Drosera Care, Tropical

Drosera, Tropical Varieties

No terrariums. No myths. No nonsense.
Get the straight facts from guys who grow and propagate thousands of carnivorous plants every year, since 1995.

Some of the most common tropical sundews you might find in cultivation are:
Drosera capensis
Drosera aliciae
Drosera spatulata
Drosera multifida
Drosera scorpiodes
Drosera regia
While there are certain idiosyncrasies that vary from species to species and hybrid to hybrid, the general care is the same for all of them. Use the following as a guideline to growing tropical sundews.


Tropical sundews originate from warm climates of the world, such as those found in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South America where frost never or rarely occurs. Their habitats are mostly open fields where they can get lots of sunlight.

Where to Grow

Grow tropical sundews indoors as a tropical houseplant on a sunny windowsill. If you live in a tropical climate where the temperature rarely drops below 55°F (13°C), you have the option of growing your plants outdoors. Regardless of where you grow your plant, always protect your sundews from excessive wind, harsh sunlight, and freezing temperatures.


Provide partial sunlight (several hours of direct sunlight with bright filtered light during the day). Avoid full shade.

Artificial Lights

If a sunny window is not possible, use strong fluorescent lights (a minimum of 40 watts in actual output). Start with the lights approximately 12 inches above the plant. Monitor your plant and adjust the height of the light source if you are not satisfied with its growth. Use an electrical timer to maintain consistent daylight hours (14 hours is sufficient throughout the year).


Sundews require mineral-free water. If your tap water is relatively pure (less than 50 parts per million in dissolved minerals), then you can safely water your sundews with it. Otherwise, use bottled distilled water. Keep the soil wet at all times. You can do this by setting the plant in small amounts of standing water, no more than halfway up the pot.


Use a soil mixture of 1 part peat moss and 1 part perlite. Never use potting soil, compost or fertilizer; they will kill your plant.


In this concise ebook, Jacob Farin, co-owner of Sarracenia Northwest, will show you how to think like a professional carnivorous plant grower to keep your first carnivorous plant alive and healthy. You will learn specifics about sunlight, water, and soil. You will also learn how to troubleshoot the most common problems that new growers face. When you gain experience growing the most common carnivorous plants in cultivation, you will have the knowledge base to grow other plants with greater confidence.

If you are new to carnivorous plants or have struggled to keep them alive for more than a couple of months, this ebook is for you!