sundew and pitcher plant help

dsmdan95May 12, 2007

Hello, I have a sundew (drosera) and a pitcher plant which I believe is the purple kind. I got them at lowes and decided to put them in the sun since at lowes they got no light at all. Now the sundew isnt having any dew that it once had.. I,m going to transplant them both so there soil wont dry out. Do I use the same soil as a Venus Fly Trap? 50 or 60 sphagnum moss and half perite half sand? Any help would be nice. Thanks Dan

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Hello dsmdan95,

The usual Drosera you buy at hardware stores are the most common and easiest to grow, like D. adela, D. capenesis, and such. Some like full sunlight more than others and some simply cannot weather full sunlight as it burns their leaves. If you have D. adelae, it can only stand partial light like what it would get in an east or west window or under a shady tree. Full sun can cook it.

Is this your sundew?

If so, it is Drosera adelae and can be grown easily inside as a houseplant in a partial sun window or on a shady (not too shady, they still like good light) patio space.

The big problem is humidity at this point since it sounds like you took off the goofy plastic dome that hardware stores often put on their carnivorous plant stock. If you took the dome off quickly, the plants are likely in humidity shock and will be sick for a couple of weeks until they adapt. To help them recover, you can replace the humnidity domes and then slowly remove them by lifting the sides and bracing them up a fraction of an inch or punching several 1/4 inch holes in the sides every 3 days until it does not hold humidity any more. After two weeks of hole punching or continuous dome raising, the plants should be adapted to low humidity and will be healthier.

You can repot the plants into a larger pot with good drainage holes with the ingredients you stated. Just make sure the moss is of the Canadian premium sphagnum peat moss type in the dry bales and that the perlite is plain, no fertilizers added to either. Mix up the perlite and moss and dampen it until it is chocolate brown and then repot. It would be a good idea to place a water tray with 1-2 inches of water in it at all times under the pots to provide constant moisture as those plants are bog species that get continuous water.

The plants also need to be adapted to high level light since they have been in low light in a hardware store. If the sundew is an adelae (Australian Lance Leaf Sundew), it can't stand full sun as I indicated before, so just give it more bright light, but never full sun. The Sarracenia Purpurea is the Purple Pitcher plant and it is a North American plant that actually requires full sun to develop as a healthy, vigorous plant. It would take a metal halide 400 watt lamp to provide even a close approximation of the light that plant likes if someone were to try to grow it inside. Anyway, just place the pitcher plant in a west or east window or in a shady spot under an awning or tree for the first week, then in less shade, like in a south window or further towards the edge of the shaded region, in the second week, then in full sun after that. Some leaf burn might still occur, but the plant will at least be on the way to recovery and adaptation to high light levels.

The sundew needs light to produce dew, but if it is shocked by a humidity change, will loose it's dew. Give it time and the conditions I described and it should recover in a couple of weeks.

Also, only water the plants with distilled, rain, or reverse osmosis water as too many minerals, like tap water usually possesses, eventually kills carnivorous plants as it alters the Ph of their acid soil mix.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 10:28PM
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Ok, if you got the sundew at lowes, it's an adelae, so, full sun is bad. (I cooked a couple I bought back when I started with CPS... fortunately, once I changed the light level, they flourished.) Alot of people will even go as far as to say, a north facing window for them if you keep them in the window sill. Mine are doing fine under partial sun.

About repotting the adelae, I had decent success with just taking the contents of the pot as carefully as I could and basically packing LFS around the already present soil in the bigger pot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aracknight's Deadly Delights

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 1:44PM
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I just repot one d. adelae into a new pot. I just carefully (with a spoon) sug under it, lift it up and transplanted it into peat/perlite mix. I was in pure LFS.
They spread pretty fast in a year!


    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 4:14PM
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Thanks for the help. Whats CPS and LFS?
I transplanted & built some humidity domes out of pop bottles. So hopefuly I can build some humidity back up.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 3:35AM
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Hey Dan where are you in Iowa? I'm near Durant/Davenport.

CPS.. Carnivorous PLants
LFS.. Long Fiber Sphagnum.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 8:07AM
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    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 4:35PM
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Hello dsmdan95,

I forgot to say that after two weeks of slow adaptation to low humidity by punching holes or raising the humidity cover that you can just take the cover off. After that time, the plants should be adapted to lower humidity enough that they can grow in uncovered pots comfortably. They will grow stronger leaves with lower humidity anyways.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 6:48PM
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Davenport! Outstanding!!! I have a fellow CP'er in the area. Yea for me!

Dan, I can tell you our spring and summer environment is pretty well suited for Dews. With a few considerations.

First keep them pretty wet. The tray method works well. Iowa can be a bit hot and at times dry. They will appreciate the extra water.

Second don't expose them to full sun during mid day. I keep mine under other plants to shade them from about 11:00AM to 3:00 PM. Our afternoon temps can be very hard on most species of drosera. Morning sun is better than afternoon sun. If you have them inside a south facing window in full sun will be OK. The window will lessen the heating affect and prevent damage to nearly all CPs.

And finally shelter them from our famous Iowa winds. Wind will dry the leaves out. If that happens they will stop making dew and eventually may die.

The pitcher will be beautiful in full sun all day long but keep it very miost and out of the wind.

Following these suggestions my drosera are dewy pretty much all the time. Currently I have some Filiformis and some Cape sundews and both are very dew covered. Give them some time and they will most likely snap out of it. A change of environment will cause most dews to stop producing for a few days. One thing to keep in mind is that if the older leaves have dried out they may never produce dew again, but new leaves should.

If you need any help let me know, you can just email me.

Oh and I may have some Cape sundews later this summer if you want a few.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 8:06AM
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