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Moderator: Matt

By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
There is little else in this world that is as satisfying as growing a carnivorous plant from seed. It’s a long and rewarding commitment that should only be undertaken when you are fully aware of what you are doing. I’ve decided to start a series of articles using data I’ve researched online and/or personal experiences to help you grow you very own Pinguicula from seed.

In the following article you will find information on how to grow two "groups" of Pinguicula from seed. Those "groups" are: mexican and cold temperate. I will include environmental factors such as light, temperate and humidity as well as estimated germination times.

Remember to only use pure water when dealing with carnivorous plants. Although some are hardened to higher PPM (parts per million), it’s simply best and safest to use pure water such as distilled or rain water. Other alternatives include deionzed, demineralised and reverse osmosis water. If you have a TDS meter (which can be purchased online), you can check the water you choose to use. Make sure the PPM is below 50.

Keep all soil mixes fertilizer free. The nutrients found in fertilizers will kill carnivorous plants, as they originate from generally nutrient-poor soil.


Mexican Pinguicula
Pinguicula are my favourite carnivorous plants, and Mexican Pinguicula have proven very easy to grow. Growing them from seed isn’t that hard, either.

Mexican Pinguicula seed requires no stratification.

Unlike most carnivorous plants mexican pinguicula prefer a more alkaline soil mix than acidic. They don’t mind the usual peat mixtures, but adding coarse sand and perlite is advised.

To make it easier for your mexican pinguicula seed to germinate, make sure the top layer of soil in your growing container is not compacted and preferably light and fluffy. Keep the soil damp.

Good temperatures for these seeds are essential, and so it is recommended to keep the average temperature somewhere between 15°C and 25°C (60°F and 80°F).

Covering your germination container will increase humidity and retain good moisture levels, it also reduces the risk of fungus gnats and such laying eggs in your soil. Containers kept in an open-air environment can invite a host of things to lay eggs in the soil, especially with tasty seedlings and constantly moist soil. Keep an eye out for mould and fungus.

It’s recommended that mexican pinguicula seeds are germinated under lights. You can do this or use indirect sunlight, just don’t scorch them. I’ve read of some success when placing the seed tray in a greenhouse under a bench, too.

Mexican pinguicula are estimated to germinate between four to eight weeks.

Helpful websites
For more information on germinating mexican pinguicula or simply caring for the plant, you can visit a variety of websites. I’ve found the following particularly helpful:

ICPS Seed Bank


Cold Temperate Pinguicula
Cold temperate pinguicula take a little longer to germinate than other pinguicula species. They originate in the Northern Hemisphere and are often subjected to cold temperatures.

If you live in a warm climate or want to germinate cold temperate pinguicula seed in a greenhouse, you must cold stratify them for eight to twelve weeks. You can do this by placing the seeds in a damp paper towel, putting them in a zip-locked bag and leaving them in the coldest part of your fridge.

If you are growing the seeds outdoors in temperatures between -10°C and 5°C (14°F and 40°F) you do not need to cold stratify. To get the best results when growing outside without stratification, sow the seeds at the beginning of Autumn.

Cold temperate pinguicula prefer acidic soil, so a mixture of peat, silica sand and vermiculite is ideal for them. Keep the soil very damp at all times.

Cold temperate pinguicula need constant temperatures between -10°C and 5°C (14°F and 40°F) to germinate. They require little (if any) humidity but can be germinated in a greenhouse if stratified.

Like all pinguicula, cold temperate pinguicula need lots of bright sunlight. Seeds are the same however you will have to see what the weather throws at you as the seeds need to be planted in cold temperatures.

It’s estimated to take eight to twelve weeks for cold temperate pinguicula to germinate.

Helpful websites
For more information on germinating cold temperate pinguicula or simply caring for the plant, you can visit a variety of websites. I’ve found the following particularly helpful:

ICPS Seed Bank

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