Droseras are considered a semi active carnivore. Sundews have gooey tentacles that attract insects by red color and smell. Once an insect lands on the leaf, it begins its fatal struggle. The tentacles begin to wrap around the victim and the then produces more digestive fluid. More tentacles wrap around the bug, and the digestive process begins. Within hours the Sundew has ingested its catch, leaving only the skeletal remains. Sundews have one of the more powerful digestive systems in the carnivorous plant world.
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As their name suggests, the Sundew is named because of the glistening dew drops at the end of their tentacles when exposed to sunlight. There are over 100 species of Drosera, in which nine are know to be native in the United States, primarily growing in acidic bogs, and moist sandy areas. Sundews generally bloom in the spring, with small flowers only opening in the morning hours. They reproduce through seed and separation of the rhizome.
How to keep your Sundew healthy!
Location: Sundews make a great terrarium plant. Select an area that has bright indirect light. Morning sun is okay. Humidity is important to successfully growing a Sundew. Avoid humidity robbing drafts from heater and air conditioners. The ideal day temperature is between 45°F to 85°F degrees.
Watering: Drosera should not be allowed completely dry out! For best results use distilled water or rain water. Tap water with low salt content is acceptable provided water is allowed to stand overnight, to remove the chlorine. Sundews should not be allowed to sit in water.
Feeding: Sundews feed on aphids, and sphagnum gnats, and other soft-shelled insects. Look closely at the leaves and you will see the remains of insects that have been digested by the Sundew. Fertilizing with a 20-20-20 1/4 strength solution once a month is recommend to maintain vigor of the plant. For those of you with orchids, you can also use your Pro Blend Orchid Food for convenience, again at 1/4 strength.
Transplanting: You can transplant your Drosera with sphagnum moss, with a layer of perlite or gravel at the bottom of terrarium or pot. You can also grow in sand. You should transplant every two years, during any season.
Dormancy: It is best that Sundews get a rest period at least once every two years in the winter months. If your Sundew’s leaves start turning black in the fall, allow it to go dormant. Store in a cool 40°F-45°F degree place until late February.