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Home » Medusa’s Head Plant

Medusa’s Head Plant

by Elyssa Goins
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

The Tillandsia Caput Medusae has been added to the unusual plant section for it’s obvious bizarre look.

Also known as the Medusa’s head plant for it’s similarities (erratic snake hair with the plants foliage) with the Greek mythological character Medusa.


This species is a flowering air plant from the bromeliads family and is one of the most popular of the Tillandsia genus.

The Caput Medusae is a very strange looking specimen that is unlike many indoor plants in looks and how it’s grown.

In their natural habitat they grow on trees (epiphyte) with a very small amount of roots, which help the plant to become established rather than feed or absorb water.

While most plants absorb nutrients and water from roots these take the majority of them from the air (which is why they are named air plants) through the leaves. Scales (trichomes) on the leaves absorb water from humid air and air-borne nutrients.

Growing indoors, displaying and care level: Grown indoors these are a great addition to a greenhouse or conservatory, which has plenty of bright light and high humidity (to provide an environment similar to the plants natural tropical rain forest habitat).

The C. medusae needs to be mounted on wood (large branch), rock, cork, within a plant holder or something similar – placed horizontal, upside down or upright.

They can literally be hanged anywhere from anything if they have the right light and temperature conditions.

If this plant has the correct condition’s and care given, it’s easy to grow and it’s also cheap to purchase.


Origin:Central America, Mexico.
Names:Medusa Plant (common). — Tillandsia Caput Medusae (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx):Height 6in (15cm).
Poisonous for pets:Not known..

Medusa Plant Care

Temperature:Average to high temperatures help the Caput Medusae to flower, from 65° – 86°F (18°- 30 °C). Keep the minimum no lower than 55°F (°12C) indoors or outside.
Light:Bright conditions with shade is ideal. Some direct sunlight seems to be fine, but not all day and scorching hot. Some morning or evening sun, with shade at other times is great.
Watering:Water by misting with a sprayer frequently during the summer, but do not allow the bulbous to get very wet and remain that way, otherwise this may cause the base to rot. Allow the plant to dry out then give it a good misting again, which could be once a day depending on the climate and weather conditions you have. Winter much less. You can also give the plant a good soak with a watering can once a month, without allowing the bulbous to become waterlogged, using distilled or filtered tepid water.
Fertilizer:While misting the Medusa’s head plant you can add a weak diluted fertilizer from spring – summer, twice a month.
Humidity:Because the caput is an air-plant it likes quite humid conditions. It does not like dry artificial heat, so if you bump up your heating during the winter remember to provide your plant with enough air and water spray.
Propagation:Propagate by removing offsets (pups) and provide the plant with it’s own mount, whatever time of year .

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