Pinguicula balcanica is a temperate Pinguicula and can be found in moutains chains of Southeastern Europe, in Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria. Pinguicula balcanica grows in subalpine and alpine wet place, at altitudes between 900 to 2400 meters, on granite or limestone ground.
In Spring, the cycle begins by the opening of the Winter buds and the production of the first carnivorous leaves. The first leaves are followed by the flowers in Summer. The corolla is 15-20 mm long, bluish lilac, with white throat. The flower can also be white. New carnivorous leaves are produced during all the season. Near Autumn, or earlier, if your conditions are not optimal, the next hibernacula is revealed in the centre of the rosette. Then leaf production stops and the old leaves decay slowly. The plant, reduced now to a small hibernacula, is ready for Winter and for the next cycle. It produces numerous gemmae around the Winter hibernacula that can be sown.
The Summer leaves are elliptic-oblong, to 50 cm long and can take red color in full sun; the Winter leaves are broadly ovate, 20-30 mm. The leaves of Pinguicula are in basal rosettes and are covered with sticky, mucilage-secreting and digestive hairs. The margins roll inward in response to contact of the hairs by potential prey organisms. Nitrogenous and other nutrients released by the digested prey supplement the plant's requirements. These modifications help such plant species compete in nutrient-deficient habitats.
Pinguicula balcanica is from the temperate climates and require a dormancy period. During dormancy the plant die back to a resting bud known as a hibernacula. Temperate Butterworts not only reproduce by seed, but also by gemmae. These gemmae, brood bodies, form around the base of the hibernacula. They look like miniature resting buds. They break of from the hibernacula very easily and are scattered around, assisting on the further propagation of the species.
Hardiness zone 8 (-10°C/15°F) in Winter. Pinguicula balcanica is native to areas with cold, distinct Winters, the plant needs cold Winter temperatures to survive. Habitats may vary from semi-shady to full sun exposition. Optimal Summer growing conditions are good air humidity, cool temperature and UV lights. If the Summer growing conditions are not optimal, the plants will form very weak hibernacula which easily rot. It often grows in basic chalky soils near springs, brook banks and moist to wet cliffs. Sometimes it also grows in acidic marshy ground. During growth period, procure a day temperature of about 25°C and night temperatures around 20°C. During resting period days and nights should be over freezing point. Keep above 7°C in Winter.
Best grown outdoors as a container or potted plant. Because of their specific soil requirement, avoid planting them in the ground. Excellent for the deck or patio. Pinguicula Balcanica can be grown in a mixture of one part peat moss, one part perlite, and one part sand.
Use rain water poured on the top of the pot taking care not to wet the rosette. When this Pinguicula begins to produce its non-carnivorous leaves, from October to April, it is important to let the media drying completely but with an atmospheric humidity of about 80%. You can do that by living a saucer full of water under the pot, evaporation will do the rest. Inversely, when the plant begins to produce in early Spring its carnivorous leaves, you have to progressively start watering again the pot. Let the media drying slightly between two watering.