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Pinguicula primuliflora grows naturally in the Florida panhandle, the Mississippi coastal plain, southwestern Georgia and Louisiana. With proper care, these warm temperate butterworts will produce violet-pink flowers with shades of white and yellow.
Pinguicula primuliflora grows in partial to full sunlight, preferably in a bog garden with two inches of water. Its temperature range is 50-85 F (10-30 C) and may undergo semi-dormancy in winter.
Pinguicula Primuliflora Care Sheet
|1:1 peat and perlite, keep soil moist
|Distilled, spring, purified, rainwater
|Partial to full light, 6-8 hours artificial lights are good
|Small insects, mealworms
|50-85 F (10-30 C)
|At least 70%
|Not needed, but you can put it into dormancy
|Seeds, leaf cutting
The best soil for pinguicula primuliflora is 50/50 perlite and peat. If you do not have perlite, use silica sand. Other potting mix combinations may be used like 2 parts peat and 1 part sand or perlite.
Some growers user sphagnum moss with perlite with great success. However, others find sphagnum moss too wet for p. primuliflora, so it depends on what variant you have.
If you buy p. primuliflora online, it will be bundled with potting media. Use that for the plant and see what happens. If the plant grows well, keep using that soil mix. If you want to try other types of media, use it on leaf pullings, not the original pinguicula.
With the right approach you will see a new plant grow. It might take a while before it produces sticky leaves however. There are reasons why butterworts do not get sticky so examine the plant first. You can also buy potting mix separately. Purchase only media that are safe for butterworts and follow the package instructions for mixing to get the best results.
Pot and Container
Like other butterworts, p. primuliflora has small, thin roots. With proper care the plant grows up to 3 inches in six weeks and 4 inches after 8-10 weeks.
A 3-5 inch container is sufficient for a pinguicula primuliflora. These plants usually are quite small so these pot sizes will be enough.
Because of their small size, there is little to no need for repotting. Probably the only time you will have to repot p. primuliflora is due to root rot or bacterial infection.
Any plastic container can be used as a pot as long as the plant fits. The container should be deep enough so flowers can bloom and the roots expand, no matter how small they are. If you want to use a large pot, it will require more soil.
Pinguicula primuliflora should stand in two inches of water. If humidity is low, replenish frequently and water from the top. The soil must always be moistened but not soggy.
P. primuliflora naturally grows in ponds, streams, swamps and other wet areas. The tray method should work well here. Get a tray large enough to hold the potted plant. If you have several butterworts, there has to be a few inches of space between each pot. A good choice would be TITE Plant Tray as it holds these plants nicely.
Pour 1-2 inches of water in the tray and place the pot in it. Add more water to the tray before it empties. If it really gets hot and humidity drops, water from the top too.
If you are not sure how much water to use, look at the soil. A device like the XLUX Soil Moisture Meter is the simplest solution. If you do not have one, press your finger on the soil. If dirt sticks to your hand without being too wet, that is the right consistency.
Once you have set up its environment, use only purified, distilled, reverse osmosis or rainwater. Carnivorous pants need pure, natural water. Do not use tap water because it has elements which are unsuitable for the plant.
You can also grow p. primuliflora in a bog garden which in many ways is the most ideal. A bog garden is not necessary, but if you want its environment to be as natural as possible, it is the best choice.
Keep pinguicula primuliflora away from the hot sun. The plant grows in partial to full sunlight, but only if the temperature does not exceed 100 degrees.
Full light should not confused with hot sunlight. If the sun is too hot you have to give butterworts partial shade. Too much heat will burn leaves or dry the mucus, making it impossible for the plant to attract bugs.
P. primuliflora requires at least 6 hours of sunlight. The light nourishes the plant and balances the humid, wet environment, which is essential for growth. You can tell p. primuliflora gets enough sun when its flowers bloom in spring with bright, vivid colors.
Artificial lights. Pinguicula primuliflora can be grown with LED, fluorescent and other types like the CT CAPETRONIX Store Grow Lights. Sunlight is preferable but if you live in an area with limited sunshine, artificial lights will work.
There are many types of artificial grow lights. Make sure the product is suitable for plants and follow the instructions. You can keep these lights on for 10-14 hours depending on their intensity.
Most of these plants prefer high humidity. Some variants may thrive in low humidity if there is enough light and the temperature is around 65 F (18 C).
Humidity is important because it keeps the roots and soil moist. Second, high levels of water vapor in the air makes it easier for butterworts to produce mucus, the sticky substance on their leaves.
If the humidity is too low, leaves, roots and the soil will dry out quickly. You will need to use more water to retain the moisture level. P. primuliflora naturally grows in humid locations so it flourishes in that kind of setting.
The easiest solution is to use the tray method or place it in a bog garden. Either of those will boost humidity to keep your plant happy. If you want to have more specific control over the level, a humidifier is a good idea.
Butterworts are easy to grow especially if you know their basic requirements. While light and humidity are crucial, so is temperature. These three elements are linked to each other so you have to consider them carefully.
Pinguicula primuliflora can live from 28-100 F (-2 to 37.7 C), but the most ideal is 50-85 F (10-30 C). Some primuliflora variants do not mind 32 F (0 C), but others shrink and have a hard time growing again in spring. Move the plant indoors if you have freezing winter in your area.
These plants can grow in greenhouses if the conditions are ideal. Humidity and temperature are two things you need to watch out for if you cultivate p. primuliflora in a greenhouse or terrarium.
Nutrition and Feeding
Warm temperate butterworts eat small insects and that includes everything from flies, gnats, ladybugs, even crickets. These plants avoid bees and other pollinators however.
Feed your indoor pinguicula every two weeks. Drop a few insects on its leaves, or freeze dried worms. Most carnivorous plants eat fish food so you can try those as well.
If your pinguicula primuliflora is outdoors it already has access to nutrients. Healthy butterworts produce glistening mucus on their leaves which catch the attention of crawling and flying bugs.
Do not worry if a lot of bugs are caught in its leaves. What should worry you is if the plant does not catch any even if it is outside. It probably means your pinguicula is sick or there is not enough humidity or water.
If you ask someone about pinguicula primuliflora dormancy requirements, you will probably get conflicting answers. Even vendors cannot agree, with some saying it does not, and others stating the plant needs 3-4 months of dormant period. So which one is it?
Most pinguicula primuliflora do not need dormancy. But the plant will go into a dormant state when put in conditions similar to a dormant Venus flytrap. Growth slows, the plant stops eating and in some species, shed leaves and form a nestling bud. But it is also possible to grow thisas a Mexican butterwort, that is, blooms all year long.
Observe your primuliflora and how it behaves in winter. If it forms a hibernacula, reduce or stop watering and do not feed it. If the plant retains its leaves but growth slows, cultivate it as before. However you should reduce watering a bit.
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.