Why do Air Plants change colors?

Why do Air Plants Change Colors by Handmade Sam*Made.png

If you have seen air plants in shops, displays or even your own, you may notice that some of them sometimes change colors. While they are typically green in coloring, they can occasionally transform and have beautiful multi-colored hues. From bright, vibrant red, to a deep burgundy, violet, or even red. The colors all vary from species to species - to even plant to plant!

Brachycaulos Air Plants by Handmade Sam*Made

In this photo, you can see that while these are all the same plant, they have all developed different coloring. This is the Tillandsia Brachycaulos air plant. Originally found in the dry cloud forests of Mexico, Venezuela and Panama. You can see that while they are all the same species, they vary wildly. From the common bright, vibrant green to red, or even indigo.

And while most air plants will change colors, when they do, and how often they do depends on a few different variables. I initially touched on this subject on my Instagram. Follow me on there for the occasional air plant tip!


While indirect sunlight is the rule of thumb, the gentle sunshine in the morning, is okay for air plants since it is still diffused by the clouds. And that gentle light can encourage color change.

life cycle

Like people, air plants go through life cycles. And most air plants will start to change colors as they prepare to bloom! That means that they are getting ready to produce a flower, which are often times extremely fragrant and sweet.

Here you can see that the vibrant color change was established before this Brachycaulos Air Plant began to flower.

Brachycaulos Air Plants by Handmade Sam*Made
Brachycaulos Air Plants by Handmade Sam*Made

If you are interested in more air plant tips, I will be sharing a few here, as well as on my Instagram. So follow me on bloglovin' to learn more, and to keep up to date with my blog posts!

Air PlantsSamantha Leung