JUDITH FINN ONGROWING Pinguicula laueana
Keywords: cultivation: Pinguicula laueana.
Early in 1998 I had the pleasure of discussing carnivores with Judith
Finn, horticulturist at Berkeley Botanical Gardens. I was most interested
in how she grows her marvelous specimens of Pinguicula laueana.
Look at the front cover to see why I am so entranced by this plant!
CPN: I've seen the Pinguicula laueana you grow at Berkeley.
It is marvelous.
JF: Yes, the red flowers are really nice. Pinguicula laueana
flowers for about seven months of the year; it's a long bloomer. The foliage
is also red and very pretty (see Figure 1)
CPN: I see you have them in clay pots. What kind of soil do you
JF: I like to use a fine, well-drained mix of sand, peat, and
fine pumice or perlite, in a 1:1:1 ratio. Live Sphagnum is pretty, but
it can overgrow the Pinguicula.
CPN: How do you water it?
JF: Keep the soil just moist year-round. Pinguicula laueana
is shallow-rooted, but you should use a tall pot (Figure 2). This way,
during the winter the pot wicks up water but the plant doesn't sit in
water all the time. During the summer it can stay in a saucer of water.
Use purified water like rainwater or from reverse osmosis.
CPN: You grow your plants in a greenhouse in the San Francisco
Bay area, which is generally foggy. Do you need any extra lighting?
JF: This doesn't seem to be too important--we get moderately high
light during the summer. During the winter it's more important to supplement
the lighting. I use fluorescent bulbs.
CPN: Does this species go dormant?
JF: No, it doesn't seem to go dormant so much as it gets the winter
doldrums when the evening temperatures cool down to 55°F (13°C). During
the winter it loves temperatures in the 50--60°F (10--16°C) range, but
will stand 50--80°F (10--27°C). During the summer it likes 70--80°F (21--27°C),
but will take 60--100°F (16--38°C).
Figure 1: P. laueana, photo by B. Meyers-Rice.
Figure 2: P. laueana, photo by E. M. Salvia.
CPN: Do you fertilize these? Peter D'Amato accidentally fertilized
his with Miracid and ended up killing them (see issue 27:4)!
JF: No fertilizer. Sometimes I give them a little dolomite--lime,
that is--or oyster shells. Maybe about a teaspoon (5 cm3) in a cup of
water (250 ml) is enough for a few plants. It also helps keep the Sphagnum
down, which like I said can crowd the plant.
CPN: Do you have any tips on propagation?
JF: I haven't gotten around to pollinating these, but divisions
or leaf cuttings work well. For leaf cuttings, I use summer leaves tucked
in live Sphagnum.
CPN: Well, you are doing a great job. Do you have any other tricks?
JF: This isn't an exact science! I just grow it like P. moranensis
and it is alive and happy. It is in the same room as some Sarracenia,
and they are doing alright. It never has had pest problems. It's a good
Figures: Front Cover: Pinguicula laueana. Photo by Ron Parsons.