Pygmy drosera dormancy

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Guest Trap666

Is it necessary to pygmy drosera go to summer dormancy or can you grow them around the year? Or is there some pygmy drosera species that doesn't require dormancy? Do they produce gemmae in terrarium? What would be the best species to start growing pygmy sundews?

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Guest Andreas Eils
Is my english that bad that no one understands me?

I don´t think so. There were maybe no pygmy Drosera experts online between 4:22 pm and 6:32 pm. :roll:

Well, in my experience there´s no pygmy Drosera species that requires to be bonedry for all summer. I´d more assume in cultivation bone dry soil would kill pygmy Droserae after some time. At least plants kept in pots.

Species that grow wet all summer are D. pulchella, D. omissa (formerly D. ericksoniae) and D. occidentalis including all subspecies. There may be more (D. pygmaea?) - I don´t grow all pygmy Drosera species.

Species that experience a dry summer in habitat but grow happily moist all summer in cultivation are D. roseana, D. callistos, D. closterostigma, D. dichrosepala, D. lasiantha, D. echinoblastus, D. stelliflora, D. scorpioides "large form", D. sewelliae, D. mannii, D. spilos and D. androsacea. Some of the mentioned may cause you problems when kept soggy in summer, so better don´t let the pots stand in water permanently.

Species that demand a dryer summer dormancy according to my experience are D. citrina, D. silvicola, D. scorpioides (typical), D. miniata, D. platystigma, D. sargentii and D. walyunga. In these cases I let the upper 2/3 of the soil (pots 12 cm tall) dry out in June and keep the lower third only damp but never completely dry. From beginning of September watering is slowly increased. This worked fine for several seasons. However D. walyunga has proven to be very tricky in summer. I´ve had plants that built a stipule bud at the end of May (when temperatures are high enough) and never returned to normal growth again. Funnily in late autumn the plants were gracious enough to leave me some gemmae for propagation before they died! :lol:

For all other species I can´t talk, have never grown them.

Another experience I´ve made is when summers are only moderately warm and particularly very rainy almost all species I grow didn´t go into dormancy - also not the species which usually demand a dryer rest. I´ve kept them damp (like when they go dormant) nevertheless. The only species in my cultivation that so far every year grew a stipule bud no matter what climate is D. walyunga.

If D. scorpioides (typical), D. stelliflora and D. silvicola are kept moist all summer many plants die later in autumn and only a few survive for two complete seasons. It seems they really appreciate a rest in summer.

These are the techniques that work for me. Other growers may give you different advices.

Easy species which are very good for beginning with pygmy Droserae are D. scorpioides "large form", D. lasiantha, D. roseana, D. dichrosepala, D. closterostigma, D. callistos, D. pulchella, D. stelliflora and D. pygmaea.

Not too difficult, but also not very easy are D. echinoblastus, D. citrina, D. spilos, D. omissa, D. occidentalis (all subspecies), D. scorpioides (typical), D. mannii, D. sewelliae and D. sargentii.

A little more challenging are D. androsacea, D. platystigma, D. silvicola and D. miniata. The most difficult I have grown so far is D. walyunga. Note: This is my personal point of view. Other growers may disagree. :Laie_97:

This is the most detailed information I can give about pygmy Droserae.

Happy growing!


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This is a nice presentation, Andreas!

I would say that you have better chances without dormancy on all species. Asking around you will notice that every grower will name different species as being dificult to grow but usually they don't name the same ones. I think our differences are mainly caused by the different climates we grow our plants in. For me androsacea, platystigma and miniata are easy species. Stelliflora, leucoblasta, citrina are a pain in the butt. All i have to do is keep the temps under 30C (best if under 25C) all summer long...which is not easy here at all. I also cut back on watering on most species. I let the tray empty for a few days before i add more water. Many species will form the stipule but for me when the heat is on but come back after cooler days start. I is weird how how plants from same specie grown in pots next to eachother in differentg soil mixes go dormant and just a few come back in one pot and all in the other....something to think of.

I would suggest that you try everything and see what works best for you...try a wet summer first and see how it goes.

Best species/hybrids to start with: all hybrids that have nitidula or omissa in them, all paleacea (roseana, paleacea, trichocaulis, leioblastus), omissa, pygmaea, pulchella......

They can produce gemmae in terrarium but you have to provide them with some seasonal might consider growing them outside when temps are over 1C

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Now that was worth waiting for! Ya see I was there to read the post during that time interval, but by no means would I consider myself an expert!

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Guest Andreas Eils

Hello Mark,

you´re right of course. And I know I now and then put one or the other species from one category - let´s say "moderate difficult" - to another like "difficult" or reverse. D. androsacea grew without problems for me for three years, then the next season it became a hassle. :shock:D. stelliflora is a species that rarely survives more than two seasons under my conditions. D. citrina is quite easy for me. Funnily D. lasiantha rarely flowers for me though it grows like mad for me. :lol:

And once I lost a pot full of D. dichrosepala because the soil dried completely out in summer - but only for one or two days. They never recovered. I read "terrarium": I´ve had a couple of pygmy sundews in a terrarium years ago due to space problems on the "open" window sill. They grew terribly in such a humid air and I´ve had some trouble with Botrytis. :nono: I´d say a terrarium is not very suitable for pygmy Droserae. They seem to prefer a better ventilated place.

The hardest thing on D. omissa is obviously to get gemmae. My white flowering form has built a good amount of gemmae. The pink flowering form however seems to hardly sets gemmae resp. enough gemmae to spread them around. I´ve heard it germinates well from seed, but my attempt failed.

This year is the first I have D. gibsonii in cultivation. I´m curious how it behaves throughout the different seasons.

As for keeping pygmy Droserae dry in summer: In habitat the long roots reach into clayic soil layers which retain some moisture during hot and dry summer. Same with Drosera tubers as both often share the same habitats. I guess in cultivation there´s barely someone adding clay into his substrate. And the question is would it work in cultivation. :huh: I have lost some D. peltata tubers years ago because they simply dried out in their bone dry soil during summer. Mark mentioned changing conditions: To build gemmae the plants should experience a reduced photoperiod from autumn to winter and some cooler temperatures - especially at night (temp. difference day/night). :tu:

Best regards,


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I have trouble getting D. scorpioides, D. dichrospela, and D. callistos through summer and putting pygmy sundews outside from late spring to early fall (Western NY) has had ill effects for many of them. There were any number of variables that could have contributed to that - too much water, too little water, temps that got too hot,... I later learned that even though (particularly D. scorpioides) had a forest fire look to it (browned and dead looking for the lower 2/3), as long as there were stipules a little greenery at the top, the lower temps and increased water would eventually bring them out of their funk.

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Guest Andreas Eils

Are your summers very rainy in Buffalo, Jim? Hot temperatures alone shouldn´t be a problem for the mentioned species. Summers in South-West Australia can have day temperatures of up to 40°C and regularly above 30°C. But if I´m not wrong there´s a high difference between day and night temps.

I guess most pygmies hate soggy soil in summer. I´m not totally sure but the size of the pots may be a key for successful growth - though I´ve also had all the three mentioned species in pots no bigger than 8 cm in diametre and 7 cm in height. Nowadays I prefer to grow almost all pygmies in square pots of 11 cm width and 12,5 cm depth. Oh...and I also prefer to give each plant enough space to become a strong plant. :) Depending on how large certain species can become I pull escessive plantlets out of the soil. I do sow gemmae densely but then thin out the surface of the soil later (some weeks after germination). D. callistos can become 3 cm in diametre - so every specimen has 3 cm space to reach full growth to its neighbour. The crowns of D. scorpioides (typical) reach up to 4,5 cm in diametre - so in the end there´s 4,5 cm space between each stem. I have mostly only a few plants in each pot. However I succeed to more or less receive an equally overgrown surface of the soil. :) I can place every gemma with a forceps with a certain distance to its neighbour onto the soil. I have done that in the beginning of my CP "career". But some gemmae just don´t sprout or some plants don´t become very old. This resulted in ugly gaps on the surface of the substrate. :shock: So, I now sow gemmae more densely...

If the plants build their stipule buds they surely like to rest and therefore the soil should better be only damp for most of the time. It would be interesting to read what Sean Spence - I consider him an expert! - thinks about that. Hello Sean? :tu:

Very interesting indeed to hear every grower has his own problem children. :heart:

Bye bye,


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I don't grow too many species nowadays as they were taking up far too much space. Mine were all grown in 6 inch pots or larger and when you factor in the need to keep at least 2 pots of each species/variety/form on the go at any one time, space quickly becomes an issue.

I too had species that would grow well for me and those that did not. As mentioned above, the wetter swampy growing species such as D. pygmaea, nitidula, omissa, occidentalis are the easiest to keep going through summer and invariably do not produce stipules. In nature they mostly do not need to.

The remainder of plants for me were split into a couple of groups- those that would sometimes go dormant and those that would always go dormant.

My basic way of treating the 2 groups was thus-

1. For those that always go dormant- the reason I grew in large pots was so that during summer I could keep the top of the substrate bone dry, while the remainder of the substrate remained moist. To achieve this, the pots of these species were never allowed to sit in the water tray during the hot period of the year. To water, I would place them in a tray of water for about half an hour- to soak up enough water to keep the lower portion moist. The pots were then removed and left to sit for several days until another soak was required. This was the only method I could use to get certain species through to the next year. Bear in mind that in my conditions the plants would often experience temps into the 40s on a number of summer days. (including species such as- closterostigma, barbigera, androsacea, pycnoblasta, citrina, miniata, hyperostigma, grievei, rechingeri, walyunga, etc.)

2. For those that sometimes went dormant- These species would often go dormant but continued to grow should when the conditions were favourable. I would treat these the same as the easy to grow species in that they would remain in the water tray while they were happy. When the plants began to show signs of dormancy, the would be removed from the tray and treated like those above. (This group included species for me such as D. platystigma, leucoblasta, scorpioides, dichrosepala, mannii, paleacea, callistos, sewelliae, echinoblastus, eneabba, helodes, lasiantha, pedicellaris, etc.

Interestingly, I have found over the years that plants grown outside in almost fully exposed situations will almost always be more attractive than those grown in my 50% shaded glasshouse. Losses are usually more pronounced that the sheltered plants, but the colouration and overall health of the exposed plants by far exceeds them.

BTW Andreas, I am growing a couple of different location forms of D. gibsonii (the original location and another discovered not too far away). Strangely, I have found that one performs much better than the other during summer. Plants from the original location have grown beautifully this year and none of the plants have shown and signs of dormancy. The other form however has struggled quite a bit and do not look anywhere near as healthy. It will be interesting to see how they recover when the cooler temps arrive.

EIDT- I thought I'd mention the plants that were always very problematic for me (ie- I could never seem to keep them alive for too long)- D. miniata, D. closterostigma, walyunga.

Edited by Sean Spence
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Thank you for your input!!! In Buffalo, the average daily high at summer's peak, is 27C. But that also means that the high for a day could be ~15 - 32 C. The average daily low for peak summer is 16C. Our climate does not have a rainy season or a drought season, per se.

At the moment, I have about 40 "types" of pygmy sundews. Some are species and some are crosses. Some fall into each category as Sean describes them. Maybe I oughta try some experimenting, since some of them are in more than one pot. This is what I have, mostly procured in the past few months:

Pigmy Sundews

allantostigma -

allantostigma omissa

androscaea - always

badgerup -

callistos - sometimes

carburup -

dichrosepala - sometimes

echinoblastus - sometimes

enodes -

erricksoniae? -

helodes - so,etimes

lasiantha - sometimes

leucoblasta brookton - sometimes

mannii - sometimes

microscapa -

miniata - always

nitidula -

nitidula x pulchella -

omissa pink -

omissa x pulchella -

occidentalis subsp. occidentalis -

occidentalis subsp. australis -

oreopodeon -

paleacea 'Cranbrook' - sometimes

paleacea ssp. leioblastus - sometimes

paleacea, ssp. trichocaulis - sometimes

patens -

pulchella -

pulchella big brook -

pulchella x occidentalis -

pulchella (orange flower) -

pulchella (salmon river -

pulchella x nitidula -

pycnoblasta - always

pygmaea -

roseanna -

scorpioides (white) - sometimes

scorpioides (pink) - sometimes

sargentii -

sewelliae - sometimes

Could you complete the list of what always and sometimes goes dormant?

Edited by jimscott
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