Mexican Pinguicula are among the easiest carnivorous plants to grow; and they make excellent houseplants growing in a bright, sunny window. In the wild, many Mexican Pinguicula grow in seasonal fog forests on limestone cliffs and tree trunks. Some grow in moss, others just cracks in the rocks, quite often on north facing cliffs. The generic name Pinguicula is derived from the Latin pinguis (meaning “fat”) due to the buttery texture of the surface of the carnivorous leaves. The specific epithet moranensis refers to its type location, Mina de Moran.
These plants like warm, humid conditions when in the summer, carnivorous state (May-Sep). During the winter (Oct-Apr) when they are in the succulent state they should be kept cooler and drier. (NOTE: The mentioned months are indicative and can change according to your own growing conditions*. In fact, when this Pinguicula begins to produce its non-carnivorous leaves, you should stop watering – never allowing the soil to completely dry out. Inversely, when the plant begins to produce its carnivorous leaves, you can progressively start watering again.) When grown on a windowsill, you won’t have to worry about the necessary temperature fluctuations required during dormancy period.
A month later, it went dormant…
Mexican Pinguicula need seasonal light cues. With proper light cues most species will have carnivorous leaves from mid-spring through fall. Winter through early spring they will have succulent, non-carnivorous leaves. (Plants grown under continuous light period will essentially get stuck in the non-carnivorous phase.) The seasonal changes are cued by light, not moisture. Water the plants according to the leaf type, not season. When the plants have carnivorous leaves they need to be kept moist and enjoy high humidity (although they do just fine at 20% relative humidity). When they have succulent leaves the plants need less water – keep the soil lightly damp.
Repot during the dormant (succulent) period. Plant in tall plastic pots (make sure there are drainage holes) and grow using the classic tray method for carnivorous plants: set pot in shallow saucer and fill saucer with distilled or rainwater to 1/4″ depth. When plants are in the succulent phase, keep the water level lower – but never allow to dry out. Your P. moranesis will probably need to be repotted every 4-5 years (on average). To avoid fungal infections, remove dead leaves.
Pinguicula moranesis from El Chico
Tropical Butterwort Care
more Plant “Spotlights”