JonathanC

Drosera capensis lifespan

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Hi everyone,

I have been collecting/growing a variety of carnivorous plants in my greenhouse now for about 4 years now with good results. Unfortunately, this year my two original Cape Sundews (Drosera capensis) have failed to "wake" from their dormancy period. In previous (much colder) winters they always had a green bud and a couple of "leaves" on them if there was a long enough sunny period in December to February. All the other seedlings/cuttings produced from these "mother plants" have all been in leaf for about 3 weeks now and starting to bulk up. The two mature plants are still not showing signs of shooting and what was left of the growth points has now turned dry/brown. Could it be that they have reached the end of their lifespan?

Should I wash the soil off and see if the roots have any growth points and try to grow those as cuttings?

Thanks for any advice!

Jonathan

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Probably got to say 'why bother'?  D capensis tend to self seed everywhere if you let them flower so you'll soon have plenty more. I sometimes pot up a nice looking one but quite a few get weeded out every year and just go on the compost heap......?

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I have had this with binata last year. Took till almost june before I got any signs of life. Maybe they still will come back.

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No need to be giving D. capensis a dormancy, they'll grow year-round indoors.

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did you let them dry out over winter?

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Hi All,

Since my original post I have been keeping an eye on them and over the last few days the roots have sent up really healthy growth, so they are alive after all!

I have replied to your questions and comments below:

 

20 hours ago, Dunc said:

Probably got to say 'why bother'?  D capensis tend to self seed everywhere if you let them flower so you'll soon have plenty more. I sometimes pot up a nice looking one but quite a few get weeded out every year and just go on the compost heap......?

I have nearly a hundred D.capensis raised from the seed of my own plants, but it would have been nice to keep my very first carnivorous plants alive!

3 hours ago, Alexis said:

I've no idea how you've managed to kill a capensis - they're indestructible!

As per my note above, I did not kill them after all - but it was touch and go for a while :-D

3 hours ago, Zlotka said:

I have had this with binata last year. Took till almost june before I got any signs of life. Maybe they still will come back.

They have indeed. My binata was a bit slow to recover this year, buds were showing but not unfurling. Making up for it now with the increased sunshine. filiformis is normally the last to make an appearance but was at least a fortnight ahead of all the other sundews.

58 minutes ago, AKR said:

No need to be giving D. capensis a dormancy, they'll grow year-round indoors.

I did try keeping a 2-3 year old capensis indoors over the winter, but the coldness of the glass window and (presumably) the lack of sunlight seemed to make it go into a weird half-dormancy where it partially died back, but still kept a few leaves. Is that what should happen? Incidentally, I do not have a windowsill that receives good light in the winter months for a plant to be on hence why I let them go dormant in the greenhouse with the VFTs and Sarracenias. Also, I would not be popular if I set up a table and a grow lamp etc. in the house for them!

3 minutes ago, tatter said:

did you let them dry out over winter?

I keep the sundews just damp with a little water in the bottom of the trays once they start losing their "leaves". They are never allowed to dry out completely - is that the wrong thing to do?

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13 hours ago, JonathanC said:

I did try keeping a 2-3 year old capensis indoors over the winter, but the coldness of the glass window and (presumably) the lack of sunlight seemed to make it go into a weird half-dormancy where it partially died back, but still kept a few leaves. Is that what should happen? Incidentally, I do not have a windowsill that receives good light in the winter months for a plant to be on hence why I let them go dormant in the greenhouse with the VFTs and Sarracenias. Also, I would not be popular if I set up a table and a grow lamp etc. in the house for them!

I found that they can grow fairly well on a south-facing windowsill in the winter, although I can see you might have problems if you don't have that. Still, pseudo-dormancy is better than actual dormancy with these plants I'd imagine. I wouldn't expect the leaves to die back significantly unless the plant is too cold.

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