How To Care For Butterwort? Direct Answer (2022)

For not having the confidence of providing the right care and environment, some people are indecisive about whether they should buy butterwort. While the butterwort (Pinguicula) needs less care and effort than other carnivorous plants. That’s why to be confident about growing your own butterwort. Over the previous years we have grown various species of butterworts, so let’s get started on how you can care for butterwort with the little knowledge and experience we have gained over the several years. 

Caring butterwort needs some main ideas. Water them with only pure water ( distilled/ reverse osmosis /rainwater). Do not ever let the soil fully dry out. Keep the soil moist. Provide them direct sunlight. Don’t need to use fertilizers. Keep the plant in a humid place. If you can provide these with other related side ideas you can grow butterwort easily. 

Before getting started you have to know some significant facts about butterwort. You can find butterworts all over the world. Some of them grow natively and some of them are artificial hybrids. For their wide variants, they get divided into many groups. Like according to the areas they are found. That’s why their care guidelines differ from species to species.

How To Care For Butterwort
How To Care For Butterwort

Here’s a quick example, there’s a wide range of differences in care requirements between the Pinguicula macroceras ( They are native to Canada) and the Pinguicula cubensis (They are native to the Caribbean). There are more than 80 species that are known all over the world, some of them are native to Europe, and some of them are to North America. Though many of their homes are in South and Central America.

Care For Butterwort

Mainly butterworts are divided into two groups. First, the Tropical Butterworts do not need a dormancy period in winter. Second, the Temperate Butterworts which are native to cold places. Through their wide variants here are some common and easy care guidelines :

Water management 

This is almost the same for all carnivorous plants. They need pure water for growing and you can’t let them dry out. Butterwort can’t take mineral water. Consistent use of tap water will affect the soil from the core, making the soil unfavorable for the plant. Later it will damage the health of the plant.  Keep avoiding tap water or bottled water that can be found in stores. 

They contain various minerals and salts. Use reverse osmosis water or distilled water. They are cheap and can be easily found in reputable online stores. Another thing you need to keep in mind is not letting the soil dry out. If needed add ¼ to ½ inch of water, by placing (potting) them onto a saucer. Sometimes the water washes away by pouring direct water.

Add little water frequently by letting the soil absorb a small amount of water. So pour the water patiently. This process helps the soil to be moisturized. Also, keep in mind that the soil for the container should be dry before adding more water. On the other hand, always try to keep the soil around the base of the plant a little wet.

Butterworts need a dormancy period in winter except for tropical group ones. In the winter season do not water them or water them a little bit just once. Although this process is not necessary for most butterworts. 

Soil 

 As we have told you before butterworts grow in various places all over the world. Like 50% of butterworts are found in Central America. As for natural habitats they need different soil mixes as they require. But the ideal soil mix for butterworts is sand and perlite with a 1:1 ratio. You can also add peat moss for other benefits. For improving the drainage system. 

Another good thing is adding a layer of Sphagnum moss at the top. Butterwort favors acidic soil to grow. This top layer will provide this environment with keeping good drainage and aeration facilities. Butterwort acquires its nutrients through photosynthesis, and its carnivorous habits (bug feeding). 

Naturally, they grow in low nutrient areas. So they do not need chemicals or any other kind of fertilizers for extra nutrient supplies. As recommended, do not ever give any fertilizer to them. It may reduce the lifespan of the plant. 

Light 

Butterwort has some common requirements like other carnivorous plants. That is direct sunlight. They can easily undergo 12-14 hours of sunlight. Butterworts which grow in deserts get some shade from grasses and other plants since they are little compared to other plants. If you are growing them in your garden, place them in the brightest place you can find. 

As for indoor placement, place them beside the sunny windowsill. For supplying extra light bulbs 5500K – 6500K of power range and place them 12-18 inches away from the plant, depending on the light system. Butterworts have fleshy leaves. They catch bugs using their leaves. Lack of light will cause the leaves to become floppy, they may lose the green coloring of their leaves. Easily speaking, provide direct sunlight. 

How To Care For Butterwort
How To Care For Butterwort

Environment 

 Butterworts produce a special kind of ticky mucilaginous liquid through the glands located in their leaves. This sticky fluid helps to catch tiny bugs. To passer-by bugs, it also looks like water, hence it also attracts its prey. You can guess these fluids are important to them. If the environment lacks enough humidity for them, later on, they may not produce these sticky liquids. Worst case scenario they may die.

So the higher humidity triggers the glands to produce more of these sticky liquids ultimately helping them to catch more prey. If your environment lacks humidity you can fix it by placing the plant inside a plastic or glass dome with some air holes. You can also use a custom-made terrarium, a 2-liter bottle. Here’s another tip, misting pure water over the plant will also increase humidity (DO NOT DO THIS IN HIGH-TEMPERATURE PLACES).

Cautions 

  1. You do not need to worry about pests; they can take care of this matter by themselves. 
  2. Do not let the soil dry out. Even if you have run out of pure water don’t wait, if needed use tap water. 
  3. Like other plants, the older leaves will dry and fall off the butterworts. From the center, new leaves will grow. This is a healthy sign don’t worry if this happens. 
  4. First, know the species of your plant. Because sometimes the care guidelines vary.

Conclusion

After coming this far you have already realized that taking care of butterworts has some simple principles. If you apply the discussed instructions carefully you can easily grow your butterworts easily over time. After applying the seeds it will approximately take one month to mature them. An interesting fact is that Mexican butterworts (pinguicula) grow around 12 inches across. They are one of the largest species. Though succulents and butterworts look alike, don’t confuse them to mix up.