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Sundews (Drosera)

The sundew plant (Drosera plant) is one of the most diverse of all carnivorous plants. Sundew plants like Drosera capensis (cape sundew)  and Drosera aliciae can be found in South Africa, while Drosera binata and a huge variety of pygmy sundew can be found in Australia.
These deadly plants get their name from the sticky drops on their leaves that resemble sun dew. These dew drops snare flies, gnats, and moths, and then the leaves slowly fold in upon the prey in order to digest it.
The Cape Sundew (Drosera capensis) is widely considered to be the single best carnivorous plant for a beginner. Sundew plants are easy to grow on windowsills or in outdoor bogs in non-freezing climates. Sundews are also extremely rewarding to grow under artificial light, which shows off their gem-like beauty to its fullest.

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Found mostly in bogs and seeps, sundew plants require extremely bright light in order to thrive. For most growers this means a sunny south-facing windowsill that gets between 4 and 8 hours of direct sun per day. Drosera Sundew plants also do well outdoors in bog planters, or under fluorescent or LED lights indoors.  Sundews mostly prefer to be watered with the tray method, which is when their pots are kept in an inch or so of standing water at all times, to simulate the wet conditions of a bog. They also enjoy undrained ceramic or plastic containers.

Genus Drosera can be split into a series of "mini collections". These include the easy-growing South African species, the South American highland species, the North American temperate and subtropical species, the Australian pygmies, the Australian tuberous species, and others. With nearly 200 species, there is a lot to collect and enjoy!

Many species of sundew plants are easy to start from seed, while others grow well from leaf or root cuttings. Generally sundews stay on the small side, which makes them perfect for indoor growing or a small greenhouse. They can be fed bugs, ground-up fish food, or by a light fertilizer spray to their leaves. Most species in cultivation cannot tolerate a freeze, but those with thick roots will often come back in warmer weather. The brighter the light they have available, the more colorful and dewy their leaves.

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