Carnivorous Plants/butterwort

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Butterwort
Butterwort  
QUESTION: I recieved a montezuma Butterwort from you about a week ago.  I watered it according to the video but I am afraid I watered it too much.  The outer leaves are limp now although there seems to be new growth.  Also I moved it from a window that was fairly cold to a Burpee Growlight you recommended so how long do I leave the light on it,  I will try to attach a pic of the plant.

ANSWER: Hi Pat,

Since you've only had your plant a week, this looks like it is simply adjusting to the changes from the shipping and temperatures changes.  It looks like you have nice new growth in the center.

When you water, definitely let Mexican butterworts use all the water in their tray before adding more.  Their soil can be slightly dry before you add more water.  You shouldn't let water stand in their tray for long periods since these are not really bog plants.  They tend to occur more on spring seeps.  When you water, top-water the plant some too.  It helps to keep the roots oxygenated.

For your light, leave it on for about a 10 hour day.  Come summer go up to 14 hours.  Those Burpee lights are great (once you figure out how to assemble the silly thing!).  I have a Dewy Pine under one that is going on two years.

One last thing about this species.  Pinguicula moctezumae can be a fussy customer.  Hybrids of this species are often super vigorous, but like so many plants, the species is more particular.  It has a somewhat high demand for food, so I recommend giving it a foliar fertilizer every couple of weeks.  Mix up an orchid fertilizer at 1/4 strength (usually 1/4 tsp. per gallon of water if powder), and spray the leaves until wet.  I like to hold the plant sideways over a sink and spray so only minimal fertilizer gets on the soil.  Fertilizer in the soil won't harm this plant, but it starts to grow algae making a mess.  This is the fertilizer we use:  http://www.amazon.com/Grow-More-5271-10-Ounce-20-10-20/dp/B004G1CU6Q/ref=sr_1_1?  This link is just for reference.  You might be able to find this in a local garden center a little cheaper.  Urea-free fertilizers are best for foliar feeding.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your quick response.  It turns out that in my zeal not to over water my Butterwort I grossly underwatered it.  I came home and checked on it and it was very dry and the new growth you saw was limp looking so I put about 1/4 inch water in the cup it sits in and some on top.  Within 10 minutes all the water was gone in the cup.  I hope it's not too little too late.  In reference to the fertilizer could I give it bloodworms if it doesn't catch enough fruit flies instead of fertilizer or do you recommend the fertilizer instead.  If this one doesn't survive I plan to order another one.

Answer
Hi Pat,

Mexican butterworts can get pretty dry before they expire.  In the dry season they go completely dry and die down to their winter resting bud.  Not all species do this, but Pinguicula moctezumae probably will at some point.

If you're feeding blood worms that's fine.  You don't need to do the fertilizer.  If you switch at some point, just do one or the other, not both.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.growcarnivorousplants.com

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If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

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