Drosera capensis - African Sundew. This tropical sundew is fairly easy to grow in a humid greenhouse or terrarium. While thriving in bright light, direct sun should be avoided unless weak winter sun is used. About 50% shade is average. Four to six inches below fluorescent plant lights often works well. Though the plants can tolerate temperatures from about 40°-98°F, it is best to keep temperatures between 55°-80°F. Potting in a 4-6 inch plastic container should be large enough if pots are used. We recommend a mix of 2 parts long sphagnum moss plus 1 part perlite as a soil mix. Other blends include 50/50 sand and peat moss or 2 parts peat moss and 1 part perlite. The lower end of the stem should be buried and occasionally repotting is advised as the stem becomes taller and wobbly. New roots are produced as the stem elongates. Bright pink flowers appear on tall stems and can set a lot of seed if conditions are good. Remove the flower stalk if seed is not desired as a pile of tangled seedlings may result!
Keep the plants moist to wet but not sitting in water; do not allow to dry out. Pale stringy growth indicates more light is needed and a healthy plant will have red on the tentacles. Several color forms exist; the green form does not produce red pigment. Unless otherwise stated on the label, we sell the "typical" form with some red color on the tentacles. As with most sundews, water on the leaves is not advised. Flood occasionally with pure water beside the plant to avoid washing the "dew" off. Feeding is not usually needed as the plants capture small gnats and other insects. In a situation where the plants cannot catch insects, it is probably beneficial to sprinkle a few ant sized insects on a leaf a few times a year. Dead insects work well and are less likely to crawl off.
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