Sundew (Drosera) Growing Care and Disease Guide

Sundews (Drosera) are an exciting plant to grow. They’re not just beautiful, but they also trap insects and digest them to get their nutrients. As such, sundew plants can be a great way to teach kids about natural ecosystems and how things work. The good news is that they’re also easy to grow indoors. This article will cover what kind of light, water, and soil your sundew needs to thrive indoors. How often should you feed it? How pruning affects your plant’s health. Propagation tips (including cuttings). Also, tips for dealing with pests or diseases that may crop up during your growing season. So let’s get started!

Habitat and Distribution Sundew Drosera

Sundew Drosera is a perennial plant that grows in temperate regions of the world, including Europe and North America. The giant sundew (Drosera Magnifica) is one of the largest species of sundew, with leaves up to 30 cm wide. It grows naturally in boggy areas of Tasmania and New Zealand.

Types of Sundews

Round leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) close up_

There are over 100 different types of sundews, but most grow in similar conditions and have similar characteristics. Sundews are carnivorous plants that trap insects with sticky glandular hairs on their leaves. The glandular hairs contain digestive enzymes that break down the insect bodies into nutrients for the plant to absorb. The leaves of sundew are covered with glandular hairs that secrete sticky mucilage. These glandular hairs will attract the Insects to the adhesive, which they get stuck. Then, the leaf curls around the insect and digests it.

Here Are Some Types of Sundews (Drosera)

Sundews are a type of carnivorous plant that uses sticky hairs to trap insects. There are many different species of sundews, but the three main types are pygmy, tuberous, and temperate.

Pygmy sundew have tiny leaves that grow close together, forming rosettes that can get quite large. They prefer shady spots with lots of moisture, so they’re often found in bogs or marshes. Their small leaves make them easy to propagate by cutting off a part of the plant with roots attached and replanting it in moist soil.

Pygmy sundew Drosera

Tuberous sundew have heart-shaped leaves with waxy tips that curl inward toward each other when there’s no light source (like when an insect lands on them). These plants are more accessible to grow than pygmy sundews. Because they don’t require as much shade or moisture, they also don’t have as many predators like slugs and snails. Who would eat their insect prey before it gets trapped by sticky hairs?!

Temperate sundew grow in areas where winters are cold enough for snowfall but warm enough for plants to survive without melting snow cover—like northern hemisphere regions like North America and Europe, where winter temperatures average between 15°C (59°F).

Plant Care and Maintenance

Drosera rotundifolia Common Sundew Round leaved Sundew

Sundew (Drosera) are not easy to grow indoors or outside due to their native habitat requirements (a boggy environment). To keep them alive, you must provide humidity above 60%. In most cases, this means keeping them in a terrarium with water-filled trays under them, so they get plenty of humidity from below and above (depending on how much sun hits the windows).

It would help if you also misted them every other day to keep them from drying. If your sundew (Drosera) is outdoors in a boggy area, you must create one indoors to maintain it properly. Sundews get their nutrients from insects and other animals they trap on their leaves, so they don’t need much soil or fertilizer. Too much water can kill them! Most people use peat moss or sphagnum moss as a growing medium with no added fertilizer.


Sundew (Drosera) need a lot of light to grow well. If you are growing them indoors, choose a location with bright indirect sunlight or use artificial lighting such as fluorescent bulbs. If planted outdoors, they should be placed in areas where they get at least several hours of daylight each day – more sun exposure will help your sundew grow faster than it would in partial shade.

When grown indoors, sundews can be placed on window sills or shelves with enough natural light to thrive without additional lighting fixtures being required. However, if you are willing to invest in other lighting equipment. Then you may want to consider setting up shop somewhere closer to the east or west-facing window. So that your plants receive maximum exposure during those shifts when sunlight intensity is most vigorous throughout the day (i.e., morning and evening).


Watering Sundews

Sundews are not like other plants. They need to be kept moist but not wet. If you watering them you can make the plant become sundew too wet disease. In nature, they live in bogs or marshes, and their leaves can absorb water from the air through tiny pores called stomata. This means you don’t have to water your plant daily; you can let it sit for a few days without any problems! However, if the leaves look shriveled or papery, you should give your plant some water as soon as possible!

The best way to do this is with a spray bottle (or an automatic mister like this). Spray all over until the soil feels damp but not soggy. You do not want standing water on top of your potting medium. Because this will cause root rot—the roots will drown in their habitat and die off quickly after being exposed too long without proper drainage at the bottom of their pot (usually filled with peat moss).

Understanding the Sundew Too Wet Disease

Sundews, scientifically known as Drosera, are fascinating carnivorous plants that thrive in specific conditions. Native to various parts of the world, they have evolved to capture and digest insects using their sticky, dew-covered tentacles. However, like all plants, they have specific needs, and one of the most common issues faced by sundew growers is overwatering, often referred to as the “sundew too wet disease.”

Causes of Overwatering in Sundews

Overwatering is a common mistake, especially among new sundew growers. Several factors contribute to this:

  • Misconceptions about Sundew Watering Needs: Many believe that because sundews are carnivorous and often found in wet habitats, they require constant water. This is not always the case.
  • Standing Water: Some growers keep their sundews in trays filled with water, leading to soggy soil conditions. While some sundews can tolerate this, others cannot.
  • Mold Growth: Overly wet conditions can lead to mold growth on the soil’s surface, which can be harmful to both the plant and humans.

Identifying the Signs of Overwatering

Overwatered sundews exhibit several signs:

  • Mold or Fungus: One of the most evident signs is the appearance of mold or fungus on the soil surface.
  • Yellowing Leaves: The leaves, especially at the bottom, may turn yellow or even die off.
  • Lack of Dew: Sundews may not produce their characteristic dew if they are overwatered.

Variations in Watering Needs Based on Sundew Types

Different sundew species have varying water needs:

  • Tropical Sundews: These often prefer constant moisture and can tolerate standing water.
  • Cape Sundew (D. Capensis): This variety prefers drier conditions and should not be kept in standing water.
  • Pygmy or Alice Sundews: Depending on the specific species, these might require moderate watering.

Addressing the Sundew Too Wet Disease

If you suspect your sundew is suffering from overwatering:

  • Adjust Watering Schedule: Only water when the soil starts to lose its dampness. Avoid leaving water in the tray.
  • Change the Soil: If mold is present, consider repotting the sundew with fresh soil.

Preventing Mold and Fungus Growth

To prevent mold and fungus:

  • Choose the Right Potting Mix: Some mixes are more resistant to mold.
  • Increase Airflow: Ensure your sundew is in a well-ventilated area.
  • Monitor Watering: Always check the soil’s moisture level before watering.

Common Myths and Misconceptions

Several myths surround sundew care:

  • Constant Standing Water: Not all sundews need or can tolerate constant standing water.
  • Mold is Harmless: While some mold might not harm the plant, it can be harmful to humans and is a sign of overwatering.

Tips for New Sundew Growers

For those new to growing sundews:

  • Research Your Sundew Species: Understand the specific needs of the sundew species you are growing.
  • Monitor Soil Moisture: Invest in a moisture meter or regularly check the soil with your finger.
  • Join a Community: Consider joining forums or groups where experienced growers can offer advice.

Expert Advice and Community Insights

Many experienced sundew growers share their insights online. From these forums, we gather that:

  • Watering Needs Vary: Even among experienced growers, watering practices can vary. It’s essential to find what works best for your specific conditions and sundew species.
  • Mold Can Be Managed: While mold is a sign of overwatering, it can be managed and does not always harm the plant.


Understanding the specific needs of your sundew is crucial for its health and well-being. Overwatering, or the “sundew too wet disease,” is a common issue but can be managed with the right knowledge and care. Always remember to monitor your plant’s condition, adjust your care practices as needed, and seek advice from experienced growers when in doubt.


Soil: Sundews need sandy or loamy soil high in humus (organic matter). The best soils are those that drain well but do not dry out too quickly. A soil with good drainage is essential for growing sundews. If you have heavy clay soil, it may be wise to mix in some sand or perlite to help with drainage. Avoid using potting mixes that are excessively rich or poor. It is also important not to add lime (calcium carbonate) or sulfur (sulfur dioxide) as these can alter the pH of your soil and kill your plants!

Sandy Soils: If you have sandy soil, mix two parts of humus-rich compost into 1 part of sand. This will provide nutrients and moisture retention properties most carnivorous plants need, including sundews! Clay Soil: To create a more balanced environment for growing sundews in clay soils. Use equal parts of sphagnum peat moss and perlite/vermiculite mixture plus one teaspoonful of bone meal fertilizer and superphosphate fertilizer per gallon of water. Used when watering your plants regularly throughout the year. 


Sundews are carnivorous plants, meaning they only eat insects. They are specifically adapted to catch and digest arthropods.

To feed your sundew (Drosera), you can offer it small flies or other insects. While young plants may not be able to trap larger prey, larger sundews will do fine with the occasional fly or two. You can also use a mixture of water and sugar that acts as an attractant for insects (and for humans). This mixture is a great addition to any carnivorous plant terrarium because it is visually appealing and helps bring in extra food for your plants!


Pruning is a great way to control the size of your sundew (Drosera). It also helps keep your plant healthy and prevent pests and diseases.

Pruning should be done in early spring (February) or late fall (early November) when the plant has gone dormant for the year. The best time to prune your plants is during this period Because they won’t have any leaves to protect their stems, which makes it easier to spot insect damage and disease symptoms. When cutting back a stem, you want to ensure that you cut just above a node. The little bump where new leaves will emerge from and not below it could weaken the structure of your plant’s roots and its ability to regenerate itself after being cut back.


drosera sundew plant 1

You can propagate sundews by division or seed. If you have a single clump, it’s best to divide it into two parts. Please put it in the spring when they are dormant. Dig a trench around the plant and cut through the roots with a sharp knife, then separate each half and replant them in pots of moist soil with adequate drainage at least 6 inches apart.

After division, use water from your tap or rainwater to keep the plants well watered until new growth appears in spring. We recommend against transplanting adult plants because they’re difficult to move without damaging their fragile root systems.

Suppose you’re growing from seed. Wait until after your plant has produced seeds before attempting this propagation method. Otherwise, you’ll end up with hybridized plants that will not produce actual sundew (Drosera) flowers or leaves (unless those traits are already present). When growing from seed, there are several options. You can sow indoors starting early February (or later if temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees Fahrenheit). Sow outdoors under bright shade, such as beneath an evergreen tree, or take advantage of natural light by sowing directly into pots filled with moist soil mixed with some sand or grit. This method is for drainage purposes only–do not add fertilizer!

Pests and Diseases of Sundew (Drosera)

Pests and diseases can be a problem for sundew (Drosera) plants. Some pests include aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. Spider mites are typically brownish-red or black and will weave webs around their leaves. You’ll need to remove these pests by hand if you find them on your plant, as chemical sprays can damage the leaves of a sundew (Drosera).

If you find any diseased parts on your plant (for example, yellowing or rotting leaves), cut off those portions of the plant above ground level so that new healthy growth can sprout from below ground level where roots are located. This way, new growth won’t get infected with the disease either!

Other common problem is sundew too wet disease. Sundews are sensitive to pests and diseases, including aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and fungus.


These tiny, sap-sucking insects can be a big problem for your sundew (Drosera). They are most likely to attack when the plant is young, but they can also infest mature plants. They usually live on the underside of leaves, where they feed on sap. If you notice small white or yellow spots on your sundew’s leaves, look closely at them to see if you can spot any aphids. If you spot some, remove them with tweezers or dip the leaf in soapy water.


There is another common pest for sundew (Drosera). They’re tiny insects that feed on the plant’s sap and leave behind a sticky substance called honeydew, which attracts ants and other insects that can further damage your plant. The best way to get rid of mealybugs is by spraying them with alcohol or applying insecticidal soap every few days over several weeks until they’re gone.

Spider Mites

They are tiny arachnids (eight-legged creatures) that feed off plant sap by puncturing plant cells with mouthparts. Spider mites also produce webbing, which makes them hard to see with the naked eye but can be seen as fine silk threads covering infested leaves or stems.


Fungus is a disease that can affect the roots of your sundew (Drosera) plant. The symptoms are brown spots on the leaves and yellowing of the leaves. If you notice these symptoms, it is best to isolate your sundew from other plants in your collection until you can determine what type of fungus is affecting it.

Do Sundews (Drosera) Become Dormant?

Yes, the plant become dormant.

Dormancy is a period of rest during which plants change their normal function. This can be caused by environmental factors, such as temperature, light exposure, and seasonal changes. Dormancy is also a natural part of the life cycle of some plants, including sundews.

Sundew (Drosera) plants require darkness and cool temperatures to enter dormancy. Suppose you keep your plant in an area that gets direct sunlight or is too warm. The plant will not go into dormancy properly and will not bloom any new leaves when the plant returns to normal activity.

If you’re interested in growing sundews, you can start by growing a few indoors to see what kind of care they need. Sundew (Drosera) plants are easy to grow and benefit from the same basic care as most other houseplants.

They don’t require much light. But they must receive enough light to be fully green and healthy.

They also need less water than cacti or succulents. Once a weekly watering after the soil has dried out completely is usually enough for your sundew.

drosera sundew plant 2


drosera sundew plant drosera sundew plant 2

If you’re interested in growing sundews, the first thing to do is get some plants! Get a few small pots and fill them with soil. You can use regular potting soil or something more specialized like cactus soil. Once your pots are filled, plant the sundew (Drosera) seeds or cuttings at least one inch deep into the soil and water generously. If growing indoors under lights, ensure adequate light for sun-loving plants like these if you want to grow outdoors during the summer. Please keep them in the bright shade as they don’t like total sun exposure.