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Drosera binata is best known for its forked leaves, which is why it is known as the Fork Leaved Sundew. Caring for D. binata is similar to other sundews so if you have grown them before, this will be easy. If not, this guide details everything you need to know to grow and keep the plant healthy.
Drosera binata grows in 45-85 F temperature and needs several hours of natural or artificial light. These sundews prefer moist or waterlogged soil with 50-85% humidity.
Drosera Binata Care Sheet
|Soil||1:1 silica sand and peat or long fiber sphagnum moss|
Keep soil moist but not soggy
|Water||Distilled, purified or rainwater|
|Light||6-8 hours natural or grow light|
|Food||Small insects, fish food, dried mealworms|
|Temperature||40-85 F (4-29 C)|
|Propagation||Leaf cutting, root cutting, seeds flower stalks, division |
Soil and Pot Requirements
Soil for Forked Leaved Sundews should be 1:1 silica sand and peat. LFS (long fibered sphagnum, dead or live) is also a good choice. With LFS you do not need to add anything else. You can mix in a bit of perlite but it is not required.
If you have Drosera aliciae you will notice that its preferred soil mix is similar to D. binata. Like other sundews you can adjust the mix ratio. Most D. binata variants do fine with 1:1, but experimenting with 2:1 might yield better results. It depends on other factors such as the environment, humidity etc. but you can try it. If you do not want to experiment, we recommend Rio Hamza Sphagnum Moss as it is proven to work with sundews.
Drosera binata can grow in 3 inch pots, but 6-10 inch or taller containers allow the plant to reach its maximum size. These sundews can produce 9 inch leaves and the D. binata variant dichotoma grow up to 2 feet.
Some place their D. binata on hanging pots because the leaves tend to sag somewhat. This only happens if the plant does not get enough light. Forked Leaved Sundews with proper lighting and nutrition stay upright.
Soil has to be moist and waterlogged. Do not let the soil dry out on Drosera binata or any of its variants. Use only purified or distilled water for the soil. If you can collect rainwater that will be fine too.
Some things to keep in mind when watering D. binata:
- Do not use tap water. They might have minerals that could kill the plant.
- Sitting the plant in water is an efficient way to keep the soil moist. It also helps raise humidity during hot days.
- Reduce watering when the plant goes into dormancy.
- Clean the tray regularly to prevent water from stagnating.
- Make sure there is good drainage.
Watering is key to growing Forked Leaved Sundews and can accelerate growth. Be sure to check our guide on many other ways to grow sundews faster.
Temperature and Humidity
The temperature range for Drosera binata is 40-85 degrees F (4-29 C). This sundew enters dormancy if it drops under 40 F. Humidity should be at least 50% and it will produce more dew if the rate is 80%+.
Some sundews tolerate heat better than others, but for D. binata 85 F should be the limit. Give the plant partial shade if the temperature reaches 90 degrees or more. Do not completely shade the plant because it needs light to grow.
Some D. binata variants might adapt to hotter temperature, so check the plant for signs. If the leaves are too dry and the tentacles lose their dew, it means the heat is affecting the plant negatively.
If there is plenty of sunlight but you are worried about the temperature, keep the plant in a tray of water. Fill the tray until it is half the height of the pot. For seeds, wrap a sheet over the container. This will trap the moisture and humidity while allowing the plant to soak in the water.
Another option is to install a humidifier. It is an easy solution and allows you to fine tune the humidity to maximize dew production.
You can use artificial or natural light for Drosera binata. Natural lighting is best but a 13-17 hour photoperiod with T8 lights stimulates growth too.
These sundews require several hours of light per day, 6-8 hours being the minimum. During sunny days you should take the plant outdoors, or at least leave it on a south facing window. Use T8 lights if natural light is limited.
D. binata leaves turn red under prolonged exposure to light. This is a good sign as long as the temperature does not exceed 85 F. Fluorescent lights are recommended and 40-60W cool white or warm will do nicely. Another good choice is the Briignite Grow Light bulbs as they provide solid results.
Forked Leaved Sundews need to eat once a week. Their diet consists of small insects such as mosquitoes, flies, gnats, etc. You can fill up a single leaf with food. Feeding regularly can speed up growth.
It usually takes 8-15 minutes for the leaf to curl over the food. The closing time for sundews differ so do not be surprised if D. binata takes its time before closing over the food. In fact this curling might only be visible if the food is substantial.
Some tips for feeding these sundews:
- These plants can only eat small insects. They also feed on mealworms, fish food and sometimes even tiny frogs. If you want to give it a sizeable prey, cut into small bits to prevent its escape and and avoid possibly damaging the plant.
- D. binata has to feed regularly during its growth phase. Once the plant has matured, it can catch food without needing help. You only have to feed if the sundew has no means of capturing prey by itself.
- Keep feeding frequency to once a week or every two weeks. That is enough for these plants.
- Sundews cannot eat without mucilage, so wait until you see those dew drops before giving it any food.
- Never use fertilizer to feed sundews. This will literally kill your sundew. Carnivorous plants get their nitrogen from insects, and rich soil will be too much.
Dormancy and Flowering
Most Drosera binata variants go through dormancy. But if you grow the sundew indoors during winter it may no longer go dormant.
Regardless of variant, Drosera binata will go dormant if the temperature drops to freezing. But it will come back to life in the spring provided it is healthy enough. These sundews can only recover from moderate freezing so check the weather in your area.
You can still use the tray method when the plant goes dormant, but it probably will not eat much if at all. It is normal for D. binata to shed leaves and shrivel to down to the roots during this time so do not worry.
Flowering. Most Drosera binata produce large flowers with a good amount of seeds. Most flowers are white but some species produce pink ones. Note that the variants dichotoma and multifilda do not self pollinate. If you are not sure, check the specs of your drosera to determine if it is self pollinating or not.
Drosera binata can be propagated through leaf cuttings, root cuttings, division, seeds and cutting flower stalks. You can use any of these methods on a healthy sundew.
D. binata division and root cuttings. Wait until dormancy to divide the plant. Root cuttings is easy to do anytime. One of the benefits of D. binata is they have long, thick roots which simplifies cutting.
Flower stalk and leaf cuttings are also straightforward. Cut the pieces off the plant, place it in a separate location and let it grow. Water and light are critical during this period and as it grows, you have to feed the leaves as well.
As for seeds, gather as many as you need from its flowers. Cold stratification is not required but it can speed growth with some variants. Feed every couple of weeks and it should flower in 18 months or so. Some species grow faster than others but with proper feeding there will be no problems.
Drosera binata comes in several forms, but the caring process is similar. As long as the environment is suited for this plant it will grow, and grow fast if well fed. Given how easy it is to propagate you can have several Forked Leaved Sundews quickly.
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.