Sundew (Drosera) Care Guide

Sundew plants can keep your homes pest-free. Are you caring for it correctly?

I first became interested in Sundew plants when I had a fungus gnat problem at home. I was overwatering my plants, and fungus gnats began to infest them all.

While there are numerous remedies to the problem, including the use of Mosquito Dunks, I preferred a natural approach. Sundews proved to be the ideal option for me.

Interested? Here’s how you take care of one?

Where Do They Typically Grow?

These carnivorous plants can be found all over the globe. This includes most of Europe, Southern Africa, North America, and a handful of South American and Asian nations. In fact, Sundews are present on every continent except Antarctica.

How Do They Trap Their Prey?

Sundews capture their prey using flypaper traps.

Their leaves are covered with tentacles, which are spikes that resemble plant hairs. There are glands at the tips of these tentacles that generate mucilage, a gluey fluid used to catch insects.

Most insects are attracted to the Sundews because they believe the gluey droplets are nectar. When the plant captures its prey, the flat leaves begin to curve at an angle in order to digest the food. Insects die as their bodily fluids are drawn out and degraded by plant enzymes.

carnivorous sundew eating insect

Different Varieties

Cape Sundews (Drosera Capensis) – This wonderful drosera is native to the Cape of South Africa. It is an enormous, attractive, and extremely simple to raise plant. It produces a slew of stunning pink blooms on long stalks and is easy to grow. 

Pygmy Sundews (Drosera Pulchella)Drosera pulchella is a fascinating and complex collection of plants that is nearly entirely indigenous to Western Australia. The majority of these plants are real miniatures, seldom more than a penny in size. However, a couple are somewhat larger. All are lovely, tiny diamonds that are best viewed in colonies using magnifying lenses. They may be cultivated in a terrarium, on a windowsill, or outdoors in warm winter climates.

Forked Leaf Sundews (Drosera Binata) Drosera binata is among the most beautiful and easy-to-grow varieties. Some of these plants may be grown in full sun in huge undrained hanging plastic pots. The majority of Drosera binata are temperate. If you purchase them during their winter hibernation, the plants will be fully dormant and leafless. In the spring, they will begin strong growth.

King Sundews (Drosera Regia)Dorsera regia is a one-of-a-kind plant. This magnificent plant is very uncommon in nature, with just a few colonies reported in South Africa. The leaves of this plant are rigid and sword-shaped, arching outward in a rosette arrangement. The leaves may grow to be two feet long, and the plants progressively create stems from which offshoots can sprout from their strong roots. The leaves of younger plants may move drastically, wrapping in coils around bigger prey. 

Care Tips


Drosera plants will not grow in regular potting soil as they do not tolerate its high nitrogen concentration. They are accustomed to low-quality soil and rely on the nutrients provided by some of the insects they eat.

To grow Sundew plants in a pot, combine 1 part peat moss with 1 part perlite. You can also use long-fibered sphagnum. Before planting your drosera, rinse the peat moss or long-fibered sphagnum moss. 

Full Sun or Partial Sun

Direct sunlight might burn the plant, so if you are choosing a location inside, select a spot that is several feet away from the window. The best location will have up to six hours of bright filtered light.

If you cannot avoid a location with direct sunlight, slowly acclimate the plant to it over a few seasons.

a garden full of drosera plants


As long as you top-water your Sundews, they should be healthy. If you water using the tray technique, mineral accumulation may occur depending on the mineral concentration of your city’s tap water. Over time, this mineral accumulation might harm your plants.

If you want to be extra cautious, use reverse osmosis or distilled water instead.

Do Not Fertilize

It is not recommended to use fertilizer. It is preferable for the plants to obtain nutrients via their leaves.

Don’t worry if your house isn’t overrun with insects. Your sundew will survive without insects and will consume the occasional bug it can catch in your house.

If you want your sundew to develop as quickly as possible, though, you can feed it once in a while. Beta Bites (fish feeding pellets), freeze-dried bloodworms, or live insects like wingless or flightless fruit flies are all good options.

Jeffrey Douglas
Jeffrey Douglas own a landscaping company and has been in the business for over 20 years. He loves all things related to lawns or gardens and believes that proper maintenance is the key to preventing problems in the first place.
More ArticlesHouseplants