Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Octopus Plant Care

By April Sanders ; Updated September 21, 2017
Octopus plants are sometimes called
sundew - drosera capillaris image by Paweł Burgiel from Fotolia.com

Octopus plants (Drosera species) are carnivorous plants found throughout the world. There are over 120 different species of Drosera plants, according to the Carnivorous Plant Society. Also called "Sundews," these plants trap and slowly digest small insects to obtain nutrients. For this reason, Droseras are often found growing in nutrient-poor soil. Nicknamed "octopus" for their rosette shape and often long, slender foliage, Drosera plants are found on every continent except Antartica. They are easy to care for and are often grown as indoor plants.

Provide a proper planting medium for your octopus plant. North Carolina State University recommends combining sphagnum moss with equal amounts of peat moss and coarse sand. Do not use potting soil, which is too rich in nutrients.

Keep the octopus plant's soil medium-moist. These plants live in very wet, boggy areas and cannot survive if the soil dries out.

Add humidity to the air. Place the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water (which will evaporate, adding moisture to the area). Or, grow your octopus plant in a terrarium.

Place the plant in a bright, sunny location. Also, make sure it has access to small insects. Place it near an occasionally-opened window that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day.


Things You Will Need

  • Sphagnum moss
  • Coarse sand
  • Shallow tray
  • Pebbles
  • Distilled or rain water


  • Water only with rain water or distilled water. Tap water may have too many minerals for the plant, according to the Carnivorous Plant Society.


  • Do not fertilize this or any other carnivorous plant. They get all the nutrients they need from the insects they trap.