The Carnivorous Butterfly House (CCHB) is a house built with the intention of attracting butterflies. It was designed by artist and butterfly enthusiast, James Dornan. The CCHB is a large wooden structure made from Douglas Fir, which is covered with thousands of tiny holes drilled into it. These holes are filled with water and insects such as dragonflies or ladybugs are attracted inside them.
James Dornan’s work is very popular among butterfly enthusiasts. He uses a technique called “crawling” to attract butterflies. His method involves placing small pieces of paper near the entrance of the house, where they will fall down when touched by butterflies. The butterflies then land on these papers and become attached to them.
The CCHB is one of many houses built with this technique, but its popularity seems to have increased recently due to the recent interest in butterfly gardens.
How to grow Butterworts?
It is not necessary to use the same method as James Dornan, but there are some things that you should keep in mind if you want your house to attract butterflies. You need to make sure that the temperature inside your house does not go above 30°C (86°F). If it goes higher than this, the humidity level will increase too much and it could cause problems for your plants.
Most carnivorous plants are native to bogs and swamps, so they require a similar environment with high humidity. If the temperature is too high, you run the risk of your plants wilting, even if the humidity is good. On the other hand, you will need to increase the temperature slightly during winter months or when the temperature outside drops too low. Most butterworts appreciate temperatures between 15° and 25°C (59° to 77°F).
If the temperature falls too low, they will show signs of dormancy and stop producing their sticky leaves.
As far as light is concerned, your plants should receive lots of indirect light, coming from several different angles. This will help maintain the high humidity levels that your plants require. Special fluorescent lights have been designed to meet the lighting needs of your plants. These lights should be placed at a distance of about 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches) from the plants.
Butterworts need a constant supply of water, so make sure that the potting mix you use is very porous so that it can easily absorb water. You should water your butterworts when the top layer of soil becomes dry. Never allow the soil to become completely dry, as this is likely to kill your plants. Most butterworts can survive in water up to 15 cm (6 inches) deep.
If you place them outside in the summer, you should dig a small hole and place them inside it so that their roots are in contact with water.
Cephalotus follicularis is the easiest butterwort to grow. It can survive in direct sunlight, so you do not need to worry about maintaining a high humidity level. Its only real need is to be watered regularly.
By contrast, byblis and heliamphora are more sensitive and should never be exposed to direct sunlight. They require a temperature of about 20°C (68°F) during the day and 10°C (50°F) at night. The easiest way to do this is to place them next to a radiator or some other heat source at night. You can also place them outside in the spring and summer months.
Byblis and heliamphora should receive even more humidity than C. follicularis; therefore, you will need to place them on a bed of pebbles that has been placed on top of a tray full of water. Keep an eye on the tray of water so that you can always empty it immediately if it starts to become cloudy. You also need to spray it with water every day to increase the level of humidity inside your house.
The final butterwort is pinguicula, which can survive in somewhat lower humidity levels than the other two species. The way you set up its environment should be similar to C. follicularis. The main difference is that it should be kept at a much lower temperature (5°C or 41°F).
Sources & references used in this article:
Flower nectar trichome structure of carnivorous plants from the genus butterworts Pinguicula L.(Lentibulariaceae) by K Lustofin, P Świątek, VFO Miranda, BJ Płachno – Protoplasma, 2020 – Springer
Resource gradients and the distribution and flowering of butterwort, a carnivorous plant by A Krowiak, CM Herren, KC Webert, Á Einarsson… – Annales Zoologici …, 2017 – BioOne
An experimental test of the defensive role of sticky traps in the carnivorous plant Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) by RE Alcalá, NA Mariano, F Osuna, CA Abarca – Oikos, 2010 – Wiley Online Library