Tillandsia Brachycaulos

Hand holding a tillandsia brachycaulos air plant against a white soft background

Air plants add personality to your home and make it livelier. The best part about air plants is that they need little care. These plants thrive by absorbing important nutrients and moisture from the air.

They are ideal to use as home décor.

Tillandsia Brachycaulos is a sub-mesic species of air plant that lives in Central America, Mexico, and Venezuela. The thick and strong leaves of this air plant are lime green in color and form a rosette. This type of air plant prefers moisture and sunlight. When provided proper indirect sunlight, the leaves of this air plant turn crimson even before it blooms.

You can buy a Tillandsia Brachycaulos here.

What is a Tillandsia Brachycaulos?

Tillandsia Brachycaulos is an air plant that is best suitable for warm and humid or warm and dry regions. Its found in lowland and semi-deciduous forests and shrublands. It is also found in humid areas like cloud forests as well as rocky slopes, cliffs, and fields that are 2000 meters above sea level.

It is a medium-sized air plant that grows to a height of 25-30 cm with many green leaves. The color of the leaves changes to red with the right amount of light. The leaves form a rosette by growing outwards, in a circular shape. The bracts of the plant are like the leaves and they are a reddish-orange color.

Scientific Name

This species of Tillandsia was written about by Diederich Franz Leonhard von Schlechtendal in 1845. The scientific name of this air plant is Tillandsia Brachycaulos Schltdl. It is also known by several other names— Tillandsia Cryptantha, Tillandsia Bradeana and Tillandsia Flammea.

Scientific Classification

It is a species of the genus Tillandsia and belongs to the family of Bromeliaceae.


The blooming of the plant starts from the inflorescence that stays in the plant. The inflorescence has very few flowers, usually one or two. The bracts of Tillandsia Brachycaulos are like the leaves of the plant and have a reddish-orange color.

The flowers are light purple or dark purple in color. The streaked bracts are also very smooth in texture. They have 4 cm long, tubular flowers. The flowers do not bloom for long and usually wilt after a few days.


Tillandsia Brachycaulos falls under the 10-11 zone of USDA hardiness. That means it can survive in temperatures as low as 30F to 40F (-1C to 4C).

Tillandsia Brachycaulos Care

Plant care is crucial for the healthy growth of all plants. As this air plant grows in both dry and humid areas, it is easy to care for. Here are the important things to remember for Tillandsia Brachycaulos care:


Watering needs of air plants depends on the climate of the area you keep them in. If your area has high humidity, you are better off with misting. But if the climate is dry and hot, you will need to soak the plant in water for 1-2 hours.

Tillandsia Brachycaulos prefers moisture. If you choose the misting method, mist the plant 3-6 times a week until all the leaves are covered in water completely. This is important so that the trichomes are able to absorb the water.

For mounted air plants, there is a chance that emerging the mount in water will result in fungus growth. In this case, use the dunking method. Dunk the plant 2-4 times a week, leaving the object out of the water for 10-15 minutes.

If you opt for the soaking method, soak the plant in a water bath for 1-2 hours twice a week in summers and once in winters.

After watering the plant, suspend it in the air upside down and shake it to remove the excess water between the leaves. Then dry the plant by placing it on its side on a towel under indirect sunlight. Drying is important because there is a risk of fungus growth otherwise.


Tillandsia Brachycaulos requires a good amount of light. But, avoid placing them under the sun in the afternoon, especially during the summer. You can put the plant near a window or in mid-shade so that it gets enough indirect sunlight. If you live in a colder region, do not place the plant in cold temperature.


Tillandsia Brachycaulos prefers temperatures that range from 10-32 degrees Celsius. This plant prefers a warm environment, but it can withstand temperatures between 30-40F for a few hours if dry.


You should fertilize your Tillandsia Brachycaulos once a month. We recommend medium doses of fertilizer once or twice a month in summer and once a month in winters.

Check out our favorite air plant care tools here.

How to Identify Tillandsia Branchycaulos

It is easy to identify Tillandsia Brachycaulos by looking at its thick, strong, vibrant green leaves that look like the top of a pineapple. The leaves, however, turn red even before the bloom if they are provided sufficient light.

The flowers of this air plant are purple in color and have a tinge of yellow. It can also be identified by its size, which is fairly medium and the leaves grow thickly outward in a non-regular rosette.

How to Mount Tillandsia Brachycaulos

Tillandsia Brachycaulos can be mounted or displayed on a rock, driftwood, or seashells. They can also be displayed in a glass container. Since the plant does not need soil, there are many creative ways to display them. Following are some of the ways to display Tillandsia Brachycaulos:


Terrariums are interesting places to display Tillandsia Brachycaulos. You can add pebbles, seashells, and moss in the terrarium to enhance the look. You can display the terrariums on tabletops or suspend it in the air with a decorative string.


Another type of glass containers used for plant display is aeriums. Aeriums can be a beautiful addition to your living room décor. There are different shapes of aerium available in the market. You can add some accessories like a bed of sand, rocks or moss with your air plant in the aerium.


These plant species are good “rooters” and can attach themselves to mounting objects. You can use a rock, branch, driftwood, seashell or any other display item to glue or wire your plant.

You can use a strong adhesive or wire the plant to the bottom of the mounting object. The object can then be displayed anywhere in your home or office.

Check out our favorite terrariums, aeriums, and displays here.


The fine green color of Tillandsia Brachycaulos leaves suggests it needs continuous shade. But, it can withstand a variety of conditions. The plant also prefers moisture, so drenching it every other day can help it thrive.

If you have more questions, you can read our favorite air plant books here.

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