Sundew Carnivorous Plant

Another great Carnivorous Plant to grow is the Sundew or Drosera. The Sundew is also relatively easy to grow and keep alive here in South Africa.

According to what I have read, the sundew is native to most continents where the temperature is warm to hot with a lot of moisture and rain. They are, just like the Venus Flytrap, found in boggy areas where the soil is poor and constantly moist.

How the Sundew traps its prey

The leaves leaves have hairs protruding from them and most of these hairs have a sweet sticky secretions that trap small insects.

Sundew Leaf

When a small insect gets trapped in the sticky substance, the leaf or trap curls around to bring as much of the trap in contact with the insect for digestion.

Feeding the Sundew Carnivorous Plant

The Sundew is very efficient in trapping its own prey but when spring comes around, the plant starts growing new leaves or traps and there might not be many insects around yet.

I fed the plant with Blood Worms that are found in most pet shops here in SA. Gently put a small worm on 1 or two leaves and gently move it around to simulate an insect. The leaf might start curling around the Blood Worm but in most cases it doesn’t. The leave will digest the worm and get the nutrients it needs.

Do this about once every two weeks until you see the plant is trapping its own prey.

The soil needed for the Sundew

The Sundew requires nutrient-free soil that provides good drainage and aeration. Use a standard soil mixture of 1 part peat moss and 1 part perlite. Never use potting soil, compost or fertilizer. These ingredients will kill your plant. The soil mix can be purchased at Hecker Nursery or from Jozi Carnivores.

Watering the Sundew

Just like most of the Carnivorous Plants, the Sundew needs water free of nutrients and minerals. The soil has to be kept moist all the time even in the Winter months when the plant goes dormant.

Always water the plant with Distilled WaterRain Water or Reverse Osmosis Water. Giving the plant normal tap water will kill the plant eventually.

I kept the pots in pot holders filled with water to ensure the soil stayed wet.

Growing Conditions

The Sundew needs between 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. If you keep the plant indoors put it in a window sill that gets sunlight. The Sundew, like most of the Carnivorous Plants goes dormant in the winter and the leaves will wither and turn black. Keep the soil wet during the dormant period and you will see that when the days start warming again in spring.

Sundew Carnivorous Plant

In Conclusion

The Sundew or Drosera is a lovely and interesting plant to add to your collection of unusual plants. Quite easy to grow and keep alive when you use the correct soil for potting and the correct mineral and nutrient free water as described earlier.

If you have tips or questions please leave a comment below.