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Drosera Capensis are beautiful, yet unusual plants. They are native to wet marshlands in the Cape of South Africa. Like other carnivorous plants, they don't receive their nutrients from the soil, so they catch insects for food. The Cape Sundew grows in a tropical area with fairly warm winters, so winter dormancy is NOT needed. They make great indoor plants!
They have leaves covered in hair-like nodules that secrete a sticky nectar that attracts small insects. In the sunlight, this nectar resembles morning dew, hence the name sundew. Once an insect lands on the leaf of a sundew, it is instantly trapped in the sticky death trap. Like Venus Flytraps closing to trap its prey, the sundew's hair-like nodules slowly bend to better contact the captured prey. What's remarkable about the Cape Sundew is how the leaves slowly wrap around their prey while the insect struggles to get free. Digestive enzymes cover the insect and its nutrients are absorbed into the leaf. Once digested, the empty exoskeleton of the insect is all that remains on the leaf.
Sundews like lots of sun, warm temperatures, wet soil, and of course food. They do best outside but can grow happily in a sunny window.
Light - Cape Sundews seem to like partial sunlight, so a covered porch or sunny window sill makes a good home for these plants.
Temperature - The ideal temperature for Drosera capensis is a little over room temperature as they enjoy warmth just as much as light. During the summer, it is best to keep these plants outside in a sheltered location where they receive lots of direct sunlight and warmth. As temperatures begin to drop, move them indoors to maintain higher temperatures to keep the plant comfortable and healthy. Keep it in a bright, sheltered position like a sunny windowsill during the winters.
Water - These plants don't like minerals, so the best water for them is collected rainwater. Tap water can have high concentrations of minerals and chlorine that can harm sundews over time but can be used during dry spells. If you have a dehumidifier in your home, the water collected from it works great! Water your plant daily or set the pot in a tray of water.
Soil - These plants thrive and flourish best in sandy peat moss soil mix or sphagnum moss. They do not get much nourishment from the soil.
Fertilizer - When it comes to feeding, the Drosera capensis is self-sufficient, getting all the nourishment it needs from insects. Yes, even in your home there are tiny flies and such for these little carnivores to eat! NEVER fertilize your carnivorous plants!
Re-pot - Repotting is unnecessary as long as the pot is big enough. Transplant only when the plant starts to overgrow the pot. Wait till spring to repot your plant as this is the ideal time of the year to transplant Drosera capensis.
Maintenance - Drosera capensis is easy to care for. All the plant needs is to get rid of the flower stems once the flowers are gone. Remove the withered leaves to keep the plant in a good shape and aesthetically appealing.
Winter Sleep - The Cape Sundew is a tropical plant, so a winter dormancy isn't needed. They do need protection from winter cold, bring them indoors in late fall before the first frosts.