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Tillandsia caput-medusae

Common Name: Octopus plant, Medusa’s head

Family: Bromeliaceae

Genus: Tillandsia

Species: T. caput-medusae

Leaf Color: Green leaves with a silvery frosted white texture

Flower Color: Dark red

Height: 5-7″

Width: 3-8″

Lifespan: 2 to 5 years

Watering: Submerge 30 minutes – once a week

Propagation: Seeds and pups

Natural Habitat: Central America, Mexico

Toxicity: Non-toxic

Tillandsia caput-medusae Care:

The Octopus plant gets its common name from its unique leaf shape which resembles an octopus. The Medusa’s head nickname is derived from the Greek mythology character whose hair was turned into snakes.

This Tillandsia air plant variety is one of the most popular because of its interesting leaf shape and texture. The leaves are a frosty green color with a silvery sheen. The flowers are a deep red color and bloom once in their lifetime.

Here are a few additional tips for Tillandsia caput-medusae care:


Submerge the plant in water for 30 minutes once a week. Be sure to shake off any excess water afterwards so that the plant does not sit in water.


Tillandsias do not need soil to grow. In fact, they will rot if planted in soil. Instead, they should be mounted on driftwood, rocks, or hung from a string or wire. Given the small size of this Tillandsia air plant variety, it is perfect for mounting on small pieces of driftwood or rocks.


This Tillandsia air plant variety prefers bright, indirect light. Too much direct sunlight will cause the leaves to scorch.


Tillandsia caput-medusae can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from 50°F to 90°F.


Fertilize your Tillandsia air plant with a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength once a month. Be sure to flush the plant with clean water afterward to remove any fertilizer buildup.

Tillandsia caput-medusae Habitat

Tillandsia caput-medusae is native to Mexico and Central America. It can be found in a variety of habitats, from rainforests to deserts.

Tillandsia caput-medusae Lifespan

This Tillandsia air plant variety has a lifespan of 2 to 5 years.

Propagating Tillandsia caput-medusae

Tillandsia caput-medusae can be propagated by seeds or pups. Pups is an easier method, as seeds can be difficult to germinate.

To propagate by pups, simply remove the pup from the mother plant care for it the same as the mother plant.

Tillandsia caput-medusae Toxicity

This Tillandsia air plant variety is non-toxic and safe for humans, pets, and animals.