particularly dry area, a once-a-week deep soaking followed by regular misting will keep your air plant healthy and happy. 

Feeding Caput-Medusae Air Plant

You can add a diluted fertilizer when watering once a month during the spring and summer months. Air plants are sensitive to strong fertilizers, so using a weak fertilizer is best. We recommend a basic bromeliad or orchid fertilizer that promotes bloom.

Caput-Medusae Air Plant Information

Light Exposure: Bright Indirect Light
Care Requirements: Easy
Watering Requirements: Above Average - Water-loving. Mist 3-4 times a week or soak twice a week.
Pet Friendly: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Air Purifier: High
Habit: Upright
Growth Rate: Fast
Mature Height: 5-6 inches
Mature Spread: 5-6 inches
Flowering: Yes
Flower Color(s): Purple, Red
Flower Shade/Description: Violet, Red
Foliage Type:
Foliage Color(s): Green, Silver
Foliage Description: Green, Silver
Temperature: 73° - 82°F (23° - 28°C)
Humidity: High
Common Name: Caput-Medusae Air Plant
Other Name(s): Octopus Plant, Medusa's Head
Scientific Name: Tillandsia caput-medusae
Plant Type: House Plant

Container Sizes

Please Note: The pictures below are to give a general representation of the different container sizes. The actual size/ages of plants are estimates and will vary based on; type of plant, time of year, last pruning & many other factors.

4.5 Pot

4.5" Pot
 Also Known As:
   4.5" Container

 Plant Age:
   ~ 6 months
 Plant Size:
   ~ 3"-6"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.5"H x 3.75"W
   1.42 quarts

Quart Pot

Quart Pot
 Also Known As:

 Plant Age:
   ~ 6 months - 1 year
 Plant Size:
   ~ 4"-8"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.75"H x 4.5"W
   1.50 quarts

2.5 Quart

2.5 Quart
 Also Known As:
   2.5 Quart Pot

 Plant Age:
   ~ 1 - 2 years old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 8"-12"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 6.5"H x 6.5"W
   2.20-2.30 quarts

#1 Pot

#1 Pot
 Also Known As:
   #1 Container
    1 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 1 - 2 years old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 10"-14"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 7"H x 7.75"W
   2.26-3.73 quarts

#2 Pot

#2 Pot
 Also Known As:
   #2 Container
    2 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 1.5 - 3 years old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-18"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 9.5"H x 9.5"W
   1.19-1.76 gallons

#3 Pot

#3 Pot
 Also Known As:
   #3 Container
    3 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 2 - 4 years old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-30"
 Pot Size:
   ~9.5"H x 11"W
   2.32-2.76 gallons

For more detailed information, please click here.

Plant Addicts Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts always guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy & healthy. However, plant(s) are being shipped through the mail & sometimes accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped, just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note, plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly. 

For more information on how to care for your new plants, please click on our guide below.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty, whether you're a new gardener or an expert. There are many variables outside of anyone's control that can cause a plant to die. Hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, diseases & pests are all good examples of what can cause plants to die. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all of the unknowns and will replace your plant if something were to happen to it.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant(s). We will cover 100% of the price of the plant, but the warranty does not cover shipping costs. SImply let us know if your plant has died within 1 year of receiving it and we will get you a new one shipped out as soon as possible (depending on the time of the year and availability). We may ask for photos for documentation purposes, but we try to make the process as easy as possible.

For more information, please click on our page below.

Guarantee and Warranty

Plant Shipping

Below are some factors we consider when determining when to ship the plants depending on the timing of the order.

Winter to Early Spring

We ship only when it's warm enough to plant in your growing zone.
Sometimes plants aren't completely ready to sell and ship in early spring. We will wait until the plants are ready before shipping so you don't get a subpar product.
For Southern plants we will be able to ship much earlier than plants coming from our northern nursery.


If there is extreme heat we may delay shipping for a week or several weeks.
We review what areas the plants are traveling through as well as your location.

Fall into Winter

We’ll ship plants out all the way up to the end of the fall planting season!


Get your order in early to reserve your plants for Spring planting!

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an automated email with tracking information. 

Click here for more detailed shipping information.

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations