Lab: Root Cutting Sundews


Lab: Sundew Root Cuttings

Purpose: Investigate the plant propagation technique of root cuttings and produce sundew plants.
Materials Provided:
    1 Bare-root Sundew
    1 Cup with lid
    Student directions and data sheet (automatic email delivery)
Materials Needed:
    1 Pint distilled water or rain water
    Optional: Scissors
    Optional: Magnifying glass
    Optional: 3" pots and CP soil
Grade Level: 4-5 elementary, middle school, high school, undergraduate.

Sundews are great subjects for carnivorous plant propagation. The roots of the binata group of sundews are nice and thick, readily produce plantlets, and are used in this investigation. Whole plants are included in the materials, so you may elect to take leaf cuttings form the top portion of the plants.

In this laboratory experience students learn and practice the propagation method of root cuttings. They observe and cut root sections from a growing sundew, place them on soil, record observations, and harvest dozens of sundew plantlets. They can also identify and investigate the variables that affect this process. A productive experiment will end with dozens of mature healthy sundew plants. Students may opt to plant them up and take them home.

This series of carnivorous plant lab investigations is based on scientific inquiry standards of the National Science Education Standards, and are consistent with State Learning Objectives. Students have the opportunity to think and act like scientists during these investigations. Written and classroom tested by Michael Szesze, Awarding Winning Science Teacher.

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