Care of Sundew Drosera Capensis


Although sundew (Drosera capensis) is native to South Africa, this interesting carniverous plant also makes a very suitable indoor plant. The long, reddish leaves of the sundew plant are covered with dense hair containing glands, which release a glistening drop of sticky fluid that will attract small insects as prey. Once the insect is stuck to the sticky drop, the sundew's tentacles gradually lean over and trap the hapless prey.

Step 1

Plant sundew in a potting mixture of half clean sand and half peat moss. The container should be 6 to 8 inches in diameter and should have a drainage hole in the bottom.

Step 2

Set the sundew plant in a shallow dish or saucer with about 1/4 inch of fresh water, and replenish the water before it's completely gone. Drosera capensis needs moist soil all of the time. Use distilled water, because tap water contains salts and minerals that can eventually kill the plant.

Step 3

Feed sundew small insects or tiny bits of dried blood worms. Dip the blood worm in a bit of water to soften it, then place the blood worm on a sticky leaf. Don't feed the plant if it hasn't emitted a drop of sticky fluid. If you have small gnats or fruit flies, the sundew plant may find its own lunch.

Step 4

Put sundew in bright sunlight. Although the plant will grow in partial light, bright light will bring out the red colors in the leaves. Avoid putting Drosera capensis too close to windows that can be too hot during the day and too cold at night.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean sand
  • Peat moss
  • 6- to 8-inch planting container with drainage hole
  • Shallow dish or saucer
  • Distilled water
  • Small insects or blood worms


  • Palomar Colllege: Wayne's World, Online Textbook of Natural History
  • International Carniverous Plant Society: Growing Drosera capensis
  • Drosera capensis L.
Keywords: Sundew Drosera Capensis, sundew plant, carniverous plant

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.