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By Shadowtski
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Posts:  4256
Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#282787
Basic Care of African Sub-Tropical Sundews

This guide applies to common beginner level species of Sundews which are commonly from South Africa and nearby countries. This group includes Drosera capensis, D. aliciae, D. madagascariensis, D. spatulata, D. natalensis, D. dielsiana, D. venusta, and others. It does NOT include Sub-Tropical Winter Growing Sundews, South American Sub-Tropical Sundews, and Australian Sundews that grow in Sub-Tropical latitudes.

Growing media: I use a mix of 1 part Sand (or Perlite) to 1 part Sphagnum Peat Moss.
I use Swimming Pool Filter Sand. I use Sphagnum Peat Moss that DOES NOT have any fertilizer or extra additives thrown in. Fertilizers will Kill CP.

Water: Use only Rainwater or Distilled Water.
City tap water and many bottled drinking waters almost always have a high level of TDS. (Total Dissolved Solids) These will slowly build up in the soil and kill your plant. Put a plastic tray under the pot your plant is in. Keep 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of water in the pot.

Light: They should get as much light as you can give them.
Grow them outside if you can or in the sunniest window you have access to.
Sub-Tropical Sundews thrive under full direct sunlight. They will survive in less light but won't develop their full colors. Under inadequate artificial light, indoors, the leaves and tentacles won't even develop properly. Artificial light such as T-8 or T-5 fluorescents should be within 6 inches of the plant. I use MarsHydro 300W LED lights and they are within 12 - 18 inches of the plants. One Mars Hydro 300W illuminates a 24 x 24 inch area at an adequate level of light to color up CPs nicely. But these lights are about $70 each. I'm an old fart and I can afford to buy a few nice things for my plants.

Temperature: These Sundews grow year round (no dormancy needed ) under normal household temperatures.
They can survive down to 32 degrees for brief periods. They can survive past 90 degrees in Summer.

Pot: I use plastic pots, 3 or 4 inches wide and as tall as I can find.
Many Sub-Tropical Sundews have long roots. They grow nicely in those 20 ounce Red Solo drinking cups, just poke a few small holes in the bottom.

Planting Seeds: Sprinkle the seeds on top of your growing mix. Do not bury them.
I usually put the whole pot in a large, clear, one gallon sized Ziploc bag. Put the pot in a bright (but not direct sun) warm (70 - 80 degree) spot. Your seeds should germinate in 4 - 6 weeks. I open the bag for an hour a day, gradually increasing the time. This acclimates the baby plants to your real world conditions. Put them in the best light you can find and in a year or so, they should be mature, flowering, and producing seeds of their own.

Feeding and fertilizing: Short answer, DON'T.
Move them outside in Spring, Summer, and Fall. They will catch their own food and plenty of it.

This is just a quick overview to get you started. I highly recommend Peter D'Amato's book, "The Savage Garden". This is an excellent book and goes into much more detail than I can cover in a quick post.

Hope I didn't put you to sleep.

Good growing,
Mike
Shadowtski, Shadowtski, Shadowtski and 4 others liked this
By w03
Posts:  393
Joined:  Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:46 am
#283551
Nice care sheet!
I'd add a few things like some quick listing of the different categories of subtropical sundews.
South American, South African, winter growing etc.
Some of these (South American species in particular) require night-time temperature drops or other specific conditions for long term health that most others do not.
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By Shadowtski
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Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#283557
w03 wrote:Nice care sheet!
I'd add a few things like some quick listing of the different categories of subtropical sundews.
South American, South African, winter growing etc.
Some of these (South American species in particular) require night-time temperature drops or other specific conditions for long term health that most others do not.
Thank you.

I wanted to keep it very basic. I wrote this for the person who just bought their first Drosera capensis, aliciae, spatulata, or tokaiensis and doesn't have a clue how to keep it alive. If I added much more, I could scare off people thinking, "It's too complicated, the heck with it." Or I would get complaints of TLDR.

By the time someone is buying a D. graomogolensis or D. cistiflora, they will be familiar enough with the CP community that they know where to find info.

But your suggestion brings two ideas to mind. One is to have one person write an Intermediate Care Guide for Sub-Tropical Sundews, incorporating the sub-types you mentioned and add it here as a sticky. The second is to have Matt set up a Wiki Care Guide section where any knowledgeable grower could edit or modify the Intermediate Guide. That could work well or it could be disastrous.

Good growing,
Mike
By jlagrange9137
Posts:  38
Joined:  Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:52 am
#283564
As a CP newbie myself, I agree with Mike that too in depth with too many variables would probably discourage me. But as a seasoned reptile and invertebrate keeper I do think that species or region specific care sheets are definitely needed. One thing I have noticed is that I have yet to find "ranges". What I mean by that is I know with my reptiles that Humidity, Temperature, Light, and substrate all need to be between x and y depending on the species. If you're in that range you have a happy animal, if you aren't in those ranges you have an unhappy animal. I understand that there's varying opinions on what works, but it's very intimidating to hear just try it and find out.

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By Shadowtski
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Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#309377
Sundew boy wrote:Is drosera burmanii a sub tropical sundew. The one on the extreme right.Image

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I consider D. burmannii to be a tropical Sundew.
But it has a wide range including sub-tropical areas also.
It likes warm weather and grows better in it.
Its seeds germinate much quicker in warm conditions.
It grows as an Annual in Nature or as a short lived perennial under cultivation.

Good growing,
Mike
By baygardensny
Posts:  1
Joined:  Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:12 am
#310203
Thanks for sharing good ways caring of sundews plants. If you put sundews plants then you must follows these care list. You will surely get a good result shortly if you go along with these curing ways.

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