Native to Argentina and Brazil, the matchstick bromeliad is a semi-epiphytic plant that can be mounted on bark or driftwood, in the fork of a tree or other support, or grown in light, well-draining soil.
Bright green, smooth-edged leaves form a water-holding rosette. Plants spread by stolons (runners) from the mother plant and will quickly spread to fill a pot and put on a spectacular show when it blooms. Encourage bloom, if necessary, by placing the plant in a sealed bag with an apple for a couple of weeks. Ethylene gas given off by the apple stimulates bloom.
Place your matchstick bromeliads in shade to partial shade like that found underneath tall trees. Keep their cups filled with water, but if they are in soil, make sure it is well drained. When grown out of doors, falling leaves and other detritus provide necessary nutrients as they decay. Indoors, mist the plants occasionally with room temperature water and feed with a reduced strength water soluble fertilizer.