Ease to Grow: Very Easy.
Native Range: Wet Bogs of the Cape region of South Africa.
Zones: 7-9 (6-10).
Drosera capensis or the Cape Sundew is one of the easiest of all carnivorous plants to grow. It is medium-size with long strap-like leaves, loaded with red tentacles. It has a nice overall green and red appearance and glistens brightly in the sunlight. Insects are lured to the plant and get mired in the sticky dew of the tentacles. The leaves slowly roll over on to the prey in about 30 minutes, creating an effective digestive pouch around the victim. Digestion takes a few days and the leaf uncurls to leave the prey remains behind. It is a tropical plant growing year round, as long as the conditions are warm and bright. In cooler temperatures it stops growing, but holds its traps. Here at our Nursery (Zone 6) it grows in some of the outdoor bog boxes, dies back in the Fall and re-emerges from the roots in Spring. It tolerates a wide range of growing conditions, but prefers open, sunny, boggy conditions in peaty soils. The flowers are a rosy-pink on tall, multi-flowered scapes. One or two flowers open each day for several weeks. It can flower at different times of the year, but more profusely in the summer months. It generously produces seeds that can be sown immediately or stored in cool, dry conditions for a year or more. D. capensis comes in many forms: red, white, narrow leaf, broad leaf, wide leaf, and giant. All are unofficial cultivars. It can become a wonderful "weed" in your carnivorous plant collection, and is an excellent terrarium plant. It is easy to grow and is a great beginner's plant. This selection comes from seed, and will show some natural variations. For maximum effect use multiple plants in a 6" pot.
Height: 2" - 6".
Plant Type: Perennial, tropical.
Soil: Lower Bog Mix or General CP Mix.
Light: Bright indoors, full sun to partial sun outdoors.
Use: Grows well in the protected bog garden, greenhouse and indoors. It is an excellent terrarium plant.