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Can someone tell me what's going on with m Pinguicula? thanks!

I am assuming they are turning into smaller succulent leaves. So that's the cue to reduce watering. BUT MAN, they look so different compared to when they first arrived Sept and in October. Since I'm a first time grower I don't really know if i'm doing things right. So need expert opinions, thanks ^_^.

Growing Condition
I moved the Pings from a windowsill to this new set up. Under Sun Blaze 24 for 12 hours a day. The relative room temperature averages 65. Max 68 and Min 60. Humidity averages 50%.

The first picture is before and second is now.

The plants that arrived from one online vendor back in September

P. 'Pirouette'


P. esseriana


P. 'Tina'


This is from another nursery and purchased in October (this one sat outside for a while, recently brought back in)

P. laueana

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I'm not a Pinguicula expert but it is pretty universal with plants that lower light levels will grow larger leaves while the same plant under higher light levels will grow smaller leaves. If I'm not mistaken that fixture produces alot of light with new bulbs.

I'll leave the rest to the Pinguicula people :)
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what????? i want bigger leaves................ :(
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It looks like most of your plants are becoming healthier in your higher light levels. Which usually means smaller summer leaves. Some may be transitioning into winter leaf form (which are naturally smaller leaves). Some, if not all, look like they could use a little more nutrition. I recommend small amounts of freeze-dried bloodworm/tubifex, or dried powdered insects, lightly dusted onto the leaves, weekly. Or, a very dilute soluble plant food solution, lightly spritzed onto the plants leaves - or both. My recommendation, if you want Pinguicula plants with large leaves, that stay large - get Pinguicula gigantea.
Joseph Clemens
Can you educate me me now how to notice nutrient deficient plants? So i can notice this pattens in the future. Or something I can read?

Is there any brand of bloodworm you'd recommend? thank you super much (KISS)
These plants all look fine to me. They're just producing their winter succulent leaves. Perfectly normal.
Thank you

I emailed one of the nursery and they say they have the soil stay moist all the way through mid Dec. From mid Dec till Feb without water. Does that sound about right to you guys?
Yup, I do tabout he same for most of mine except for the species that need an obligatory dry season like P.macrophylla. I just let those ones tell me what they want to do, they usually like it dry for a month or so longer than the rest.
When the leaves lose almost all their chlorophyll, and appear almost white, it is usually a sign of nutrient deficiency. Here is a photo showing some small plantlets, those that are a lighter green, weren't fed, while those next to them, were.

Though the nutrient deficient leaves of the upper plantlets are slightly larger, that's due to their efforts to compensate for a lower density of chlorophyll, and not a sign of better health.

Here are a few pics of Pinguicula esseriana, to illustrate what they can look like in good conditions.

Close-up, transitioning into winter leaf phase:

Group in summer leaf phase:

One plant, side view, almost finished transitioning to winter leaf phase (it isn't a pinecone):

Here is a group of fifteen, two inch pots. They are groups of plantlets, formed by leaf-pullings. They are a few months old, post plantlet formation. Each pot is a different variety.

Pinguicula esseriana in full bloom from winter leaf form:

Here is a link to my growing methods - Cultivating Mexican Pinguicula. It's the sticky at the top of this forum.
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  • #10
Here is a pot of Pinguicula esseriana, grown in much lower light levels than I prefer, as a test. It continued to grow and flower, but had the much larger and all green leaves. Personally I enjoy them best when growing in high light conditions. But they are very adaptable plants, as you are already discovering.


These larger leaves have developed what is called etiolation - it is a plants desperate attempt to reach more light, or to assimilate additional available light to meet its needs. If suitable nutrition is available they will often be as green as possible (maximize chlorophyll content) to make the most use of the available light.

Here is a link to my growing methods - Cultivating Mexican Pinguicula. It's the sticky at the top of this forum.
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  • #11
And here are pics of two different Pinguicula laueana clones, both in summer leaf form, and nearly identical growing conditions:

The second image shows a plant nearly finished transitioning to winter leaf form.

Here is a link to my growing methods - Cultivating Mexican Pinguicula. It's the sticky at the top of this forum.
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  • #12
Thank's for the information Joseph! So that must be why my P.emarginata is so pale! I already improved it's condition by following your advice of keeping it wet (I top water atleast once a day now instead of every 3 or 4) and it started growing alot better. Now to feed it! It's only a cm or so wide. I have some blood worms but it seems like it might be difficult to feed those to such a tiny bugger. I have a solution of 1/8th strength better-gro urea free with 1/8th strength Jobes organic kelp ferilizer with probiotics that my neps seem to like, should I just spray some of that on it? Should I dilute it further? Thanks-Noah.
  • #13
One of the things I learned from your posts is I can manipulate the growing conditions to alter the aesthetics of the Pings. One of the sign to look for is chlorophyll. I actually like the paler look though now I know it's a sign of nutrient deficiency. Another is etiolation when plants are desperate for more lights in low light levels.

Thanks for all helping me understand my pings ALOT MORE. I can't believe how different they can look. It's exciting!!

Also, how old are the esseriana in photos number 2 and 3? It' kinda crazy mine is so small..........
  • #14
It is astonishing how quickly they can go from tiny plantlets to two inches across and one inch high. With the proper conditions it can happen in a few weeks or months, or never happen at all in lesser conditions. When I was first getting a feel for these plants I had Pinguicula rotundiflora that were nearly white and after many months, were still no larger than 1 cm in diameter. It was a miracle I was still able to propagate them from leaf-pullings. If they hadn't persisted, despite my poor care, i might never have learned to give them what they really needed. Plenty of light, water, and nutrients.

Here is a link to my growing methods - Cultivating Mexican Pinguicula. It's the sticky at the top of this forum.
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  • #15
I'm just wondering what your general growing conditions are for these Mexican Pings, if I understand correctly you keep them whet year round and under 24 hr light? Thanks!
  • #17
Most of the Mexican butterworts will produce winter leaves. some do not, like P. agnata. From a few years ago, this is P. gypsicola, at various stages:




  • #18
is it time to stop watering my pings?


  • #19

It depends on your plans. If you plan to grow, dry. You'll need to find directions from someone who regularly uses that method. I've only, ever, let any of my Pinguicula, even Mexican/equatorial, go dry, when I was unexpectedly preoccupied with family and personal health issues. In the eight years prior to this first period of neglect, I'd grown all of them, nearly floating in trays of water, sort of semi-aquatic. I never let them go dry, not even for a short time. They regularly transitioned between winter and summer leaf forms (if they were heterophyllous growth types), and bloomed when they felt like it. I eventually had so many flowers, of many different varieties, that I learned that many of them had unique scents, which were more noticeable, when there were dozens of the same plants flowers, at the same time, and close to each other. My growing methods are described in the sticky post at the top of the Butterwort (Pinguicula) sub-forum.
  • #20
Thanks for sharing Joseph. Although I'm just a bit overwhelmed with mixed information from forum members, vendor, and you. Honestly at first I was shocked that they could go 2-3 months without water. They are def surviving and producing non-carnivorou leafs under the bone dry condition. I mean I don't really know....... I really want to water them so they can start growing again.