Drosera capillaris, D. filiformis, D.intermedia and D.rotundifolia -Hardy Sundews. Sundews are delicate carnivorous plants and must be handled gently. Often, they are short lived but self-sow copiously and form colonies. Mulches inhibit seedlings and are not advised around sundews. D. capillaris and D. filiformis var. traycii should have some winter protection from zone 7 northward. These species can be given a temporary winter blanket of pine needles from Dec.-Mar. The other species are quite hardy without protection.
Sundews prefer full sun to about 40% shade. They are good companions with Sarracenia, thriving under largely the same conditions. We recommend a soil mix of 1/3 sand and 2/3 peat moss as a bog garden or container mix. When planting, keep the small crown above the soil surface and firm the soil gently around the plants to reduce splash from rain. Water transplants well and keep moist but not continuously flooded. If seeds were sent with plants, sow them immediately by sprinkling on the soil surface. Hardy sundew seed generally germinates after exposure to winter cold (stratification). Thus, seedlings appears the following spring. The first year seedlings are very tiny and easily overlooked.
While D. capillaris tends to keep its leaves, the other species defoliate for the winter and survive as small buds=hibernaculum. Do not be alarmed if a whole colony "vanishes" for the winter.
Feeding or fertilizing are not recommended for sundews as they will trap small insects on their own. No insects are needed during the winter.
Be sure to remove weeds as they appear; sundews are poor competitors and are easily uprooted if nearby weeds are large when pulled. Mosses can also bury sundews, so pull these from around plants, if taller types of moss appear.
After several seasons, you should notice sundews spreading. They are not harmful to other plants in the bog garden because they do not compete with or overgrow other plants. Once established, sundews are relatively easy to maintain and provide much pleasure to those who pause and look closely!
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