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Drosera adelae can be a somewhat challenging plant for newbies to grow, but by no means impossible. If you want to cultivate D. adelae (or Lance Leaf Sundews), please go over this entire guide so you will have an idea what conditions are ideal for this carnivorous plant and how to avoid mistakes.
Drosera adelae grows well at 55-65 degrees F it thrives in low humidity provided the weather is cool. These sundews are easier to care for indoors than outdoors, and need moist, long fibered sphagnum soil with strong grow lights.
Drosera Adelae Care Sheet
|Soil||100% long fibered sphagnum, keep soil moist|
|Water||Rainwater, purified, distilled water|
|Light||Best grown with indoor grow lights|
|Food||Small bugs, freeze dried mealworms|
|Temperature||55-65 F (12.7-18.3 C)|
|Propagation||Leaf cuttings, flower stalks, division|
The lighting required by D. adelae depends on whether you grow indoors or outdoors. In general these plants are easier to grow indoors because you can control the light.
Outdoors. Place your Drosera adelae under plenty of shade, but it should not be 100% covered. If the plant looks fine after a few days, gradually reduce its shading. Do this slowly to give the plant time to get acclimatized.
Indoors. Use artificial lighting for photoperiod. We suggest LBW Grow Lights because it is well suited for carnivorous plants. Some variants prefer strong lighting while others thrive in lower light. Adjust the intensity until the tentacles turn pink or red. Those are indications the plant gets enough lighting.
Drosera adelae seems to prefer artificial lights more than the natural, at least in many cases. Growing the plant indoors on a windowsill produces good results. But doing it under strong indoor grow light often leads to a better outcome.
Soil and Pot Requirements
Drosera adelae prefer the soil to be 100% long fibered sphagnum (LFS). You can add a bit of peat moss or silica sand to the mix as well. The soil should be moist to very moist and the pot should be at least 5 inches tall.
If you grow Drosera burmannii the similarities in soil requirements become apparent. A few things to keep in mind however.
The tray method works well with D. adelae, but keep the water level at 1-2 inches .The plant prefers moist soil but root rot could set in if lighting is insufficient. Provide as much light as possible to prevent this from occurring. Some D. adelae forms thrive with LFS only. Adding peat or other media slows down growth so if yours is doing fine with 100% LFS, do not change it.
Some grow their D adelae in 3 inch pots without any problems, but a taller container is better for its roots. A taller pot means you have to increase the water level if you are using the tray method though. As long as the soil remains moist you are doing it right.
Temperature and Humidity
Drosera adelae will be fine in 30% humidity if temperature is 70 F or lower. The higher the temperature goes, the more humidity the plant will require.
If you want D. adelae to produce more dew adjust the humidity depending on the temperature. This is another reason why this plant is usually grown indoors as you have more control over this aspect.
High humidity is recommended if you have done any root cuttings, divisions or repotting. During summer these sundews can get sunburned so keep it in a highly humid environment. If it is around 70-75 F, low humidity (under 40%) is acceptable. Anything above 75 F and the plant will need 50% or higher. It can help to use a humidifier like the Elechomes SH8830 to maintain the right level.
Dormancy and Flowering
Drosera adelae does not go dormant. Make sure its environment -light, temperature, humidity etc. – is as close to tropical as possible. Do this and you do not have to worry about the plant entering dormancy.
They produce flowers of varying colors, usually white, orange and red. D. adelae yield very few seeds unless you pollinate it with another D. adelae form. Even then the seeds will not be as numerous compared to other sundews.
Most of these sundews grow faster and larger when fed once at least month. High humidity and cool temperatures helps the plant digest more food.
While most sundews need to feed 2-4 times a month, D. adelae does not. In fact you have to be careful not to overfeed the sundew. You can try the typical once a week feeding frequency but keep food portions small.
D. adelae takes about 30-45 minutes to wrap around its food. So if your plant is not moving after you drop the food, just wait for a while.
An overfed sundew produces mold and gets lethargic. Feed the plant less often if you see any of these signs.
Just like other sundews, D. adelae eats small insects such as mosquitoes, fruit flies, ants, spiders etc. Mealworms in particular are good for these plants. Do not give hamburger, barbecue or any processed food to sundews.
The easiest way to propagate Drosera adelae is through leaf cuttings. Division, cutting flower stalks or roots also works well. Growing from seeds is difficult due to scarcity.
Growing D. adelae from seeds is fine if you can collect enough of them. Unless you have other D. adelae variants and done cross pollination, this will be challenging.
Leaf cutting is your best bet. Look for a healthy leaf and grow it in pure water. Supply it with lots of light and you should get good results. It is not uncommon to get up to two dozen new plants from a leaf cutting.
Root cutting is just as easy as they often come off by themselves. Division takes little effort either due to clumping.
Drosera Adelae Growing Tips
The tentacles serve as indicators of how healthy the sundew is. If they are pinkish red with lots of dew, they are healthy. But if the colors are faded and leaves are wilting, the temperature is too high and it is not getting sufficient light.
- If you recently bought a D. adelae and it does not look healthy or struggling to eat, give it time. The plant might just need more time to get used to its new environment.
- Now if your D. adelae shrivels to its roots, do not lose hope. The plant can still recover with enough light, water and soil. You should also look for signs of infection and treat the plant as quickly as possible to help it recover.
- If the sundew is still struggling, carefully remove the plant from its original container and move in a larger pot. Some D. adelae are sold in very small pots which affect their growth, so repotting in a bigger container can help.
- You can use 100% LFS or peat with mixture of silica sand or perlite. What is important is the soil remains moist at all times.
There are other things to consider when caring for these sundews.
Indoor Drosera adelae grow best with plenty of light and high humidity. These plants usually do fine with low humidity but if it is 85 F or higher they will struggle. You cannot do much about this outdoors which is why caring for them is easier indoors.
Indoors you can use a humidifier or terrarium to maintain the appropriate level. If you are using the tray method, you can put clear plastic over the tray to keep the moisture from getting out. As long as there is enough humidity, moist soil and light your D. adelae should stay healthy.
The arrangement above can also be used on a sick sundew. If your sundew is suddenly getting weaker, grow it under a high humidity set up with lots of lighting.
Never hesitate to make adjustments to the setup of your sundew. If the plant is struggling outdoors, move it inside and use indoor lighting. By keeping an eye on the temperature and humidity you can make incremental adjustments as necessary.
If your D. adelae lacks dew and looks unhealthy, the most likely reasons are insufficient light or low humidity in a high temperature environment. Provide more light and humidity for the plant and you should see it recover within a few days.
My fascination with carnivorous plants began many, many years ago with Venus Fly Traps. Now I am more than happy to impart what I know with other enthusiasts and those who are curious about meat eating plants.