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Drosera capillaris are natively found in the southeastern parts of the US, Brazil and many South American countries. Its bright pink flowers have earned it the moniker Pink Sundew. Caring for drosera capillaris is quite simple, which makes this a good choice for a beginner.
Drosera capillaris grows in sunny and humid conditions, with temperature at 70-85 degrees F. These sundews thrive in equal parts silica sand and peat for the soil and they are also easy to grow in a terrarium.
Drosera Capillaris Care Sheet
|Soil||1:1 peat and silica sand, keep sol moist|
|Water||Purified distilled, rainwater|
|Light||6-8 hours full or partial light, indoor grow lights are fine|
|Food||Small insects, freeze dried worms, fish betta pellets|
|Temperature||70-85 F (21-29 C)|
|Propagation||Cuttings and seeds|
Drosera capillaris need 6-8 hours of full and partial light. You can use fluorescent lighting or Barrina Plant Grow Lights during overcast days or if it housed indoors. The ideal growing condition for Pink Sundews is sunny and wet with moist soil.
Outdoors. Find a sunny location in your garden, unobstructed by trees, the roof etc. With plenty of natural light and a soil moist, expect robust growth form your Pink Sundew.
Sunlit conditions combined with moisture is similar to the savannas these plants naturally thrive in. You should only put the plant under shade if the temperature gets too high.
The colors indicate if D. capillaris is receiving sufficient light. If the sundew is red, it is getting enough. If only the tentacles are red and the leave green, the lighting is inadequate. These perennial plants will grow indoors or outdoors, in a bog garden, terrarium or if you want to build one at home, a greenhouse.
Indoors. You can leave the pot on a windowsill or keep it in a terrarium. What is important is D. capillaris gets enough light. The sun is still the best option but fluorescent lights are effective too. Of course you can combine the two. Provide natural light when the sun is out and use fluorescent if the sky turns overcast early.
Soil and Pot Requirements
These sundews flourish in sandy peat conditions so use silica sand and peat moss equal parts. Keep the soil wet and do not allow it to completely dry. Use a 6 inch pot.
You can also use a 2:1 mixing ratio or try LFS (long fibered sphagnum) and perlite. Along with silica sand and peat, they are the standard media used for carnivorous plants. If the plant is doing well there is no need to alter the mix, but you can experiment with other ratios when propagating.
D. capillaris is best grown in a 6 inch pot or a terrarium like the CYS EXCEL Glass. You can use a smaller container but this could prevent the plant from reaching its maximum size. A 6 inch pot provides enough room for the roots to grow.
You can use a small pot but you will need repot if the plant outgrows its container. Remember to use the same soil mixture if the sundew seems to thrive in it.
Watering the Soil
Use purified, distilled or reverse osmosis water. You can also moisten the soil with rain water as sundews benefit from it. Never use tap water on sundews as it could cause serious harm. The tray method is the best way to keep the soil of D. capillaries moist.
The pot hole allows the water to get into the plant. Water nourishes sundews and also increases humidity. The tray method is particularly effective during summer as the high temperature can dry out the leaves.
Refill the tray before the water completely disappears. You can also throw away the remaining water and replace it. Doing this prevents stagnation and gets rid of any food particles or debris in the soil that ended up in the water.
Temperature and Humidity
Drosera capillaris grows fastest when the temperature is around 70-85 degrees F. The plant will likely freeze if it drops to 40 degrees. The humidity can be anywhere from 50-80+%.
If your D. capillaris is outdoors and the temperature soars, place it under partial shade. Do not cover the plant completely because it needs light. Remove the shade once the temperature drops.
Most sundews prefer high humidity but for D. capillaris it depends on the temperature. The higher the temperature, the more humidity it needs. As the temperature drops its needs for humidity is reduced.
40% is probably the lowest humidity level you should try. If you are not sure, check the mucilage (the sticky stuff) on its tentacles. Sundews increase dew production with light and humidity.
Pink Sundews have nearly the same temperature requirements as D. filiformis and others. The ideal range is between 70-80 F though the plant can handle 90 F if humidity is high enough.
If D. capillaris is not producing enough dew and looks dried out, it needs more humidity. You can install a humidifier if the plant is indoors or use the tray method. Unless the temperature goes very high, your sundew should be all right.
Feeding and Nutrition
If have grown sundew before, feeding and nutrition is very simple. Depending on where you grew the plant, you may not need to do much of anything.
Drosera capillaris has to eat once a week. During its growth period the plant has to feed regularly on flies, mosquitoes, spiders, freeze dried mealworms, fish flakes or beta fish pellets.
Outdoors. A mature D. capillaris produces enough dew to lure insects, so no manual feeding required. But how will you know if your sundew is getting enough nutrients? Here are some signs.
At least one tentacle should always be curled up over prey. Healthy Pink Sundews are also red with plenty of dew and just look healthy.
If the plant has lost its red color and the tentacles are always open, check if it has enough dew. Sundews cannot digest food without them. If there is little to none, move the plant to a sunnier location and increase its humidity.
indoors. Feed the sundew once a week. You can give it any insect or worm if they are small enough. The most popular choices are re-hydrated mealworms because they are readily available. Your sundew might catch a few insects but they will be limited unless the window is always open.
Dormancy and Flowering
D. capillaris does not need dormancy. The plant will continue to live in winter but you have to protect it from frost. Keep the sundew indoors as it cannot survive the cold. If the plant goes into a freeze there is no guarantee it will be able to recover.
Pink Sundews die after blooming, so gather the seeds immediately for propagation. You can cut the flower stalk to prevent blooming and extend its life. Pruning the sundew also helps maintain its clean appearance.
There are two ways to propagate D. capillaris: seeds and leaf cuttings. Both are easy to do and only requires patience.
Leaf cutting is exactly that, cutting a leaf to produce a new sundew. You do this once D. capillaris has matured. You can cut a whole leaf or a small portion, it is up to you. Place the leaf in water and after several weeks you will see plantlets emerging.
You can grow the plantlets in the same type of soil as its parent sundew. Give it as much light as you can. Leaf cuttings are best grown indoors so artificial light is required. In this case a quality grow light is the best option.
Propagating with seeds is just as easy. Wait for the sundew to bloom and collect the seeds. Cut the flower stalks off to keep the plant alive. You can also gather those stalks and propagate them the same way as the leaves.
Seed germination takes 4-6 weeks or longer. Supply the seeds with as much light as possible. While growing from seeds is easy, leaf cutting produces better results. The other problem with seeds is you have to let D. capillaris flower, which shortens its lifespan.
When it comes to drosera most people think of Cape Sundews or D. rotundifolia, but we should not sleep on D. capillaris. It may not be as common as the others but this plant will still make for a fine addition in your garden.
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.