I am attending school in the northeastern US and have ten Tillandsias on the windowsill of my dorm room. I cannot collect rain water for them because I have no tools to do so, so the water I use to water them was the water from the drinking fountains at the school.
After moving to the dorm, I began watering the plants by soaking them upside-down in plastic containers, just like I used to do back at home in western Pennsylvania. I dried them up by placing them upside-down on paper towels. When I performed this process back home, they grew quite well (the only difference was that I used rainwater then). I've watered them twice after coming here, but they only turned black on their bottom leaves and didn't look healthy at all.
So I have refrained from watering them for an incredible three months now, and I know you will blame me for doing this, but I was quite sure they would all turn black and die if I kept watering them. Now, all of them have dried up considerably, but they all still have healthy leaves in the middle and their leaves have stopped turning black. I really want to resume watering them, but I don't know how.
I have several varieties of Tillandsias, but they all seemed to exhibit the same symptoms.
I would like to know why their bottom leaves turned black and shriveled after watering, and how I can change my practices to better care for them.
I have not been able to find answers online about Tillandsias' leaves turning black after watering, so I hope this site will be able to help.
I read somewhere that spring water is good for Tillandsias. Do you recommend using it? If so, what counts as spring water and where can I obtain it?
Also, does Brita water filter work for removing chlorine as well as softening the water? (If that's the case, I will just buy a Brita jug to fix the water problems.)