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. It has 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. It is one of the most cold hardy and easy to grow bromeliads!
As with most Bromeliads keep water in the basin formed by the rosette of foliage and you can allow the soil to become moderately dry between waterings. Use a well-drained soil when growing it as a container plant. It will always enjoy high humidity as well as shade during much of the day.
It’s easy to grow and care for and a wonderful gift for any gardener. These are very healthy plants with well established root systems. The growth rate, bloom and leaf colour will vary greatly depending on soil type, sunlight, temperature and other factors.
Bromeliads are ideal for homeowners who don’t want a plant that requires lots of care; they thrive with bright light and humidity. They are non-toxic to animals and can even be grown using soil-free methods, which is perfect for pet owners who want to avoid a cat or dog digging in the dirt.
The Bromeliaceae is a family of monocot flowering plants of 75 genera and around 3590 known species native mainly to the tropical Americas, with a few species found in the American subtropics and one in tropical West Africa, Pitcairnia feliciana.