Pinguicula: Mexican Butterwort Pitcher Plant Care Instructions


Among the carnivorous houseplants, pinguicula or butterwort propagation is rightly called one of the most popular. This long-term insectivorous prude, in fact, is able to surprise and tenderness reminiscent of violets flowers, and unusual color of bright green leaves. But more often this plant is grown not as a decorative culture, but as an exotic highlight that can make unexpected accents in home collections. Special catchy pitcher plant cannot boast, but produces only a deceptively simple impression and captivates with its comeliness, modesty, and ruthlessness. Cute rosettes of neatly rounded leaves and the ability to bloom profusely with good care give the plant a special charm. In addition, this room predator is not difficult to care for.

Cute appearance aggressive insectivore

PinguiculaIn the family of Pinguicula collected perennial insectivorous plants that are surprisingly easy to learn for similar leaves and blooms. Despite the different colors of flowers, always produces a touching, gentle impression. This perennial belongs to the family of Pemphigus (Lentibulariaceae) and proudly bears the status of the only plant that has real roots. Its name pinguicula has received thanks very fleshy leaves, a sticky residue which seems really fat. Among flower growers, is also known as oil grass.

Butterwort – perennial plants that, despite having the status of an insectivorous culture, can boast of the presence of real roots that allow the plant to survive in extreme cases. Very fleshy, juicy, with an oily sheen, the leaves of this plant seem both very bright and simple. They gather in a neat, very beautiful basal socket, under which there is a “false stomach”. Elongated-ovate, with a rounded edge, they are covered with small droplets of a sticky secretion, which secrete plant glands. It glands, half of which secretes a sweet slimy secret, and the other – digestive enzymes, and are responsible for etching insects.

The mechanism of digestion of urgency reminiscent of another insectivorous plant – the sundew. But butterwort leaf wrapped slowly and often and did remains deployed. Thanks to the digestive glands located on the surface of the leaves, etching begins without twisting. When the insect sits on the bright green of the beauty, seduced by a sweet patina, it hopelessly sticks, and in the case of small gnats, the enzymes produced by the glands completely corrode it. But the movement of trapped large insects, like the twitching of the web, start the mechanism of slow twisting of the sheet and the gradual splitting of protein compounds.

It is no coincidence that growers claim that is a kind of live tape-Velcro. It is on the stickiness of this plant and builds its entire predatory mechanism. In the development of the plant, there are two periods of development – wet and dry. Iranki release summer “hunting” winter leaves and fine pubescence, which are actually the growing points or buds; thus one plant produces in a year two sockets and a real succulent winter.

PinguiculaBut not only predatory talents of this culture should be admired. After all, is very beautiful and single flowers, towering on a long peduncle. Pretty, simple, they are most shaped like violets, although on closer examination it becomes obvious a little different structure, with an asymmetrically arranged two upper and lower lobes of the Corolla and the light center of the pharynx. In diameter, the flowers reach 2-3 cm. The advantages of the plant can be safely attributed to the variable palette of colors, including both blue and purple, and rarer white and pink colors. After flowering, tie boxes of the fruit.

Care of Types of Pinguicula

65 species of plants are United in the genus of fat women. All of them are mainly grown in swampy and humid rocky areas. Since butterwort is a kind of indicator plant, is extremely sensitive to climate change and pollution of the environment, suffers from human influence on marshy areas, this plant is a protected culture and is included in the Red book in most countries. The main places of growth of pinguicula in nature are included in the number of protected areas.

In-room culture mainly uses 5 types, originating from Central America. These plants, unlike their counterparts, are much better adapted to potted conditions and room temperatures.

Pinguicula moranensis

PinguiculaPinguicula moranensis over the growing period produces two outlets is a large and spectacular summer and small winter. In the summer rosette leaves rich yellow-green or Burgundy, reach 13 cm in length and stand out the perfectly round shape with a smooth surface, densely dotted with glands. But in the winter rosette leaves reaches a length of only 3 cm, covered with a hairy edge, on which there are no glands. The number of leaves of such sockets sometimes reaches hundreds. Flowering is very impressive. Plants produce up to 7 single flowers with a diameter of 5 cm white or purple color. There are two varieties of this butterwort with different shape of the leaves is more vivid Pinguicula Moravian macrophylla var. moranensis and the modest Moravian var. neovolcanica.

Pinguicula cyclosecta

Pinguicula cyclosectaPinguicula cyclosecta – one of the most beautiful species, whose oval leaves with a diameter of only 3 cm are collected in almost flat, rounded rosette, arranged in a spiral and making the plant especially ornamental. During the growing season, each produces up to 30 silver-gray leaves with a beautiful purple-purple edge, which seems to be washed away to the middle of the leaf blade.

Towering on long peduncles fairly large flowers with a diameter of 3 cm adorn the larger lower petals of the Corolla and surprisingly in harmony with the color of the greens due to its bright purple tone. Hunting the leaves of the plant at the same time, unlike other Jiranek, are formed under the ground.

Pinguicula gypsicola

Pinguicula gypsicolaPinguicula gypsicola in nature perfectly adapted to the company of succulents and adapted to almost dry conditions. Delicate, small, neat round socket seems more modest and wild than another room. This type needs a little different approach to the choice of the substrate.

For pinguicula plaster, it is necessary to select only the substrates consisting of equal parts of sand and vermiculite as this plant got used to growing in a little bit other conditions, on plaster breed.

Pinguicula Alpina

Pinguicula alpinaPinguicula Alpina stands out for its unusual leaves. In the socket of this beauty are collected numerous oblong, back-ovoid sessile leaves with curving up edges, yellowish color, and glandular-adhesive surface. With a width of 1.5 cm, long leaves are 13 cm Flowers this butterwort, unlike other species, not droop, and grow.

They rise on naked stems with a height of about 12 cm, flaunt bare Cup and pointy, elongated lobes of the Corolla. He flowers white or light yellow, with bright yellow spots on the lower lip at the base emphasize the warm shade of color. The spur is three times shorter than the rest of the Corolla. Blooms Alpina pinguicula in late June-July.

Pinguicula vulgaris

Pinguicula vulgarisPinguicula vulgaris – beauty with oval, narrowed to the base of sessile leaves, a light green color which is characteristic only of the upper side. Even with a width of 1-2 cm and a length of 2-4 cm, they form a very neat, ornamental sockets. The glossy sheen of the leaves is difficult to take for a glandular-adhesive surface.

On peduncles height from 15 to 17 cm rise reaching only 3 cm in diameter, but very beautiful flowers covered with short glandular hairs. The drooping form makes them related to violets, and crimson-purple Corolla and subulate spur emphasize the beauty of the flower. This plant blooms in mid-summer.

Care for butterwort at home

Butterwort is not accidentally called the best carnivorous plant for beginners, or rather, to get acquainted with these unusual cultures. Let her appearance is not as expressive as other carnivorous plants, but it is less unpretentious to care and well tolerated even not too comfortable for other plants. Butterwort women are able to put up with a lack of light, do not need to increase air humidity and adapt even to watering with ordinary water, unlike their competitors.

Yes, and the flowers in pinguicula last the longest, and some hybrids remain on the plants literally for the whole half. Unpretentious and hardy, this baby shows amazing ability to adapt, and let its predatory instincts show quite modestly, it is able to easily outshine competitors with its friendliness to the gardeners.

Lighting for butterwort women

PinguiculaThe ability to grow even in poor lighting is one of the main advantages. In fact, for this plant enough 3 hours of solar “mode” per day. Just a few hours of gentle scattered rays of the morning or evening sun will ensure its normal development and beautiful flowering. Direct sunlight, especially day, Pinguicula dislikes. The greatest harm to the sun can cause the plant during the summer when kept in hot temperatures.

It is best to keep this culture in diffused light on the Eastern and Western window sills, or in the interior of the southern Windows. This culture reacts perfectly to artificial lighting and can be kept in terrariums with illumination. For butterwort, there is no need to adjust the lighting due to seasonal fluctuations. Deep shadow this culture cannot stand, but in the penumbra feels quite comfortable.

Butterwort doesn’t like displacement of the plant relative to the light source. On the pot, you can make a note to focus on the location and not accidentally deploy the plant.

Comfortable temperature conditions

Of all the insect-eating cultures butterwort is best adapted to indoor ranges of air temperatures. For this plant is considered the optimal content at a temperature of 25 to 35 degrees Celsius in summer and about 15-18 degrees – in winter. Cool wintering is not necessary, it is enough to lower the temperature at least a little after the plant releases the winter leaves. In this case, the conditions may vary and fluctuate. What fatty will not tolerate is a temperature drop below 15 degrees.

The only condition that should not be forgotten is that there should be at least a slight fluctuation between day and night temperatures. In this regard very similar to orchids. Basically, the difference between night and day temperature is necessary for more abundant and long-lasting flowering. Although the foliage of such changes is good.

One of the very important conditions for the successful flowering – ensuring constant ventilation. This predatory culture just loves access to fresh air, and not only because the only way they can get insects. For normal development, it is necessary to provide daily ventilation. Fortunately, this swamp predator is not afraid of drafts, except for too strong temperature changes as a result of a cold wind.

Irrigation and air humidity

Pinguicula prefers watering with distilled water. But unlike other insectivorous cultures, it can come to terms with the water of a different composition. In particular, this modest beauty with predatory inclinations can be watered with rainwater. In an extreme case, the butterwort can adapt even to the defended tap water, although, of course, it is better not to reach such extremes. The main feature of watering – the need to carry it only through the pallet.

For this plant, only the lower watering is suitable, the classic procedures can be destructive for the plant. Watering is carried out, maintaining an average constant humidity of the substrate. In winter, it is reduced in accordance with the temperatures of the content and the rate of drying of the soil. The approximate frequency of procedures – in 1-2 days in the summer and 1 time a week – in the winter.

PinguiculaLike most carnivorous plants, very poorly responds to low humidity. Because of the sticky plaque on the leaves, this plant is strictly forbidden to spray, expose to the soul or any other procedure during which water gets on the leaf plates and stems. Increase the humidity to the average level for the most abundant flowering is desirable methods of installation of humidifiers, achieving indicators of at least 40% (but it is better to provide indicators in 60-70%). It is because of the love of the humid atmosphere butterwort feels so good in the terrarium.

Feeding for butterwort

Like other insectivorous plants, pinguicula does not need fertilizer at all. The only thing you can feed the plants – so it’s insects, placing next to the culture pieces of cut or spoiled fruit to attract small gnats Drosophila. But such measures are not necessary, especially since they can affect the climate of the room. The plant itself will cope with the task of attracting a variety of insects, in particular, will help you to get rid of mosquitoes.

Transplant and substrate

PinguiculaFor this charming predator, it is necessary to select classical acid substrates for insectivorous cultures. Usually, a simple substrate consisting of peat and perlite in equal parts or containing twice as much peat than the loosening component is used. You can instead use perlite and coarse sand, and vermiculite or other additives, but in a special substrate for predators plant feels most comfortable.

Transplanted plant with a frequency of 1 per year or for adults – 1 every 2 years.  Butterwort develops slowly, the soil actually does not master, for flowering needs space. It is best to change the capacity in mid-March: before the arrival of summer, plants should have time to adapt.

Transplantation is one of the easiest procedures in indoor floriculture. It is enough just to remove the plant together with the soil lump and carefully, manually remove the substrate from the roots. In a container completely filled with earth mixture, make a small recess sufficient for the root system of your plant. The deepening gently set pinguicula, substrate level and carefully watered with distilled water.

Immediately after transplantation, it is necessary to put in a brightly lit place and maximize the humidity (you can put a predator and under the hood).

Diseases and pests

One of the absolute advantages – absolute invulnerability to indoor pests and diseases. Any insect that encroaches on the territory, will become a victim of this insidious, albeit very nice plants. So what about prevention and control can be forgotten.


Despite the status of a predator, butterwort is quite easy to breed – by division, leaf cuttings, seeds.

Butterwort seeds of the plant are sown in a typical substrate, maintaining only light soil moisture, but at very high humidity. Germination usually takes several weeks, after which the miniature plants should be immediately transferred to separate pots.

You can get new plants and wintering buds or leaves. During preparation for the winter, pinguicula forms a new outlet, which can be divided into several parts and planted as independent plants. But this must be done before the spring activation of growth begins. Leaf cuttings from winter leaves are also rooted at very high humidity in pure peat or a mixture of peat and sand.

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