The growth rate of Desert Lantern will vary greatly depending on soil type, sunlight, temperature and other factors. A few leaves are often trimmed prior to shipping to reduce transpiration and travel stress.
When you receive your new Bromeliad, there is no need to worry about planting right away. Your new plant can be stored for a while by simply placing it in a tray and moving it to a shady location, simply water when dry. This will give you plenty of time to select the ideal location for your new Bromeliad.