Plant Care for Butterwort


Butterwort (Pinguicula) is a carnivorous plant with leaves covered in a greasy substance that is attractive to unsuspecting insects. Once lured, the insects will be unable to escape from the slimy leaves, and eventually, enzymes in the slime will digest the insect. In spite of its strange appetite, the butterwort plant is an attractive, bright green plant that grows in a lovely rosette shape. Like all carnivorous plants, butterwort has needs that vary from most plants, but as long as those needs are met, butterwort isn't difficult to grow.

Step 1

Plant butterwort in a low-nutrient, well-drained potting media such as equal parts perlite and sand, or equal parts perlite and peat moss. Use a container with bottom drainage, or an open terrarium.

Step 2

Water butterwort daily and keep the potting media wet but not dripping. Never allow the plant to dry out completely, as butterwort likes wet feet. Water the plant with rain water or distilled water. Never use tap water, as the minerals can build up and kill the plant.

Step 3

Place butterwort where the plant will be exposed to sun all day. If necessary, place the plant under a grow light for 14 to 16 hours each day. Avoid direct sunlight in hot windows, as too much heat will kill the plant.

Step 4

Keep butterwort in a warm room, with temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5

Put the butterwort in the coolest room in your house during the winter months, as the plant needs a cool, dormant period. Don't allow the plant to freeze. Decrease watering during the dormant period, and keep the potting media moist but not soggy.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never fertilize butterwort.

Things You'll Need

  • Perlite and sand or peat moss
  • Container with drainage hole or open terrarium
  • Rain water or distilled water
  • Grow light (optional)


  • The Garden Helper: Growing and Care Requirements for Butterworts
  • Kyle's Killer Plants: Pinguicula: Butterworts
  • Pinguicula (Butterwort)
Keywords: care for butterwort, Pinguicula, carniverous plant

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.