Cultural Information

The Mexican Species

  1. colimensis P. cyclosecta P. gypsicola P. macrophylla*
  2. moranensis—formerly called P. caudata & P. mexicana P. oblongiloba* ^Produce winter buds.

Non-Mexican Species

P. hirtiflora P. lilacina P. lusitanica* P. parvifolia*

Troduce winter buds.

The Mexican Pinguicula species grow at high elevations where summers are warm and winters cool and dry. The non-Mexican species grow in Mediterranean areas as well as in other parts of the world with a similar climate. Both of these groups require similar cultural conditions and are the easiest of the Pinguicula species to grow.

Planting Media

The Mexican Pinguicula spp. grow on calcareous or alkaline soils in their native habitat, but they will grow in acid soils also. Both acid and alkaline planting media are used successfully in growing these plants. Any of the planting media listed for the temperate Pinguicula spp. can be used for the Mexican Pinguicula spp. The non-Mexican Pinguicula spp. require an acid medium. Any of acid media listed for the temperate Pinguiculas can be used with these species.


Summer 60-85°F (16-29°C). Winter 40-55°F (4-13°C). Dormancy

The Mexican Pinguicula spp. produce thicker and smaller leaves for the winter or dormant season. Species such as P. macrophylla and P. oblongiloba are described as forming winter buds. Others of the Mexican Pinguicula spp. produce small, tight winter leaves. Thus, it is a matter of semantics as to whether they are winter buds or just small winter leaves.


Indirect or shaded sunlight. If artificial light is used, start with about 1000 foot candles and a summer photoperiod of about 13 hours; 800 foot candles for the winter or dormant season with a photoperiod of 11 hours is suitable.

Water & Humidity

Like most Pinguicula spp. this group enjoys wet soils and very high humidity during the growing season, with drier soils during dormancy.


P. moranesis and P. collimensis tend to grow up and out of their planting medium, exposing their root system. At least once a year the leaves should be lifted to view the base of the crown to see if the plant has grown out of the soil. If roots are visible, the plant should be repotted so that all the roots are in the medium or alternatively position medium around the exposed roots.

Some growers prefer to plant Mexican Pinguicula in pots which have an inch of sphagnum moss over a bottom layer of perlite. The plant is positioned so the base of the leaves is in the moss with the roots extending into the perlite. A suspension of dolomite (available from health food stores) made by mixing V2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) per quart (liter) of water is used to water the leaves and soil once every 2 months. These plants should be fertilized as per directions in Chapter 7.


Sexual Reproduction

Flowers must be pollinated by an external agent such as insects or artificially in order for viable seed to be set. Seeds of both of these groups will germinate without any special treatment. Sow seed on the appropriate medium, keep the humidity high, the light bright and within a temperature range of 60-86°F (16-30°C). Seed will germinate within 2-4 weeks.

Asexual Reproduction

  1. Leaf cuttings: Le>af cuttings should be handled in the same manner as outlined for the southern United States species. The thicker, more succulent leaves produce the best results.
  2. Runners: P. oblongiloba and P. macrophylla produce new plants at the end of runners. When plantlets have developed a root system the plants can be severed from the mother plant.

General Information for all Pinguicula Species _


Snails, slugs, aphids and fungus diseases. See Chapter 8 for treatment. Feeding

See Chapter 7 for feeding directions. Miscellaneous

Pinguicula should be transplanted before active growth starts to reduce losses. Plants can be successfully moved at other times if they are moved with a ball of soil. Some growers claim that those Pinguicula spp. requiring alkaline or sweet soils will benefit from 2-3 waterings during the growing season with a solution of hydrated lime, calcium hydroxide. The usual concentration is 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of hydrated lime per quart (liter) of water. Avoid getting liquid on the leaves when watering the plants.

The Pinguicula species in order of increasing difficulty to cultivate are Mexican, non-Mexican, southern U.S., and temperate. With the temperate species, the longer the dormant period the more difficult it is to grow the plants.

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