Carnivorous Plants/Odd Pinguicula

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Butterwort
Butterwort  
Hello! I have a Pinguicula moranensis and it is growing very oddly. It's not growing in the typical large, flat rosette pattern seen with most Mexican butterworts. Last year, it grew normally for me and looked just like the plants pictured on your website. However, last year in the fall it started to produce smaller leaves and I thought it was going dormant. However, the leaves produced from it were not the succulent-like small noncarnivorous rosettes that you'd typically expect. These leaves still had mucilage on them and were more resembled smaller, distorted typical carnivorous leaves as they still captured fungus gnats. I kept the plant on the dryer side throughout the winter and the odd leaves kept growing despite that. But around January when the odd leaves were still being produced, the plant started to grow in a very odd manner and it appeared to four growing points all of a sudden. The plant has kept growing like that ever since and I have seen no significant change in it's growth pattern. It even put up a bloom about a month ago. I live in Massachusetts so I expected that since we are getting towards summer and daylight hours have significantly increased since winter, this would trigger the fleshy large leaves to be produced which clearly hasn't happened. What do you make of this? Is it normal for this to happen?

Answer
Hi Victor,

This does look normal, and your plant looks quite healthy.  What it looks like happened is that it went dormant in the winter, and as it emerged, it began to develop numerous offshoots.  P. moranensis does this sometimes.  Each of those could easily be separated and planted individually, or you can just leave them together and let them form a big clump.  

It does look like it might be time to transplant, and we've switched to a different soil media recently that John Brittnacher from ICPS recommends.  It's 1 part peat, 2 parts perlite, 1 part silica sand.  To that add 1 tablespoon of dolomite lime per cup of soil.  Use the powdery kind of lime, not "prilled" which is a fast release kind for gardens.  We started doing this last winter, and we watched our Mexican pings do a complete 180 turn around.  We are seeing some plants grow like they never have.  Many of these plants grow in limestone in nature, so this is closer to their native conditions.  

If you switch to this soil, you'll need to keep them separate from other cp since the soil is too alkaline for plants such as tropical sundews.

Good Growing!

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

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