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Pinguicula weser has pale green to pinkish leaves and can reach up to 5 inches in diameter. Also known as butterwort weser or p. weser, it is one of the most widely cultivated butterworts in North America and the world. Here is what you need to know to care for this plant.
Pinguicula weser grows in partial to full light and flourishes in a warm, humid environment. Water the plant regularly during growth season but rarely in winter. Pinguicula does not go dormant in winter but grows succulents in lieu of carnivorous leaves.
Pinguicula Weser Care Sheet
|Soil||1:1 sphagnum moss and silica, keep soil damp in summer|
|Water||Distilled purified, spring, water lightly in winter|
|Light||Partial to full sunlight 8-12 hours, indoor lights are acceptable|
|Food||Insects, fish pellets, freeze dried mealworms|
|Temperature||55-90 F (12.7-32.2 C)|
|Dormancy||None, but its carnivorous leaves are shed in winter in favor of a rosette|
Pinguicula weser prefers sphagnum moss and silica sand in equal parts. Other potting mix options are 50/50 peat and perlite, 50/50 sphagnum moss and perlite or vermiculite.
Mix the materials thoroughly and add as much water as needed. Use only distilled water for best results. In most cases the 50/50 ratio works fine. However you may adjust the ratio depending on how many materials you add.
For instance you could combine two parts peat moss with one part vermiculite and one part sand or perlite. Changing the ratio could have significant effects on the plant however. If you have experience growing various butterworts, feel free to try.
If this is your first time to grow pinguicula weser, use the ready made potting mix that comes with your plant. If you want to experiment with potting mixes, do it on leaf pullings and not the original plant. Another option is Birch Seed Soils Carnivorous Soil Mix which is easy to use and helps butterworts grow faster.
A 3-5 inch pot is the right size for pinguicula weser. Plastic containers with good drain holes is going to work. You may opt for a larger pot, but that will require more soil to keep the plant balanced.
If you are going to use the tray method, the container has to fit in the tray. Alternatively you can place the pot on a saucer filled with water. Either way, the water will make its way into the roots through the pot hole, hence its importance.
Most butterworts have sparse roots so repotting is rare. If you need to repot a pinguicula, choose the same type of soil. Once you have removed the plant, check the roots. If it looks fine, use a similarly sized container for repotting. If the roots are woven tight, you need a bigger pot.
Butterworts weser should be watered constantly during growth to keep the soil damp. When its winter rosette starts to appear, reduce watering and let the soil dry out. Water sparingly during dormancy.
Replenish the water in the tray before it dries out. You may also do overhead watering to maintain soil moisture. Do not allow the soil to get dry during hot days.
Over watering can lead to root rot so you have to know exactly how much water to use. After winter ends, slowly increase the amount of water you use. Do not let the soil dry as it will affect the plant.
During summer the soil dries up quickly, so over watering is remote. You can keep the plant standing in water even when you water overhead. Do not spray directly on the rosette. Spray uniformly all over the plant so the water does not collect in just one location.
As fall approaches and humidity increases, reduce watering. Just like other tropical butterworts, p. weser needs very little water during winter even though it technically does not go dormant.
Partial to full sunlight is the best for pinguicula weser. They can be cultivated indoors with grow lights or in a greenhouse in the right conditions.
Sunlight. The ideal environment is 8-12 hours of sunlight in its growth period. Full, direct light during mornings then partial lighting at noon and afternoon.
You can probably keep p. weser under full sun in spring. But during summer it is best to give the plant partial shade. Very high temperatures can burn leaves. Even if the leaves are not scorched, intense heat could dry out the mucus on its leaves.
Indoor lights. Pinguicula weser grow well with indoor lighting. You can try fluorescent or LED light but specialized indoor plant lights are now available.
If you are going to grow p. weser indoors, you can combine natural and artificial light. During summer you can set the plant by a sunny window so it can absorb sunlight. You can also use artificial grow lights if sunlight is limited in your location.
Indoor plant lights come with specific instructions so follow the directions. Pinguicula weser turns pink under intense light so do not worry about any change in color. A pink p. weser is a good sign as it means the plant is getting enough light.
Tropical butterworts thrive in warm climates and the pinguicula weser is no exception. Under optimum conditions you can leave the plant outdoors or indoors on an open window.
These butterworts can handle up to 85 F or even 90 degrees for a few hours. As long as the temperature does not drop below 55 F the plant will be all right.
Temperature, humidity and light are closely connected. As temperature rises, humidity drops and sun intensity rises. As temperature drops, humidity usually goes up and sunlight intensity lowers.
If you live in USDA zones 10, 11 or 12 , temperature should not be a problem. There might be the occasional heat wave or it gets too cold, but for the most part your pinguicula will be all right.
If you live in another USDA zone, pay close attention to the temperature to make certain it is still suitable for a pinguicula weser. It is easier to grow p. weser indoors in this case as you can control the temperature and humidity.
Pinguicula weser needs at least 20% humidity. Higher humidity levels up to 80% is acceptable if there is enough air circulation. Without sufficient airflow, excess humidity could lead to root decay
Pinguicula weser naturally grows in USDA zones 10,11 and 12, which are among the warmest in the country. If you live in any of these zones, you can sit the pinguicula in water during its growth period.
Water is important during this time to increase humidity, which helps the soil retain moisture. By using the tray method, water can get into the roots and keep the plant moist even during hot days. High humidity also makes it easier for pinguicula weser to produce mucus.
Too much humidity does have drawbacks such as leaf and root rot. So if it gets too humid in your location, reduce watering and give the plant enough light.
Feeding and Nutrition
A pinguicula weser eats the same insects as other butterworts. Flies, spiders, gnats and other small bugs are all good sources of nutrition. Feed the plant at least once a month.
You should never use fertilized soil on p. weser, but you can fertilize butterworts leaves in small amounts. Do not overfeed the plant. If your p. weser is on an open window, it will attract a lot of bugs.
Do not give it any food if there are a lot of bugs on its leaves. Pinguicula do not require a lot of nutrients. A bug or two once a month or every two weeks should be enough. If your plant is indoors and has no access to insects, you can give it Garden Elixir Plant Food so it receives enough nutrients.
Mexican butterworts weser form non-carnivorous rosettes in winter. These succulent leaves need very little water. If you are using the tray method, empty the tray of water. It is okay to let the potting media go bone dry but moisten it lightly every few days.
Because p. weser doses not go through regular dormancy, this is called dry dormancy or the succulent phase. Either way it lasts the entire winter season.
Pinguicula weser are easy to grow and not vulnerable to diseases. About the only things to watch out for are slugs and snails. With proper care you should have no issues cultivating this carnivorous plant.
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.