How to Care for a Sundew


The bright red sundew plant is a carnivorous plant that grows on every continent except Antarctica. Like all carnivorous plants, the sundew relies on the ingestion of insects to meet its nutritional needs. Sundews make interesting houseplants, and thrive in terrarium-like atmospheres. The terrarium will provide the sundew with the high humidity it needs.

Step 1

Keep your sundew in the original container until you can put together a larger terrarium for the plant. Most sundews are sold with a plastic hood over the growing pot to increase the moisture in the pot and maintain humidity.

Step 2

Line the bottom of a large glass container or old fish tank with 1 inch of pea gravel. Add 1/4 inch of charcoal on top of the gravel.

Step 3

Make a mixture of equal amounts of sand and peat or sphagnum moss. Place 3 to 4 inches of this mixture into the jar on top of the charcoal. Water the soil mixture until it is moist to the touch.

Step 4

Use a spoon to dig a hole in the soil mixture slightly larger than the existing pot.

Step 5

Remove the sundew from the existing pot and shake away any soil remaining around the roots.

Step 6

Place the plant roots in the dug hole and cover with the soil mixture.

Step 7

Place the jar or fish tank in a warm, sunny area. If you're using a jar, put the lid on top. If using a fish tank, cover the top with plastic wrap or a piece of Plexiglass.

Step 8

Feed your sundew by removing the lid or cover at least once per week. Use tweezers to drop a mealworm or two on the sticky leaves of the sundew. Alternatively, you can collect bugs from the yard to feed the sundew.

Things You'll Need

  • Large glass jar or fish tank
  • Pea gravel
  • Sand
  • Charcoal
  • Peat or sphagnum moss
  • Spoon
  • Mealworms


  • University of Nebraska-Lancaster Extension: Care for Carnivorous Plants
  • Cornell University: Carnivorous Plants (Google Doc)
  • The International Carnivorous Plant Society: What Do I Do If I Can't Find Bugs?
Keywords: sundews, raise sundews, care for sundews

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.