International Carnivorous Plant Society

Growing warm temperate Pinguicula

Warm temperate Pinguicula such as Pinguicula lusitanica (an annual), P. pumila, P. lutea, P. planifolia, P. primuliflora, P. ionantha and others can be found in warmer regions of the northern hemisphere. They tend to be found in peaty bogs.  These plants have the same type of leaves the whole year round and don't have any special adaptations to survive freezing weather. They are short lived perennials and you should pollinate the flowers and collect seed if you want to have plants long term.

Pinguicula lusitanica and P. pumila are the easiest warm temperate Pinguicula to grow.  Pinguicula lusitanica can flower a half year after germination. It can become a weed in collections as it will self pollinate. P. pumila and the others require manual pollination and the plants tends to bloom themselves to death. You will need to use a small brush to pollinate the flowers.  Save the seed!

Warm temperate Pinguicula grow well in a mixture of three parts peat, one part silica sand, and one part perlite. Depending on your conditions, they may also do as well or better in pure peat.  If you live within their natural range, consider growing them outside although you will want to give them protection during the winter during freezing weather.  They also do well in terrariums.

For good germination the seed needs temperatures above 15°C (60°F) and can be started indoors and outdoors. Always keep the soil damp. It takes 2 to 4 weeks for the seed to germinate. If the plants start to get overgrown with cyanobacteria or moss, transplant them to new media. Please see Sowing Seeds Step-by-Step for more details on starting seeds.

For more information please see:

Schnell, Donald (1983) A Photographic Primer of the Pinguiculas of the Southeastern United States. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 12(2):41-44 ( PDF )

Mrkvicka, Alexander (1990) European Pinguicula species taxonomy - distribution - cultural conditions. Carniv. Pl. Newslett. 19(1-2):41-43 ( PDF )


Pinguicula pumila flower. This selection from west central Florida is considered a giant form with 12mm wide flowers.

Pinguicula pumila. The plants are about 3cm wide.


Pinguicula planifolia.

Pinguicula primuliflora

Pinguicula ionantha.