Mexican Butterwort Plants: Before & After Dormancy Shots

I first got my Mexican butterwort plants right before winter dormancy last year. I knew they went through a “succulent phase” for dormancy, but honestly had no idea what that looked like! There didn’t seem to be many clear images online, so I decided to closely document the dormancy of my own plants.  All I knew was their dormancy was triggered by reduced watering, so I stopped watering them in November.

Here’s a set of shots of my Pinguicula esseriana soon after I first got it. The carnivorous leaves are still coming in!



Here it is again in early December. The new leaves coming in are shorter and more of a rosette. They’re also fuzzier. It doesn’t look like they have the sticky dew of carnivorous leaves.

Mexican Butterwort (Pinguicula Esseriana) making dormant leaves


And here it is just a few days ago! You can see the newer leaves are also not as curled up at the edges as the older carnivorous leaves are. The curled leaf edges are called drool edges and they prevent digested bug juice from running off the leaf. How funny is that!

Mexican butterwort Pinguicula esseriana.


Remember my little round tray of butterworts?Mexican butterworts (pinguicula) are some of the prettiest carnivorous plants.


All of them are producing the short, rosette of leaves too! This seems to be a universal trait of dormant Mexican butterworts. Here is Pinguicula ‘Sethos’ still putting out some carnivorous leaves in November.

Mexican Butterwort. Pinguicula 'Sethos'.


And the same plant in January. The new leaf growth definitely looks more like succulent leaves! No sticky goo here.

Mexican butterwort. Pinguicula 'Sethos' in succulent stage.


Pinguicula laueana has come a long way from missing half of its leaves!

Mexican butterwort Pinguicula laueana.


The little ones are creating their own super-tiny dormant leaves too! Here is Pinguicula gracilis in November.

Mexican butterwort Pinguicula gracilis.


And in December. You can really start to see the differences between the carnivorous and succulent leaves here. Those dew drops make it look like a sundew!

Mexican butterwort Pinguicula gracilis.


And in January. The carnivorous leaves have started to die back and this little guy is still smaller than a dime! I originally got two P. gracilis but one ended up dying. I’m hesitant to take leaf pullings from this one until it gets bigger and more established.

Mexican butterwort Pinguicula gracilis. Carnivorous plant.


Starting next month, I plan on pulling leaves from P. ‘Sethos’, esseriana, laueana, and agnata x moranensis for propagation. These are most robust, established pings and this will be my first time taking pullings from them! It doesn’t seem to be that difficult, but it will be my first time. Wish me luck!

How are your dormant pings looking? Heck, how are all of your dormant plants looking? Are you as desperate for spring as I am right now? Let me know in a comment! 😉


  1. gillza says:

    You have gnats. At first it seems like a self perpetuating food supply. After a while they will reproduce to such a large number that their larvae will be munching on Pings instead of what they usually consume. Also avoid using perlite and instead have a mix of washed turface and large grain sand.

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