The natural houseplant bug killer you need in your collection

Introducing the Butterwort – a useful and attractive plant to add to your houseplant display

houseplants in a living room
(Image credit: Leaf Envy)

Pests can be a real nuisance for proud houseplant parents. If an army of small bugs has recently descended on the leaves of your fern or fiddle-leaf, there's a carnivorous plant out there that can help.

The Butterwort plant (pinguicula tina) catches fruit flies and gnats, acting as a natural houseplant bug killer. So, if you're currently wondering how to get rid of these insects from your best indoor plants, consider adding one to your collection.

pinguicula tina

(Image credit: Getty)

Anna is the founder of Plant Pet Club (opens in new tab). This online houseplant subscription service offers lots of unusual varieties and common favorites, each sent with a care card. 

'We recommend this to every responsible plant parent!' she tells us. Butterwort plants (Pinguicula) will prevent fruit flies and gnats from landing on your other plants. 

This variety of carnivorous plants has sticky leaves covered in an insect-trapping resin, and pretty, delicate lilac flowers. Anna says it 'lures, traps, and digests the prey,' which are mostly smaller flies.

houseplants in a living room

(Image credit: Leaf Envy)

Pests are attracted by the shine and scent of the leaves. The plant expert tells us that once they have settled, there is no escape. 'They stick firmly and for good!' says Anna.

The Butterwort gets valuable nitrogen from gnats, helping it to grow healthily. This plant is known for being vigorous, easy to grow, and for growing lots of beautiful flowers. 

When looked after, it can quickly reach over 15cm in diameter. It's also fine for anyone with pets at home, as it's non-toxic.

pinguicula tina

(Image credit: Getty)

This natural houseplant bug killer is the perfect excuse to expand your collection. It's also a much nicer option than buying plastic bottles of houseplant bug-killing spray. If you're battling thrips, find out more about how to get rid of thrips with our guide.

In terms of care, the Butterwort is happiest in bright, indirect light. If you often forget to water your indoor garden ideas, this may not be the plant for you, however, as if it dries out, it will die. 

Water regularly, ideally with rainwater or distilled water. A big part of caring for your indoor plant ideas is simply taking time to slow down and observe. And why not help to creating a mini ecosystem with a natural plant killer?

Where to buy Butterwort plants

Want to add one of these unusual plants to your indoor plant collection? Use our quicklinks below to shop for Butterwort plants. 

Where to buy Butterwort plants in the UK:

Where to buy Butterwort plants in the US:

Millie Hurst
News Writer

Millie Hurst has worked in digital journalism for five years, having previously worked as a Senior SEO Editor at News UK both in London and New York. She joined the Future team in early 2021, working across several brands, including Gardeningetc. Now, she is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home, taking care of evergreen articles aimed at inspiring people to make the most of their homes and outdoor spaces.