When it comes to spicing up your own little corner of Nature, it’s not just about the color. Plants that look like hair, for instance, can add some serious spice to your living displays and even a bit of an artsy flair if you play with the idea a little.
It’s amazing how many plants in the world resemble human hair in texture and appearance. From long and flowing to curly and fluffy, these plants can add a unique touch to any garden or indoor space. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 plants that look like hair and give you some ideas on how to incorporate them into your own plant collection.
Plants That Look Like Hair
Plants that look like hair, such as the Bonnie Variegated Spider plant, Old man cactus, and Creeping Bentgrass all have their own unique kind of flair and you can even put them in mannikin or ‘head pots’ to make some artistic statements as well. It’s an exercise in creativity that is extremely beautiful and fulfilling.
Today we’re going to talk about 10 plants that look like hair, so that you can get a taste of their own distinctive styles and get your creative juices flowing for creating your own displays at home. Let’s take a look at your options and see if you agree with us – these plants bring some serious ‘game’ to the table!
1. Air plants – Tillandsia species
Air plants come in an amazing variety of colors and many of them also just happen to look like patches (or swathes) of beautiful hair. If you have never raised air plants before, then you’ll be happy to know that they are very low maintenance.
These plants require no soil and depending on the one that you choose, should only require soaking in water once a week or even every 2 weeks. Beyond that, a few hours of bright, indirect sunlight is best and your Air plants will be sure to grow strong and impress you and your friends.
2. Low Bulrush – Scirpus cernuus
Low Bulrush has quite an interesting look to it, leading to fun possibilities such as a ‘weeping woman’ or even a ‘wild child of Nature’ if you are dabbling with head pots and want to have a little fun.
They also look amazing in hangars, just keep in mind that they will need bright, indirect (or even direct) sunlight and a lot of water. When you see how nice they look, it’s definitely well worth a little extra time to cultivate these beauties!
3. Mistletoe Cactus – Rhipsalis baccifera
Mistletoe Cactus looks stunning in a hanging pot, growing downward in such a fashion as to look like wild, curved, and tangled locks of lovely green hair. Along with these stellar good looks, it’s also very easy to take care of.
Mistletoe cactus will work well in high and low indirect sunlight environments and you only need to water it when the top 2 inches of soil are dry. It’s a whole lot of return for very little investment, indeed!
4. Variegated Spider plant ‘Bonnie’ – Chlorophytum comosum ‘Bonnie’
A variegated Spider plant variety known as ‘Bonnie’ is both colorful and definitely hair-like. Rather than thin strands, however, you get wider leaves, which are bicolored in that the leaves themselves are a light to medium green, with a lovely white stripe up the center of each.
For sunlight, it needs bright, indirect sunlight for as many as 6 hours a day, or 2 to hours of direct sunlight. After that, just water it whenever the top 50% of the soil is dry and your plant will be happy and healthy.
5. Zanzibar Croton – Codiaeum variegatum ‘Zanzibar’
Zanzibar Croton really raises the ‘hair’ game with its addition of colors. These plants can grow up to 3 or 4 feet and will produce their leafy ‘hair’ in reds, purples, yellows, and greens!
Needless to say, the size of these plants makes them centerpiece worthy and you’ll find the aesthetics pleasing every time that you see your plant.
For Zanzibar Crotons, 3 hours of direct sunlight every day are best, plus you’ll want to water your plant when the top 2 – 4 inches of topsoil have become dry.
6. Screw Pine – Pandanus variegated
The Screw Pine is another lovely hair-plant option that has a bit wilder of a look to it. Rather like a pineapple top, the Screw Pine grows up and out, producing thin and hair-like leaves that are an emerald green with white stripes down the center of each leaf.
We should note that these plants are tropical, so you’ll need to cultivate a little humidity via a humidifier or possibly a humidity tray. As far as sunlight, a few hours of direct sunlight during the day is best.
Watering isn’t actually bad at all, just be sure to water regularly with time allowed for the soil to dry out in-between waterings.
7. Ponytail Palm – Beaucarnea recurvata
Ponytail palms are a lovely addition to your home, though you’ll need to prune them from time to time as these Mexico natives can get as tall as 20 feet when they are outside.
While it won’t get that tall indoors, it will certainly delight with its display of long, dark-green ‘locks’ of leafy-hair that grows upward and thins out towards the tips.
As far as its needs go, Ponytail Palms should get 8 hours of bright, indirect sunlight if possible, and watering should be done when the top 2 to inches of soil are dry.
8. Old Man Cactus- Cephalocereus senilis
Old Man’s beard is an air plant and while we’ve listed the species itself, this one definitely deserves its own little section. That’s because this low=maintenance plant produces a very impressive display that looks like aged, whitened locks of an Old Man’s hair!
If you are looking to use a head pot, then this is an instant ‘wise old man’ that you can hide in a display for a little character and it’s sure to turn a few heads. As far as care, this plant needs 6 hours of direct or as close to hours of indirect sunlight as it can get.
For it’s water, you’ll want to experiment a bit, but it generally comes down to .8 cups of water once every 12 days.
9. Climbing Onion – Bowiea volubilis
Climbing onion is good looking and a whole lot of fun. This succulent will grow thin, wavy strands of dark green hair and occasionally bring some yellow or green blooms to the table from time to time.
Just be sure to take advantage of the ‘climbing’ aspects by creating a framework and then you’ll have a lot of control on the end growth (and you can do a lot of neat things with this strategy!). Full sunlight is best, with some partial shade during the day.
For watering basics, Climbing onion likes a lot of moisture, so you’ll want to take that into account, and beyond this you should water it moderately, allowing for the soil to fully dry out between waterings.
10. Creeping Bentgrass – Agrostis stolonifera
Creeping Bentgrass is another favorite for hanging displays that employs long grasslike-blades that look rather like unkempt, flowing green hair. While generally an outside plant, you can certainly grow it indoors, but you’ll want to put it in a place where it can get bright, direct sunlight.
Keep it moist and also frequently watered (as this plant is a little on the thirsty side) and make sure that the top 2 inches of soil are fully dried between waterings.
Some final words on plants that look like hair
As you can see, each of these examples of Nature’s wonder can really make an impact in your home garden displays.
With a little preparation and creativity, you can easily make anthropomorphic plant displays to populate your collection with ‘plant people’ or create hanging arrangements that will lengthen and grow in interesting, aesthetically pleasing ways.
Now that you have 10 plants that look like hair to work with, the rest is going to be up to you and frankly, we can’t wait to see the results!
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I use instead of plant pots for plants that look like hair?
While hanging pots and even standard pot varieties will work, it’s definitely a lot of fun to play with the ‘hair-like’ forms of these plants, so we recommend thinking outside of the box a little.
Head pots are certainly available, and if you dabble in pottery a bit yourself then you can certainly make some interesting displays. Mannikin parts are also a lot of fun and easy to modify, and you can usually get them quite inexpensively with a little hunting on eBay or Amazon in a matter of minutes.
The end results of creative endeavors like this can be interesting, even provocative, and above all they are extremely fulfilling – so give it a try and see for yourself what amazing living displays your mind can create!
How do I prepare head pots?
Preparing head pots isn’t always necessary, but it’s definitely fun. Stone spray paints, for instance, are available at most local hardware stores and online and can give your head pot the look of beautiful, aged stone. Just be sure to add a few rocks and perlite for proper weight and filtration in your new head pot!
What plant looks the most like curly hair?
If you really want an amazing ‘curly hair’ plant, then go with our first recommendation of air plants – specifically Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides). This plant will grow downward, curling quite realistically like naturally-curled human hair, just a little on the ‘unkempt and wild’ side.
When the flowers bloom, you’ll even get an amazing fragrance that will fill the room, making Spanish one of the best and most rewarding ‘curly hair’ plant options out there!
Hey, I’m Lisa and I’ve been an avid gardener for over 30 years. I love writing, talking and living in the garden! Feel free to connect with me on my socials below