Butterworts are carnivorous plants that belong to Lentibulariaceae family. The genus Pinguicula includes more than eighty species. Though its foliage is quite plain, most of the species produce beautiful flowers. These flowers can surely add visual interest to your flower garden. If you are planning to grow a butterwort in your garden, make sure that you know how to care for butterwort. Before we move on to instructions on butterwort care, let's find out how butterwort preys on insects.
How Does a Butterwort Plant Lure Insects
Have you ever had a chance to see a carnivorous plant in action? It's definitely difficult to picture plants as flesh eaters, but that's exactly what plants such as butterwort, pitcher plant, cobra lily, dewy pine and venus fly trap plant do. One of the most interesting facts about butterwort is its ability to lure insects. What happens is that its bright flowers attract the insects to it and when insects come into contact with its leaves, they get caught up in the greasy substance the leaves are coated with. There are numerous small glands on the surface of its leaves that secrete a slimy substance. So, the insects are lured into a death trap. Various digestive enzymes are secreted by these glands and these are used up for dissolving the body of the insects. If you are interested in growing a butterwort plant in your garden, here are some tips on butterwort plant care.
How to Care for Butterwort
Butterwort is surely a unique plant, but is it possible to keep it as a houseplant? Some species can be grown indoors, but you will need to provide this plant with the right conditions needed for its growth. Well, if you are a gardening enthusiast, you would already know about the basic tenets of gardening. Various aspects need to be kept in mind while growing any plant. These include aspects such as sunlight requirement, soil type and watering. Here are some tips that will help you care for a butterwort plant in a better way.
First of all, this plant needs a well-drained soil. A low nutrient soil would be perfect. Since, butterwort is an acidic soil plant, make sure that you test the soil for pH. It can be planted in pots. You can create a perfect potting mix by combining one part peat moss with two parts perlite. Since this plant is carnivorous, it doesn't need fertilizers. As is the case with most houseplants, it might get affected by plant diseases, so if you notice any diseased leaves, get rid of them.
Most species of butterwort need sunlight, but there is one thing that you need to know. If you place them in blazing sun, the leaves can get damaged. So, if you want beautiful flowers blossoming on your plant, place it in direct sunlight only during early morning hours. Butterwort can also grow well in indirect or filtered light. Though it will grow in partial shade as well, the plant might not be able to produce bright flowers if kept in partial shade. You must also provide this plant with a warm and humid environment. Room temperature must lie between 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
You must water the plant daily. When it comes to watering, the potting mix should neither be dripping with water nor should it be too dry. Never go on a watering spree as that might make it vulnerable to root rot. You might not require frequent watering during winters, but make sure that the potting mix is never dry. Since tap water might contain certain minerals that might cause damage to the plant, it is best to use rainwater or distilled water.
These were some simple ways in which you can care for a butterwort plant. If you follow these instructions, I am sure that your plant would turn out beautifully.