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Growing Drosera Petiolaris complex plants


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I would like to share with you my little experience of growing Drosera of the Petiolaris group.

These magnificent plants are found mainly in northern Australia. The climate consists of a hot period with sometimes very high temperatures (over 35°C) and a high level of soil and air humidity. It is during this period that the Drosera develop their carnivorous leaves. The other part of the year, temperatures are cooler (especially at night) but often remain above 10-15°C while daytime temperatures remain quite high (+25°C). In addition, rains are almost completely absent for several months and only slight humidity subsist in the lower layers of the soil. At this time, the leaves of the Drosera of the Petiolaris complex disappear and give way to a central bud, more or less woolly in appearance. This allows the plant to protect itself from the wind and sun during dry periods.

To grow them in Europe, it is most convenient to keep them in a heated greenhouse or terrarium. I personally opted for this second alternative. For reasons of economy but also for better thermal insulation, my terrarium was made from extruded polystyrene. The upper part (the "roof") is of course made of glass to allow artificial light to pass through.


Several lighting devices give very good results. In the past, I used classic T8 fluorescent tubes, which are inexpensive to buy but moderately efficient in relation to their electricity consumption. T5 fluorescent tubes, in my experience, give better growing results because they produce more heat and light than T8s at the same operating cost. Plants should be placed less than 30 cm (or even 20 cm) from the tubes in order to make the most of the tubes' power.

For heating, waterproof silicone heating cables offer a very good solution, but it is also possible to use an aquarium heater placed in a large water container that will produce heat and increase air humidity at the same time. The disadvantage of this second solution is that the water level around the resistance must be checked regularly so that it remains well submerged.

Watering is probably the point that requires the most attention. In summer, it is possible to let the pot bathe in a few centimetres of water. On the other hand, the substrate should be kept slightly moist during the rest period, but not completely dry. Tall pots are very useful because they allow the roots to develop properly, which are often quite long. They also help to keep moisture deep down when the pots are no longer immersed in water. The susbtrate consists of a mixture of peat (60%), sand (30%) and perlite (10%).


We hope that this information will be useful to you.

Best regards,



Edited by rosolis76
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