It’s a sad fact that when you keep plants, you will experience both successes and failures. Sometimes a plant fails to thrive because you didn’t understand its needs, sometimes it dies because it was inherently weak or already diseased when you obtained it, and sometimes your growing area just doesn’t agree with it even if you’ve tried to make the necessary adjustments based on research and advice from experienced growers. Sometimes you can’t help it when pests attack and a plant just doesn’t survive, either.
I’m not entirely certain which was the case with my unfortunate T. butzii, though I’m inclined to think it was a combination of all of the above (poor thing!). I bought it at a clearance sale where none of the plants available looked all that healthy to begin with (but the prices were so low! and I just wanted to try), it seemed to rally and deteriorate at intervals while I tried various care plans and hanging positions, and in the end, it succumbed to a spider mite infestation.
T. butzii is an elegant species of tillandsia, smallish and with a distinctive squid-like appearance. With its smooth, hard exterior and long, slender leaves boasting beautiful markings, it really is an attractive plant. However its general care guidelines are a little tricky: bright but indirect sunlight, frequent light watering (better to hang it sideways or upside-down as it’s prone to rot) because of the lack of trichomes, sufficient moving air to keep things fresh without drying it out too quickly… I guess my growing area is just too hot and dry for this species. Oh well.