How to Grow Butterwort (Pinguicula) – Complete Care Sheet

Want to grow a carnivorous plant, but something OTHER than the venus flytrap or pitcher plant?

Enter the butterwort!

This carnivorous plant catches flying insects passively by sticking to them with its coated leaves.

It’s unique because it’s both a decorative plant and a succulent depending on the time of year.

So you really get to experience two plants in one.

(Oh, and it’s also a flycatcher).

Ready to learn how to grow and care for butterwort?

You’ll be glad you did!

These things are going to be your new BFF, especially if you have flying insects in your house!

Quick care guide: Butterwort

Plant typePerennial carnivorous plant
OriginCentral America
Scientific namePinguicula
Other namesFive fingered ivy, Victoria creeper, Boston Ivy, five finger, or woodbine
Soil typeButterworts, Pings, Flytrapper
Soil pH7.0-8.5 (acidic to alkaline)
Sunlight requirementFor zones 10-11: Full sun, at least 6-8 hours per day.
For warmer zones: Part sun
Bloom seasonEarly spring to summer
ColorsOrange, yellow, pink, green, red, bronze, purple, red, blush, white
Max height6 inches
Max width3 inches
Low temperature tolerance50F
High temperature tolerance95F
Ideal temperature range75-85F
HumidityHigh (80% or higher)
Watering requirementsFor regular watering: 1 of water per week, water at the base using RO or distilled water only.
For classic setups: suspended in 2-3 cm of water in a tray
Fertilizer requirementsOptional
Plant food NPK20-14-13
Days until germination14-30 days
Days until harvestNot harvestable
Bloom timeJune, July
Speed of growthFast
Hardiness zonesUSDA hardiness zones 1-10
Plant depthFrom seed: 0 inches, no need to bury seeds
For divisions/leaf pulls: Fleshy part of foliage should be buried under soil line
Plant spacing3-5 inches
Plant withSedum
Echeveria
Lithops
Sundews
Picther plants
Utricularia
Flytraps
D. schizandra
D. prolifera
Other butterworts or succulents
Don't plant withPlants that have opposing husbandry requirements
Propagation methodFrom seed, leaf pulls, division, pre-grown from nursery
Common pestsSpider mites, fungus gnats, aphids, or whiteflies.
Common diseasesLeaf spot
Leaf rot
Root rot
Powdery mildew
Crown rot
Indoor plantYes
Outdoor plantYes
Grown in containerYes
Flowering plantYes
Beginner friendlyYes
Care levelModerate (Acceptable for beginners)
Best usesDecoration, succulents, windowsills, patios, counters, succulent baskets, insect traps

What’s butterwort?

Butterwort is a carnivorous plant (Pinguicula or “ping” for short), similar to the Venus flytrap which is commonly sold in stores in those small plastic cylindrical tubes.

There’s also the pitcher plant which is also passively carnivorous. Butterwort isn’t nearly as popular as the flytraps or pitcher plants because it hasn’t been nearly as commercialized as them.

But they offer their own unique little tidbits that make them an exciting project for kids.

It’s also known as Mexican Pinguicula, where it grows in seasonal fog forests on limestone cliffs in the wild. The plant is found natively in moss, cracks in the stone, or on cliffs with lots of shade.

There are over 80-some species in the subgenus with plenty of variation between each plant. This also means that each species has its own care needs and will differ between them. There are both Mexican and tropical varieties.

The butterwort, similar to pitcher plants, catches insects passively.

This means it doesn’t actively “move” or “bite” insects to catch them. It’s commonly found in the southeast of the US, with over 80 species. They’re found on every continent except Australia. They grow in the northern hemisphere and half are in Mexico and Central America.

These tiny plants are often unremarkable until they bloom.

Never use insecticides, fungicides, or pesticides on butterwort!

Never use any kind of spray on butterwort.

The plant is extremely sensitive to compounds and will wilt if used. Pinguicula can’t even tolerate dirty water- it needs distilled water! So it’s not going to handle any kind of compound bug spray.

What does butterwort look like?

The appearance of Pinguicula isn’t obvious. It’s largely boring until it flowers.

The leaves are green or yellow, which gives it the “butter” in the name. The leaves are slightly greasy or oily to the touch, which has a buttery feel to them.

It’s a crawling plant that forms rosettes and will bloom with pink, purple, white, or yellow flowers in the springtime where it passively catches insects.

There are so many variations of butterwort- everything from purple to blue to pink. The shape of the foliage also varies between each plant.

The leaves are slimy in the summertime, but because of succulents in the winter. Did you know that only the summertime leaves are carnivorous?

Butterwort likes warm humid conditions in the summertime. In the winter, they prefer cooler and drier conditions. This is why they make excellent houseplants that can be placed next to a sunny windowsill.

Their care requirements are very similar to African violets.

What does it eat?

Butterwort doesn’t “eat” insects. It passively catches them by their own mistake!

In other words, the plant’s leaves have this special coating on them that sticks to insects. When the insect touches it, it has a hard time escaping it.

This then provides food for the butterwort to digest, such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. The bug of choice is gnats.

If you look online, you’ll find a lot of controversy between gardeners. There’s plenty of disagreement on how to grow and care for butterwort:

  • Is butterwort REALLY a bog plant?
  • Can you use the standard CP mix as soil?
  • Should you keep the soil moist or wet?

It really varies depending on the type of species you’re growing. There are even hybrid species.

Is butterwort easy to grow?

It’s easy to grow, but hard to fully master. That’s the easiest way I can phrase it.

Butterwort is easy to grow. It finds itself in the homes of people looking for some kind of “fun” plant that has some neat ways of consuming prey.

With the right soil, watering regimen, and diet of bugs, it is a hardy little perennial that doesn’t need to be purchased every season, unlike venus flytraps or pitcher plants.

Of course, kids are the primary demographic for butterwort. So they may need some help getting their green thumb into play.

It’s fairly self-sufficient once it becomes established. If you have a gnat problem inside your home, butterwort can help catch them passively!

The plant can be grown both indoors and outside, but for optimal growth, it should be planted where it gets natural sunlight.

The plant will bring in tiny bugs with its colorful flowers and dark green foliage, both of which bugs love. The insects will come to the plant and get stuck on the slimy coating, to which then the butterwort slowly digests the insects that are caught.

But some things can be tricky:

  • Watering the RIGHT amount (matching the watering method/frequency to the soil)
  • Using the RIGHT substrate
  • Keeping temperatures/humidity stable

If one of these variables is off, it can harm the plant. For example, if you water the right amount but the soil doesn’t uptake it at the right speed, it can pool. Pooling is bad.

It can lead to root rot or fungus. Since they can’t tolerate fungicides, you’re screwed. You’ll have to prune it off and reduce watering to get rid of the pathogens.

How to propagate butterwort

Butterwort growing in the wild on cracks.
This is P. agnata- one of the more popular species. Note the lime green foliage!

There are three primary ways to propagate butterworts.

They’re all easy to do, but some will get your plant going quicker than others. They each have their own business.

For example, leaf pulling will help your plants get a head start compared to starting from seed or by division. But it can only be done in the spring after it flowers.

Seeded plants will also have more variability, so you don’t know what you’re getting. Leaf pulling always produces the same plant. Let’s cover each one in detail.

Starting from seed

Starting from seed is the most rewarding. You get to see everything from seedlings and beyond. Buy a packet of seedlings for your local nursery or online.

There are so many species of butterwort. You’ll need to do your own research to see which one thrives in your hardiness zone. Some hybrids combine features from two or more species! See the next section for more info.

When you finally decide on one, it’s time to sow! First, read the package. The instructions you get from there override anything you read online.

  • Next, get a pot and fill it all the way to the top leaving just about 2 inches from the rim.
  • Use your favorite soil mix. It just needs to be well draining. There are recipes for making your own substrate growing medium for butterwort in the “soil” section of this guide.
  • Use 1-2” of sphagnum moss on the bottom of the plant. Then put 0.5 inches on top.
  • Use chopped sphagnum to help keep the moss fine. Place the seed on the surface of the substrate. Don’t bury it.
  • Water the soil until it’s moist. Cover with a dome or plastic bag to help keep it mid.
  • Place the pot under grow lights. Keep the temperature between 60-80F. Provide at least 8 hours of light per day. Keep the moss moist 24/7.
  • Don’t let it sit in water, as some people recommend. This just encourages fungus to grow. If the moss becomes dry, water from the bottom.
  • Never water the seedlings because fungus can kill them. The seeds should germinate within 2-4 weeks.
  • When they’re about a half inch across, they can be moved to their own containers or in a big pot for multiple butterwort seedlings.

Leaf pullings

Leaf pulling will create clones of the original host plant. It requires an existing plant to take the pulling from, then using the leaf to produce an exact specimen that you can replant elsewhere.

The right time to take a leaf pulling is at the end of winter dormancy-right before the plant starts to produce new foliage for the spring. The leaves are in the succulent period, so they’re easy to remove and plant.

Find an older leaf that’s fully grown on the outside of the rosette. It should be an outer edge leaf. Gently pull it off the plant so it snaps off. If it rips in half, it’s no good. Use a whole leaf only. If you use partial portions, it may not root correctly.

Place the leaf on the surface of the potting substrate. The sticky side should be facing upwards. Let it sit. Over time, a new plant will grow from the leaf pull. While it’s slow, it’s still much quicker than starting from seed. Plus, you know what you’re getting.

Butterwort division

Butterworth will split by itself into multiple rosettes in the spring. This occurs after the butterwort becomes established in its home.

When the new buds grow out, they split automatically. The rosettes produce their own sts of leaves.

When this happens, uproot them and divide them. This produces identical plants to the original butterwort. It’s as easy as it gets.

Types of butterwort

There are over 80 species of butterwort in existence. Half of them are in Mexico and Central America. Here are some of common species of butterwort.

Popular species:

  • Pinguicula laueana
  • Pinguicula ehlersiae
  • Pinguicula esseriana
  • Pinguicula jaumavensis
  • Pinguicula immaculata
  • Pinguicula kondoi

Other species:

  • Pinguicula moranensis
  • Pinguicula agnata
  • P. moranesis
  • P. grandiflora
  • P. primuliflora
  • P. potosensis
  • P. ramosa
  • P. elizabethiae
  • P. conzattii
  • P. toldensis
  • P. laxifolia
  • P. moctezumae
  • P. alpina
  • P. potosiensis
  • P. chuquisacensis
  • P. rotundiflora esseriana
  • P. agnate
  • P. vulgaris
  • P.  gigantea
  • P. longifolia

As they all have their own unique features, it’s worth your time to check them out so you know what you’re getting into. I don’t mean literally read about each one- but look up some cool pics of butterwort and then go from there.

How to grow butterwort

Butterwort with bug.
This bug is a bit too big for butterwort to eat.

This section covers the basic care guidelines for growing butterwort.

It’s simple to grow, requiring very little care once it’s rooted. It does have a few quirks though- specifically the soil type and the watering regimen.

You’ll find everything you need to know in this care sheet. Questions? Post your comments at the end of this guide.

I’m not claiming to be an expert- that wouldn’t be the point for writing on Gardenisms. These are more of general care guidelines.

Hardiness zone

Butterwort grows well in the southeastern regions of the US, where it’s found natively in the boggy marshes.

The plant can be grown as an annual in a container if you’re outside of zones 10-11.

Within those zones, it can be grown as a perennial so you don’t need to replant it yearly. It grows rosettes to propagate itself for the next season.

Soil

Similar to other carnivorous plants, butterwort prefers boggy soil conditions. The nutrients are generally poor with warmer temperatures, and high humidity.

The soil should be alkaline (higher pH) with plenty of moisture. This is where peat moss comes into play.

Use peat moss, vermiculite, or sand. You can also combine them in equal parts to make your own soil. This will help keep the substrate moist to the bog-like conditions it prefers.

You can make your own soil by using the following formula for Mexican or temperate species using some basic ingredients from your local nusery:

  • 1-2 parts peat moss (organic)
  • 2 part sand (rough/coarse, limestone)
  • 2 parts perlite (organic)
  • 2 parts vermiculite
  • 1 part potting mix

The peat is highly acidic, so you use sand to raise its pH of it to become more alkalinity. Dolomitic lime is also excellent for the mix (use one tablespoon per 2-3 cups of sol). Some soils will come with pH adjusted so you can use that to your benefit.

Worm castings are also good. They can help fertilize the soil. Mineral soil mix is good if growing inside containment, like greenhouses.

Pumice, vermiculite, orchid bark, or even just regular potting soil. There are tons of resources online you can read to make your own soil mix. Avoid using excess fertilizer as it can burn them. Light soil fertilization is key.

Some people like lava rock or gypsum.

Oh yeah- Vermiculite will become slimy over time, so you’ll need to replace it. Just FYI.

Butterwort pH

Butterwort prefers alkaline soils over acidic soils.

You can check the acidity/alkalinity of your soil by using pH test kits (see Amazon). If your pH is too acidic, you can make it more basic (alkaline) by using soil amendments to raise the pH. Limestone works well. You can even make your own amendments with baking soda.

Aim for a pH value of 7.0-8.5. Butterwort won’t grow optimally if the substrate is too acidic, so avoid it!

Spacing

Butterwort plants should be spaced at least 2-5 inches between each plant. If planting multiple species in a single pot, give them enough space so they can thrive.

If you want to get that fuller look, use compact varieties. This lets you pack them closer together. You can achieve the same look as those decorative succulent baskets you see in garden centers.

For bigger varieties, give them enough space to grow.

Packing them too closely together will lead to competition for nutrients, poor evaporation, and smaller blossoms.

Depth

If you’re starting from seed, just place each seed on the surface. No need to bury it. Just place it on the moss and you’ll be  good to go.

For divisions, just replant the new rosettes into the soil with just the exposed flesh side under the soil line. The same goes for pulls. No need to do any soil firming either.

These plants will easily root if conditions are good. You can get multiple plants from one single butterwort.

Fertilizer

Butterwort doesn’t need special plant food or fertilizers. As long as sufficient insects are provided, the plant should thrive given that the light, temperature, and humidity are correct.

If your garden doesn’t have a lot of bugs or if your butterwort is having difficulty catching insects, you can supplement with an NPK ratio of 20-14-13. Use as directed. Higher “N” nitrogen is good for leafy growth.

Try half dosages first before you use the entire thing. Use during spring or summer, only a few times per month- they don’t require much fertilizer so no need to overdo it.

If you’re growing in a pot, you need to limit it because it can lead to nutrient buildup. Gnats, mites, springtails, fruit flies, fleas and aphids- they’re all fair game.

You can also supplement with worm castings to help fertilize it. This pairs well with the soil mixture you read about earlier in this guide.

Fertilizer should be used in very small doses because it burns when excessive amounts are used. Especially if grown in plants that are suspended in water. Fertilizer in still water is too high in concentration. It can burn the butterwort roots, so don’t do it!

Watering

The frequency of water is important, but so is the quality of the water you use. The plant must always be moist. The environment must be humid, boggy, and swamp-like.

Use only distilled water to water butterwort. It’s extremely sensitive to minerals, fluoride, or chlorine in the water. Salt is dangerous too. If it rains a lot near you, use rainwater for free water!

Be sure that you water from below. Pour it into the base of the plant. If you water on the leaves, the water will pool. This can clean the leaves with bugs on them, but it can give rise to root rot or crown rot if it pools.

Water will stay in the rosettes, which isn’t good. There are lots of hobbyist websites online you can read to formulate a watering plan.

Note that temperate butterwort should be watered with cold water. Reduce watering when the rosettes change to their succulent period in the winter. The soil should be on the dry side with only occasionally dampening.

Some people plant their butterwort in humid greenhouses using overhead misters.

The thing to keep in mind is that the soil you use needs to absorb the water or drain it appropriately so that it doesn’t pool. If it does, use less water or switch to a looser soil.

Plants grown indoors require heavier, water-absorbing soil. Some people plant their butterwort under humid continues and then top it off with water. Others won’t top it. Some people even leave it sitting in ¼ inch of water from spring to fall.

The plant can’t be dried out between watering sessions. You must keep it nice and wet. This will vary depending on the type of Pinguicula you’re growing too.

Species that have big winter leaves like slightly damp soil. Cuban species should be moist all year. Smaller leafed rosettes like P. gypsicola or heterophylla/macrophylla prefer bone dry environments.

If growing butterwort in a container, note that you’ll need to water it more often than soil sown plants. Potted butterwort will evaporate and drain water quickly, so be sure to give it enough water to keep it moist or boggy.

Invest in a soil meter (see Amazon) so you know exactly when to water it. Humidity meters (hygrometers) are also excellent choices. If planting in a terrarium, humidity is important.

Sunlight

Butterwort requires specific light cues to fluctuate between the carnivorous and succulent leaves.

Heterophyllous species will have carnivorous leaves in the spring through the fall. Succulent, non carnivorous leaves will be present in the winter to the early spring.

The plant will need cues from lighting to accomplish these transitions. If you’re growing them outside or near sunny windowsills, you should be OK.

In the summertime, the leaves are bigger. They also produce more dew for bugs. Adjust your lighting to match the season variation. 10 hours for winter and 14 hours for summer is the rule of thumb.

Don’t just change it right away. Slowly change it over time so it can adjust to it. This will help sync the plant to the changes in season.

But if you’re growing them in a greenhouse or away from natural lighting, then you’ll need to use a timer to adjust. Slowly increase or decrease the day length accordingly.

If the light doesn’t change based on the season, they may get stuck in the non carnivorous state. Warmer months require more daylight. Cooler months require less. Change the photoperiod slowly over time. Homophilous species like P. Gigantea don’t require changing photoperiods.

These plants do well in bright lights on west or east-facing windows where they get full sun in the early or later hours of the day. Mid-day sun is too much, which can burn the leaves.

If you choose to grow lights, use high output LED lights with 18w per square foot at 12 inches distance.

Temperature

Butterwort tolerates a range of temperatures and will need cold winters to thrive. They grow worldwide and come from a range of zones.

The temperate species in the US will tolerate some cold and brief below zero temperature dips. Areas with warmer weather are preferred. Terrariums, greenhouses, or windowsills are all excellent places to grow them besides the garden in a pot.

Humidity

Humidity should be high for butterwort to thrive. If you’re growing the roots in suspended water, humidity should be high enough from the passive evaporation of the water.

For soil-based plants, most regularly to help increase the humidity. Use a humidity meter to get accurate readings. High humidity is good but requires good evaporation.

Leaf and root rot will be common in plants with poor flow. The humidity should be fine if you don’t let them dry out and keep the soil moist. The substrate you use makes a huge impact.

Pruning

Butterwort needs regular pruning to keep it looking tidy. It’s not that often, so don’t freak out. Remove any leaves that are yellowing or browning. Infested leaves with pests or viruses should also be removed.

Spent flowers should be cut at the stem. If humidity is too high, it can lead to fungus or rot. Pruning will help reduce humidity.

Blooming

This plant will constantly bloom throughout the season. Most plants can self-pollinate their flowers. The plant is difficult to pollinate by hand because of how the flowers are built.

Using a small toothpick to transfer the pollen from the anthers to the stigmas can help if it’s having difficulty doing it on its own.

The plant is usually pollinated by hummingbirds. The bird will stick its tongue into the flower to get pollen but will deposit the pollen into the stigma. But you can replicate this using toothpick if no such pollinators are in your zone.

Overwintering

Butterwort will need to undergo a dormancy period to grow as a perennial. The leaves spent blooms, and stems should be cut back in the winter so pests won’t chew on them.

The plant enters it on its own when the temperatures dip. It’ll also exit dormancy in the springtime when temperatures pick back up.

The only thing you need to do is watch the temperature for extreme dips. Supplement with some mulch to help insulate it if it’s too cold. Prune the foliage for wintertime too before they die back or else they’ll become gnat food.

Some people don’t cut their plants back during winter dormancy. If the humidity is low and the plant is dry, it may be advisable. If it’s too dry with zero foliage, it’ll kill it if there’s no hydration. In dormancy, you can keep it sitting in a 1inchtray of water so it doesn’t dry out.

This is one of those plants that’s simple to grow, but difficult to master. There are so many hardcore fans that have their own techniques.

Mexican or temperate butterworts will have a dormancy period marked by the carnivorous to succulent leaf change. The tighter leaves won’t catch bugs.

When these tight leaves have been formed, withhold water by reducing it. ONLY do this when they go dormant.

But, when they change back to carnivorous foliage, begin increasing the watering regimen.

Feeding butterwort

Butterwort is carnivorous in the summertime, so it’ll catch gnats and other flies on its own if raised outside. You’ll find a bunch of tiny flies all over the leaves just stuck there with time.

It can get pretty ugly, but it’s enjoying its meal. If there’s too much food available, it can be a bad thing. How? Because the gnats can infest the soil the Pinguicula sits in.

They can even eat the leaves (their larvae love the leaves). This usually happens if there’s an outbreak in the population. You don’t need to feed it yourself unless you’re growing it indoors.

If the bug population gets overwhelming, take care of it. Set a layer of silica sand on the soil surface to help block them from burrowing. Remove infected foliage if you see it.

Growing indoors

Butterwort can be grown inside the house without compromise. Put it next to a sunny windowsill and you’re good to go. If you have eastern or western facing ones, that’s ideal.

Continue to monitor the temperature and humidity.

Water on a schedule. Provide ample LED lights if needed. You may have issues getting gnats caught, but you can put it outside for a few days each week so it can feed.

The nice part about growing butterwort indoors is that it’s safe from temperature swings and humidity is generally higher. Be sure to invest in some humidity gauges and soil meters. This will let you know when it’s time to water.

Growing in pots

Most people will grow butterwort in pots because they’re much easier to relocate for the changing seasons.

If you decide to do so, note that you’ll need to water it much more often because water evaporates quickly in potted plants. Additionally, no fertilizer is necessary for potted butterwort.

The size of the container should be at least 4 inches across. You can plant multiple butterworts in one big community container if you want to. This shouldn’t be an issue. They just need proper spacing between each plant so they don’t compete for nutrients.

Single plants can be moved around outside, next to windowsills, greenhouses, etc. Butterwort is versatile. It can even be used in terrariums, like this:

Choosing a container with a width of 4 inches and a depth of at least 3-5 inches for one plant. If planting multiple, space them at least 2-5 inches. The material of the pot also is important.

Plastic containers don’t hold heat well, so it’s not recommended for areas with temperature swings. Ceramic or stone containers are nice because they provide some degree of insulation to the temps due to their porousness.

Warm temperature species do well in glazed ceramics, stone, or terra cotta. Undrained containers can be used for this butterwort if you want to let it dip in standing water.

Mexican species do well in draining containers, but can be grown in shallow undrained pots as well. Line the bottom with lava rock to help improve drainage. Abalone shells as well.

If growing in containers, they need to be repotted every 4-5 years because the old leaves will block the new roots from growing.

If you notice your plant isn’t growing or blooming, check the roots. It may need to be repotted. If the plant’s fragile roots come out of the drainage holes or the plant starts to droop over the edge of the pot, it may be time for a bigger container for your butterwort.

Pests

Butterwort is resilient to pests for the most part. After all, they’re made for catching them, right?

Some bug populations may become so overwhelming that they can suffocate your butterwort. Even the fungus gnat can do so. Other pests include spider mites, aphids, or whiteflies.

For most butterworts, these bugs are good! They’re food.

But just keep tabs on the bug populations. If they look like there are too many of them, step in and do something.

Put some mulch to help block the bugs from entering the soil column. Use fly traps to help catch some of them to take the load off your plant. Sprinkle food grade diatomaceous earth to help kill some flies.

Diseases

The only things you really need to worry about are the following:

  • Leaf spot
  • Leaf rot
  • Root rot
  • Powdery mildew
  • Crown rot

These are usually caused by overwatering, poor drainage, excessive water, or no regular pruning. You can eliminate most of them simply by watering only when necessary.

If you do spot some rot, don’t use sprays or poisons. Only use natural methods like pruning. The compounds found in those poisons are too harmful for these gentle succulents.

Companion plants

Butterwort can be planted with a few other plants, but prefer to be grown in isolation. If you must pair them with company plants, here are some ideas to get your ideas jogging:

  • Sedum
  • Echeveria
  • Lithops
  • Sundews
  • Picther plants
  • Utricularia
  • Flytraps
  • D. schizandra
  • D. prolifera
  • Other butterworts plants or succulents for a seriously gorgeous plant mix on your patio

Whatever you choose, it should have similar care requirements as the butterwort.

Don’t plant with

Avoid planting with other plants that have different care requirements. Plants that need a lot more water or a lot less water should be avoided. The same goes for general care (sunlight, temperature, etc.). Don’t plant with other succulents too compactly, including butterwort.

Yes, that’s right.

Don’t pack them too tightly. You’ll stunt their growth, give rise to failed blooms, and even make your plants vulnerable to pests. Give them their space they need.

Usage scenarios

Butterwort is commonly used to decorate the garden. It can be used on sunny spots around the house, kitchen counters, or patios. Some place it outside with other succulents or in a large succulent mix.

It doubles as a fly trapper. So if you’ve got flying insects, put this guy near them and it’ll get rid of them for you. For free!

Commonly asked questions about butterwort care

Here are some random questions that we get a lot from readers. You may find them handy for your situation.

If you have questions of your own, please feel free to post a comment using the form at the end of this page.

Where to buy butterwort

Butterwort can be purchased online from nurseries. This carnivorous plant isn’t as popular as the Venus flytrap, so nurseries generally don’t carry it.

However, you can find it available for purchase in seed form online. Or you can have it shipped to your home and then do a leaf pull/divide it if you don’t wanna start from seed.

How long does it take to grow butterwort?

It takes about 2-4 weeks to start from seed. After that, butterwort will begin to root and establish itself. It takes a few seasons for it to do this

It’s a slow plant, so don’t expect to see those gorgeous blooms right away. It’ll need time and patience to fully develop so it can bloom for you. Hybrids generally bloom nonstop once they get going.

When should I repot butterwort?

Repot it when it’s outgrowing its pot. Check the holes on the bottom for roots coming out. If foliage is sticking out of the rim of the container, it’s also time to repot.

For undrained pots, lack of flowers or growth is both signs that your plant may be outgrowing its container. Sometimes, it can also be depletion of nutrients in the soil column that require repotting.

Is a butterwort a succulent?

Butterwort has a succulent period during the wintertime to spring when prey isn’t common.

During this period, it won’t have sticky leaves that stick to bugs. The leaves will get smaller and not have that full-looking appearance. Mexican species will turn into a non carnivorous succulent plants during the winter dry season.

Then they’ll go back to non-succulents when the spring is here once again.

Where do butterwort plants grow?

Butterwort is found natively in the wild throughout the northern hemisphere. It can be found in multiple countries globally. Butterwort has been found from Siberia to South America.

Further reading/references

Enjoy your butterwort!

Now that you know the basics of how to grow and care for butterwort, you can enjoy the unique way of “eating” this plant! Don’t let the online resources scare you.

There are dozens of websites and even forums dedicated to the butterwort hobby. Just pick a care routine that sounds like a good fit. And just do it!

With proper care (watering, temperature, and soil), butterwort will provide you with seasons of fascinating colors, and shapes, and be your best friend if you have gnats.

Leave your questions in the comments section below! If you have any tips to share with other readers, post them!

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