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Cape Sundew · Wiki

Botanical Name: Drosera capensis

This carnivorous plant grows in a rosette. The long, narrow leaves are covered with bright red hairs, or tentacles, which secrete a sticky juice which lures flies and other insects.

Fooled into mistaking the glistening liquid for nectar, bugs are attracted to them; as soon as the bug lands it is stuck, and the leaf folds up to hold the insect. Sundew produces a digestive enzyme that breaks down protein from insects so that it can be absorbed by the plant.

You'll get dozens of blooms from a healthy, mature, plant in the early summer (a plant will reach maturity in about a years time). Each flower stem carries several buds that will open in succession, from the bottom to the top. The small, pink, flowers are attractive; though short-lived, only lasting a day.

Sundews will need to eat to survive and grow, and they get their nourishment from the insects that they capture and digest. Since a carnivorous plant is unlikely to catch flies or other insects in the house, you'll want to feed it yourself.

Native to a subtropical climate, Cape Sundew prefers higher humidity than most homes provide. It's a good candidate for a terrarium or Wardian case, which will help to maintain humidity.

This perennial won't go dormant in winter as long as its culture stays the same. However, lower light levels and cooler temperatures can cause this carnivore to go dormant. If this happens, don't give up on it. It'll grow new leaves and flowers when it is no longer dormant.


Care Tips

Origin: Subtropical Cape region of South Africa

Height: Up to 3 in (8 cm)

Light: Bright indirect light

Water: Aim to keep the potting medium evenly moist, it is best to use rain or distilled water.

Humidity: Moderate to high; if the relative humidity drops below 50%, you'll want to raise the humidity for your plant.

Temperature: Average room temperatures between 60-75°F (16-24°C). It will tolerate a wider range, but cold air may cause dormancy; so it's best to maintain normal room temperatures year-round.

Soil: Live sphagnum moss or a 50/50 mix of peat moss and horticultural sand.

Fertilizer: Don't use fertilizers because they will burn the roots, and may kill the plant. Since Sundews are unlikely to catch insects in the house, you can feed it dead flies spring through fall. Don't use flies that have been exposed to any insecticides as they will hurt the plant.

Propagation: Propagate from seeds, or through division. Collect seeds from the flowers that have dried, and sow the fresh seeds in peat moss (keeping moist at all times). Place the pots in a warm window or under fluorescent lights. seeds will germinate in 2-4 weeks. To divide, separate any new rosettes that form around the parent plant.
Posted By Gremelin Posted on June 30th, 2018 · Updated on September 2nd, 2020
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