How to Grow Pinguicula Plants

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Butterwort

Pinguicula are half hardy perennials that reach an height of 12 to 20 cm (5 to 8 inches).

They have rosette leaves, and bloom from spring to summer with lipped, funnel shaped purple, white or yellow flowers.

The size of Pinguicula genus plants makes them ideal for growing in rock gardens.

A common name for Pinguicula is Butterwort.

Latin names include Pinguicula vulgaris, Pinguicula grandiflora and P. agnata and Pinguicula moranensis.

Pinguicula moranesis
Pinguicula moranesis by alexlomas.

Pinguicula Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Butterwort.
  • Life Cycle: Half-hardy perennial. Some annuals.
  • Height: 5 to 8 inches (13—20 cm).
  • Native: Americas, Europe, northern Asia.
  • Growing Region: Zones 5 to 10.

  • Flowers: Spring through to summer.
  • Flower Details: Blue, violet, white or red. Tinted red, yellow, or green. Flowers are on a long stalk to avoid trapping pollinators. Lipped.
  • Foliage: Succulent. Sticky. Bright green or pink. 1 to 12 inches (3—30 cm long). Rosettes with species specific leaf shape: linear, spatulate, obovate. Specialized glands for catching insects usually on the upper leaf.

  • Sow Outside: Surface. Autumn.
  • Sow Inside: Germination time: one to four months in the light. Temperature: 55 to 60°F (13—16°C). Two months in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost, temperature should not drop below 45°F (7°C). Spacing 2 to 4 inches (5—10 cm).

  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight. Moist soil. Slightly acidic to neutral soil pH. rich soil, moist soil, sandy soil. Light soil, poor soil. Regular watering during dry periods. Spring mulch with leaf mold. Propagate: by rooting single leaves in moist sand.
  • Family: Lentibulariaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Corkscrew plants and Bladderworts.
  • Miscellaneous: The carnivorous Butterwort plants get their names because their eaves glisten like fat.

How to Grow Pinguicula

When growing Pinguicula outdoors from seeds sow them on the surface in the autumn.

They should be grown in a sunny area of the garden that has moist soil and a slightly acidic soil.

Caring for Butterwort - Pinguicula

It is easy to care for Butterwort and other Pinguicula. They like a moist soil so keep well watered and top dress at the beginning of spring.

If you require more butterwort plants then they can be propagated from their offsets.

Common Questions

How many members does the Pinguicula genus contain?

The Pinguicula genus, commonly known as Butterworts, contains around 100 species.

Do Pinguicula members make a good garden or landscaping plant?

While not conventional, Pinguicula can be interesting additions to gardens, particularly rock gardens or bog gardens, due to their carnivorous nature.

Which Pinguicula species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The species Pinguicula moranensis and Pinguicula grandiflora are often grown due to their larger, attractive flowers and intriguing insectivorous habits.

Are Pinguicula plants fragrant?

Pinguicula plants are not typically known for their fragrance. Their unique charm lies in their insect-catching abilities and attractive, often brightly colored flowers.

What is the perfect location to grow Pinguicula?

Pinguicula prefer a location that provides good light without intense, direct sunlight. They do well in a mix of sand, peat, and perlite.

Is Pinguicula invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Pinguicula are not considered invasive in the United States. They are, in fact, native to some regions and contribute to local ecosystems.

How do I remove Pinguicula plants from my garden?

If you wish to remove Pinguicula, simply dig them up, ensuring to remove all the root system to avoid regrowth.


The Pinguicula genus, commonly known as Butterworts, belongs to the Lentibulariaceae family. These carnivorous plants are admired for their rosettes of sticky leaves that capture and digest insects, and their vibrant flowers.

Pinguicula thrive in sunny to partially shaded areas with poor, acidic soil. They are typically grown in containers filled with a specific carnivorous plant mix and watered with rainwater or distilled water. They're fascinating additions to a carnivorous plant collection.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Pinguicula plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Darlingtonia, Malope plant, Stachys plant, and Salpiglossis plants.