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How to Make a Decorative Pinguicula Rock Display

Today, I finally got to create my first Pinguicula rock display, this is something that I have wanted to create for a while now after seeing so many wonderful examples by so many other growers. I have been wanting to create one of these for a while now but my biggest issue was getting hold of a proper piece of lava rock that was both large enough and not too expensive.

After several searches to aquarium shops around me they unfortunately never stocked any lava rock and so I put a stop to my search for a while. Whilst in the height of summer when my Pinguicula had coloured up the most, it inspired me to continue my search once again!

Finally, I found an aquarium shop online that had a large range of different lava rocks for a great price, they were very helpful in my search and even provided me with images for me to choose the exact piece. So after long last I had the perfect rock!

In this guide I will show you how I put together my ‘Ping rock’


  • Lava rock

  • Pinguicula

  • Sphagnum moss

  • Decorative bowl/ water tray

  • Small spatula, tweezers or similar

Additionally you may want to use a drill and spade bits if you would like to drill holes into your chosen rock, however I did not require one for my piece.

Preparation process:

I wanted to go for a simple and basic approach as this was my first time creating a set up like this. So I hope this guide will help serve a range of people in creating their Pinguicula displays!

Firstly, I soaked my lava rock in a bucket of rain water in order to get rid of any dust, dirt or insects on or in the pores of the rock. I left mine in the bucket overnight but you only need to soak it for an hour or two.

I then placed my rock in the position I wanted for planting before placing it in a shallow tray of water before planting. I plan to place my rock in a decorative bowl once I find something suitable but in the mean time I will be using a plastic tray so the rock can wick water.

Lava rock after soaking and selected positioning
Lava rock prior to soaking

Plant selection:

I decided to use the plants in this ping bowl for my rock

I used:
  • P. ‘Yucca do’

  • P. esseriana

  • P. 'weser'

  • P. 'Tina'

  • P. 'Pirouette'

  • P. ehelersiae

  • P. cyclosecta

Most Mexican Pinguicula work well in this set up therefore you can use what Mexican Pinguicula you own. I decided to use a range of Pinguicula from an old Pinguicula shallow bowl planter I made a while back from small leaf pullings which had started to overlap.

Planting Process:

Then onto the best bit, planting!

I decided to use live sphagnum moss to fill the largest pores to add support to the larger plants root systems as well as young plants from leaf pullings. I used a small metal spatula to aid the sphagnum into the pores easily, alternatively you can use anything from tweezers, the end of a paintbrush, small dibber or similar. However, you may wish to place your Pinguicula directly onto the rock itself.

Sphagnum moss within the pores
Using a small spatula to fill pores with sphagnum

Next select your plants, gently unpot your plants and gently lift them from their medium. Brush off any large clumps of media but make sure to be careful of the roots.

Then simple mount the Pinguicula to the rock, those I placed into crevasses filled with sphagnum I made a little hole in the moss to let them sit firmly. I also mounted a few Pinguicula directly into pores without the use of any moss, mainly younger plants, in order to test the growth of those compared to those in sphagnum.

You can use as many Pinguicula as you want, alternatively you can also use leaf pullings onto the rock if you do not want to use full plants. You can other carnivorous plants besides Pinguicula if desired, such as sundews. I plan on mounting a couple of pygmy sundews from gemmae to my rock later in the year.

I also added a couple of odd clumps of ground moss which grow in all of my pots of carnivorous plants in hope to give some nice decorative coverage once established.

And there we go! This was really fun to create and so easy to do, it is perfect for any Pinguicula grower or carnivorous plant enthusiast looking to try something new!

I hope you enjoyed this guide! If you would like to see this Pinguicula rock being made I have posted a time-lapse of the process on my Instagram @carnivorous_plant_girl. I would love to see if you have created your own 'Ping rock' so please show me your creations on Instagram!

A view from all angles:

Finished result!

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