Photography by Ed Read October 7, 2002
Here are a few tips for growing the newly discovered sundew Drosera hartmeyerorum. It is not at all difficult but will grow better for you if you follow a few rules. This sundew can be especially attractive if grown right. And you might notice the plant gives off a delightful sweet citrus fragrance. I hope more people will want to grow this new sundew and bring it into vogue. Try to figure out what those strange organs are for! GROWING AREA Remember, this plant is from a tropical range in Australia. You must have a warm growing area to grow this plant well. I think the plant would not appreciate being in the high humidity of a terrarium. I grow mine under fluorescent lights keeping them close to the lights. A sunny windowsill would be a good location too. SOIL After trial and error I have found that the plants do not grow well in the regular peat and sand mix for sundews. The plants stayed small and the roots were weak. Maybe I kept them too wet. Try more sand than peat in your mix and don’t let the pots sit in water. My finest specimens (pictured) are grown on pure natural podzol, which is basically silica sand. STARTING FROM SEED The seed is very tiny. So small, that if you get some, you may think it not good. For me the seed began germinating in from 1 to 2 weeks in the summer. In the cooler winter months I’m sure the seed would sprout more slowly. FEEDING On my nutrient free soil the seedlings do not grow unless fed. I hope you have springtails on your soil. I tried dilute fertilizer and sickened a large plant. I just feed my plants wingless fruit flies, which I culture. FLOWERING There is no need to do anything. Seed will develop by self-pollination. PROPAGATING Leaf cuttings do not take with this species. After the plant flowers it will begin to produce smaller side branches. You can remove these and they will root quickly. But plants started this way do not seem to grow as well. It is best to start again from seed.
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