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Named after the Greek goddess of love, pinguicula Aphrodite is the product of breeding p. moctezumae and p. agnata. This fast growing plant has lavender colored flowers and long leaves that can get up to 10 inches long. Caring for p. Aphrodite is easy, especially if you have grown Mexican butterworts before.
Pinguicula Aphrodite should be grown in nutrient-free soil with full filtered sunlight. This Mexican butterwort remains active in winter, so it must be kept in mild temperature the entire year. Sit the plant in water to keep the soil perpetually moist.
Pinguicula Aphrodite Care Sheet
|Soil||Two parts perlite, one part peat|
|Water||Keep soil lightly damp, purified water|
|Light||Bright, filtered light, preferably indoors|
|Food||Insects, fish food, freeze dried bloodworms and mealworms|
|Temperature||55-85 F (12.7-29.4 C)|
The soil should be two parts perlite and one part peat. Never use compost, fertilizer or regular potting media. Nutritious soul will cause severe – or even fatal – damage to butterworts.
P. Aphrodite sold today usually comes with premixed soil. This is convenient especially for beginners as you just need to add water before planting. You may also buy potting media separately and prepare a custom mix. We can also recommend Spring and Stone Carnivorous Soil as it is good for all carnivorous plants.
There are many soil mixes you can try. Among them are:
- Equal parts peat and perlite
- Equal parts peat and silica sand
- Peat, perlite and silica sand
- Vermiculite and perlite
- Sphagnum moss and sand
Most Mexican butterworts grow in 1:1 ratio, but 2:1 or 3:1 works for some species as well including pinguicula gypsicola. While custom mixes give you more control, it does require experimentation.
If this is your first time to grow p. Aphrodite, it is easier to use premixed soil. See how it works and how well your plant responds. Once you have successfully grown a pinguicula, you can try other soil media with a new plant or with leaf pullings.
A 3 inch pot is the right size for pinguicula Aphrodite. Even though the leaves can grow up to 10 inches, its roots are very small. Plant pots and containers are available in different materials, but plastic is fine.
P. Aphrodite are usually shipped in pots so no need to buy one. It takes a couple of years for this ping to attain maturity, but it will still fit in the container. P. Aphrodite has small roots so no need to repot even as the plant grows.
The only time you have to repot is if the plant gets sick. Plants are vulnerable to certain types of diseases, and if yours gets infected, repotting is necessary.
If you are going to repot, inspect the roots first. Prune the unhealthy parts before placing the plant in the new container.
Use mineral free water (50 ppm or lower), preferably purified or distilled. Keep pinguicula Aphrodite sitting in water so the soil does not dry.
Pinguicula Aphrodite grows the entire year, so you have to protect it from frost. This also means you have to water the plant regularly even during winter. Keep the plant indoors to shelter it from cold.
A lot of tropical butterworts like p. cyclosecta turn full succulent in winter. This plant however, does not. Its growth might slow but most of them retain their leaves and bloom regardless of the season.
These butterworts grow quickly so you have to give it lots of water. Use the tray method in spring and summer to prevent the soil from losing moisture.
Observe the plant in fall and winter. If its growth and activity slows down, cut back on the water. Do not stop however, just reduce the amount. If your pinguicula continues to bloom and grow, keep to your watering schedule.
The tray method is usually enough to maintain soil moisture. If not, lightly mist the plant overhead. Do not pour a lot of water into the plant, a light drizzle will do.
Pinguicula Aphrodite needs bright, filtered sunlight. It should be grown indoors preferably on a sunny window. This plant does not need winter rest so sunlight should be provided every day.
Most vendors of p. Aphrodite state that the plant requires full, dappled sunlight. What this means is the plant will thrive in full sunlight provided there is some filter (foliage for example) around it.
If the temperature is mild, p. Aphrodite will benefit from full direct sunlight. But if it gets too, hot partial shading is required. At least 6 hours of sunlight is needed but 8-12 hours is better.
Artificial lights. Indoor lights like fluorescent and GooingTop LED Grow Lights are good for these plants. You need to use these during winter when natural light is limited. Grow lights are ideal for leaf cuttings as they are too fragile to handle natural sunlight.
Mild temperatures the whole year round is required for p. Aphrodite. You can leave the plant outdoors if you live in a warm, tropical location. But if you have freezing winters, keep this plant indoors.
Its small size and lack of dormancy makes p. Aphrodite suitable for indoor cultivation. You can easily find space for the plant on any window. Just leave it there to catch light and the occasional bug.
A healthy p. Aphrodite can handle 55-85 F, but 85 F is the maximum. If you can keep the plant under 80 F that is better. The advantage of growing this pinguicula indoors is you can control the temperature. You can keep it in a terrarium or a greenhouse so the temperature remains constant the entire year.
The minimum humidity rate should be 50%. At 70-80% that should be enough for the plant to produce mucus and catch prey.
Humidity is crucial for butterworts because it affects their ability to produce mucus. Pinguicula has slippery, greasy leaves due to this mucus. Lack of water in the air means the plant has to work harder to create these traps. A high humidity rate has the opposite effect.
Humidity is closely related to water, so you have to consider them together. Here is a guide on how often to water butterworts. In mild temperate climates, humidity should be enough.
You can also install a humidifier to have better control the moisture level around your pinguicula. Placing the plant in standing water also increases moisture.
Nutrition and Feeding
A pinguicula Aphrodite should eat once every 14 days. Only a couple of leaves have to be fed. If your plant is unable to catch bugs, give them fish flakes, fish beta pellets or dried bloodworms.
Outdoor pings can fend for themselves. But for an indoor plant like this, hand feeding is required. One thing to keep in mind is that these plants need only a little food. A single bug, a few bits of fish flakes or dried worms is enough. Our personal choice is Omega One Freeze Dried Bloodworms.
While nutrients are important, it is secondary to the environment. Though bugs are called its food, they are actually nutrients. Butterworts create food through photosynthesis, so they can live without eating any insects.
However, p. Aphrodite will grow faster and healthier when they have access to nutrients. So you need to make sure that your butterworts grow in the right environment where the plant can create its own food and partake of nutrients too.
Pinguicula Aphrodite never goes dormant. Growth may slow in winter, but the plant will not die. It will continue to grow leaves and bloom flowers.
For this reason the plant cannot survive freezing. If there is winter frost in your area, move the plant indoors. Keep it in mild temperature and medium to high humidity. Use indoor plant lights to keep the plant growing.
Of course there are exceptions to the rule. Some p. Aphrodite slow significantly during winter. In this case, lightly misting the plant is preferable. If you want to use the tray method, adjust the water level accordingly. If the plant is as active in winter as summer, maintain the water level.
Even though p. Aphrodite does not go through dormancy, you should still wait for winter to end before propagating. Its growth should pick up speed again and new leaves will appear. This is the best time to do leaf pullings.
My fascination with carnivorous plants began many, many years ago with Venus Fly Traps. Now I am more than happy to impart what I know with other enthusiasts and those who are curious about meat eating plants.