Q/A #43 - Do I Need to Remove Dead Insects?

February 28, 2023

Q/A #43 - Do I Need to Remove Dead Insects?

When the sundew catches the bugs, do I just let the bugs stay there? Mine has already caught close to ten gnats, but I don’t know what I am supposed to do now. Does the sundew slowly disintegrate the dead bugs or do I have to remove them? First time grower here.
(Submitted in February 2021.)


When a sundew catches an insect, the tentacles envelope the insect, digest the soft parts of the body, then fold back out when finished. Normally the exoskeletons just stay on the leaves until the leaf dies.That's how it happens in the wild. For cultivated plants, just cut the old leaves off when they brown and that removes the insects as well. You will probably do more disturbance to the plant if you try to pick off tiny exoskeletons on live leaves.

• The original question and response have been edited for publication.
• With a database of thousands of questions, we will post a Q&A every few days or so.
• To search for similar posts, click on a hashtag below or use the site's search function.
• To submit a carnivorous plant question, visit
Ask the Growers.