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Carnivorous Plant Growing Tips
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Butterworts - Pinguicula spp.

Butterwort flowers
Soil
1:1 peat:sand
Butterwort
Container
3" plastic pot
Watering
moist
Light
full to part sun
Temperature
tropical to artic, depending upon species
Humidity
medium
Location
windowsill, terrarium, greenhouse
Dormancy
required of some butterworts
Habitat
Butterworts are a very common group of CPs and grow in a variety of biomes, including the arctic and the tropics.  However most butterworts grow in typical CP conditions of sunny, wet, sandy peat soil in tropical or temperate habitats.  They are common CPs in pocosins, and fens.  Most butterworts grow in association with sphagnum moss.
Culture
Many butterworts thrive in a standard CP soil mix of 1 part sand and 1 part peat.  The sand-peat ratio is not critical.  Some prefer sandier soil and others thrive in a peaty mix.  Use mineral-free water and keep the soil moist.  The tray method works very well.  Stand the pot in a tray or saucer and keep about 1/2 - 1” (1.25-2.5cm) of water in it at all times during the growing season.  Butterworts prefer full sun and develop their best colors in very bright light.  Most butterworts do quite well at room temperature, but a few prefer very warm or cool conditions.
Dormancy
Species native to temperate and arctic zones require dormancy.  These will develop a winter bud or hibernacula in the late fall.  Dormant plants should be kept somewhat drier, but the soil should remain evenly moist.  Some butterworts require winter freezes.  Tropical butterworts do not go dormant and will grow year round.
Feeding
Butterworts are excellent at trapping small prey all on their own.  Let them catch their own food.  They only need to feed a few times a month, and do not require daily feeding.  Plants grown indoors or in a terrarium will benefit from supplemental feedings using wingless fruit flies or other very small insects. 

Other Considerations
  • Many butterworts will readily propagate from leaf cuttings.  Tear the leaf away from the stem with a small section of the stem still intact.  Place the leaf on milled sphagnum that is kept moist and cover with a clear lid to keep the humidity high.  Propagation is best done in the spring.

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Copyright © 2006-8, Michael Szesze.
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