Drosera venusta


Name:Drosera venusta

Origin:South Africa

DangerousLike all sundews (genus Drosera), venusta lives in wet, nutrient-poor soil

Methods: and feeds on insects that are unfortunate enough become entangled in the very sticky “dew” drops produced by the many tentacles that cover its leaves.  These tentacles also respond to movement to curl around the struggling insect and then emit a combination of enzymes and acids that dissolve and digest the prey until only the exoskeleton remains.  Yum.

Characteristics: Venusta is a rosetted subtropical species.  Each little round plant can grow 2-4 inches across, and the flowers are pink.

Water:Minerals and salts in water slowly kill most carnivores, so do not give it tap, mineral, or spring water.  This colony needs distilled water, water that is processed through a reverse osmosis system, or rainwater.  It likes wet, boggy soil, which is why it’s happy in an un-drained glass container.  Keep the soil moist to wet at all times. It’s fine to soak/waterlog the soil every now and again.  At home, we water a little every day.  

Feeding:These plants do not need fertilizer if they catch insects. If the colony is not catching insects in your home, try to help it out with a few live ants or fruit flies a month – it doesn’t need much. Do not feed any carnivore raw meat or dead prey.  The movement aids for the digestion process, and meals that are not moving may rot before they are consumed.  If you just can’t get bugs to comply, the plants would benefit from monthly foliar feeding with an acid or epiphytic fertilizer diluted to about a quarter of normal strength.  

Environment:This colony has been living happily in a sunny, south-facing window, but it would also do well in a well-lit terrarium or outside in a mild climate.  It loves to be misted with distilled water. 

Long Term:The plants can survive for several years. We grew our venusta from seed, though we suspect that like other rosetted sundews, they will reproduce well through leaf clippings as well.  If you’d like to try your hand at this, check our website for instructions.  Over time, the garden will likely refresh its own plants through clumping and seeding.  Every now and then, they will send up tall stalks of cute pink flowers, which are best removed if you would like maximum foliage.  It’s a good idea to refresh the soil every now and then, especially if you notice it becoming hydrophobic (water rolls off instead of sinks in).  Our favorite sundew soil mix is roughly half peat and half washed horticultural sand, with a handful of long-fibered sphagnum at the bottom of the container and another handful mixed into the soil.  With proper care and maintenance, this unique garden can survive a lifetime.

Happy Growing!

-Lara and Jay