Drosera or Sundews can be one of the easiest carnivorous plants to grow, but are a huge group of varied plants. There are several groups: hardy, tropical, Cape/ warm temperate, pygmy and tuberous sundews. They all love the sun, but some will tolerate light shade. A warm or cold greenhouse or conservatory is ideal for the majority.
The Cape sundews are ideal plants for the beginner, but some of the tropical and tuberous require more care.
They are best grown in pots, but can be added to an arrangement with Sarracenias and Venus Flytrap. Most are not too big and are fine on a sunny windowsill, but some, like the fork leaved sundews, need a lot more space.
Hardy sundews can be in a bog garden or mini-bog outside.
There are so many species it is difficult to generalize.
Use a water tray or saucer, and stand in 2-3cm of water. Use rainwater or soft water.
Feeding is not usually necessary as they catch their own food quite well. If they are kept in fly free conditions , try
using ants or encouraging fruit flies.
Most sundews (apart from the hardy ones) do not require a dormant period, and if kept warm enough, will keep growing all winter. However some such as the fork-leaved, and Cape sundews (D. capensis, D. aliciae) will die back if kept in a cold greenhouse. They will withstand a light frost. Keep just damp rather than waterlogged. It is best to chop the tops right off and they will rejuvenate next spring. Hardy Sundews are best grown outside or in a cool greenhouse or cold frame. The plant will die back to a winter resting bud. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation to prevent botrytis. Tropical species obviously need to be kept warm over winter, or in a terrarium. Tuberous sundews die back to a tuber and some need to be kept totally dry. Others will need a little damping.
Remove any dead foliage.
We use 3:1 peat :sand.
Drosera capensis is very easy to grow from seed, and will seed into all your other plants. many Drosera are easy from seed, but others, such as the fork leaved sundews and Drosera regia, grow well from root cuttings, taken early in the season. Pygmy sundews produce gemmae -little buds that can be taken off and pressed into compost to grow.
Pest and disease
Greenfly can over winter in the plants and cause problems in the early spring, so watch for signs of damage. Never use soap based insecticide on these. Good ventilation and hygiene will prevent botrytis -sometimes a problem on the hardy sundews.