Q/A #47 - Is 2 Hours of Direct Sunlight Enough for a Sundew?

March 8, 2023

Q/A #47 - Is 2 Hours of Direct Sunlight Enough for a Sundew?

For the sundews, you note "several hours" of direct sunlight. Our apartment faces ENE (in Washington DC) and gets about 2-2.5 hours of morning sun. Is that enough to keep these plants happy and healthy? (I know it's not enough for the flytraps - from sad experience!). 

Also, when warmer weather is established, can they be placed on an outside window ledge, and then brought back in around late September? There it gets an extra 30 minutes of sun AND the chance to catch more bugs. I appreciate your guidance,
(Submitted in March 2019.)

I'm assuming you're talking about growing tropical sundews. The short answer to your question is no. The best windows for carnivorous plants are unobstructed West or South windows. I would say you want no less than 3 hours of direct sun on a sunny day as long as there is strong ambient light. If the ambient light is weak then your plant will need longer hours of direct sun. The window ledge in summer could work well as long as it's not excessively windy. 

In general most of the tropical sundews require at least partial sunlight. Very few of them grow in shady conditions. Your Venus Flytrap you had is the poster child of how some carnivorous plants end up when grown in too much shade.

Having said all this, one of the tropical sundews, Drosera adelae, and most of the Mexican butterworts are a little more shade tolerant than the others and would probably be ok with the lower light conditions. You might also consider combining some artificial light with your window if that window is the only option. If you use artificial lights, you have options of plants to grow.

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