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Drosera regia help

Hi Everyone

I have had D. regia for a few month now, got it during the winter months and its been growing quite well. It's now summer and my D. regia has really been suffering.
I know D. regia enjoys colder climates, but how cold? It's been around 80 - 86 F and I have had my plant under shade netting.

The new leaves have become a lot smaller than what the plant originally produced. They where around 8+inches. Some of the leaves have actually died before even developing :cry:

I really don't want to lose this plant. Could this be due to heat stress?

Photos attached:




Advise much appreciated!
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Where I live temperatures are often in the 90s or even 100s during the day. I used to grow my regia on a windowsill in a 4-inch plastic pot but it had problems similar to yours (the newest leaf looked really tattered), so I moved it to a setup I use for Darlingtonia in my backyard. I put in into a 2-foot terracotta pot and it quickly perked up.

I've heard from other growers that it is the root temperature and not the air temperature that really matters, so based on that it makes sense that moving the plant to a larger pot would solve the problem. I'm not sure if a large plastic pot would work also. You could also try watering it with refrigerated water.
D. regia also prefers a bit more drainage than other dews. I don't grow mine on the tray system. It handled a very hot summer just fine here in GA. When it gets larger I also plan to use a large terracotta pot (like Tanukimo said).

In some cases, D. regia will enter a dormancy period and die down to a resting bud. However, pretty sure that occurs only in winter.

If that were my plant I would unpot it and check the roots lickety-split. Looks like you're battling root rot. I know most folks hate disturbing their plants, but honestly as long as you're careful and take your time, there's absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
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I find this species seems to like stable root temperatures and plenty of root aeration. I use large pots - 1 gallon nursery stock pots (6.25 × 7 inches) and a mix of 60-75% perlite or lava rock to peat moss. I top water them daily. I rarely have standing water in the tray unless it is very hot and dry. A nightly temperature drop may help. For the long term growth of the plant they need cool-chilly winters.

I've tried various mixes but perlite and peat moss works best for me. You'll have to experiment a little to see what works best, but I recommend keeping it airy. I use pure live Sphagnum for my cuttings.

I would use a larger pot. If you are worried about root disturbance remove the media as intact as possible from the old pot. And just replant the old media plant and all into the new.

Repotting always gives you the opportunity to take root cuttings.

The shade cloth should help. You could try shading the pot from direct sunlight. Surrounding it with other pots usually works.
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Thanks for all the feed back.

Am I correct when assuming that the terracotta pot is glazed to prevent minerals from entering the media? And I am guessing terracotta pots stay cooler?

About the watering of D. regia, it almost sound like it needs similar watering as Nepenthes do or more frequent as I don't water my Nepenthes everyday.

I will re-pot my D. regia and have a look at the root system and maybe take some root cuttings as well. Will also not leave it standing in a tray full of water any more and only top water it.
Will try and find some images of root rot on google to see if my plant might have it.

If my plant does have root rot, is there anything special I should do other than re-potting it into a very airy mix and only top watering?

Thanks again everyone.
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From the appearance of your plant's media surface, it seems that the media may have accumulated minerals until they reached a toxic level, for the roots, that is.

When was the last time you leached the media? Leaching is where you repeatedly flood the pot with very pure water, then drain it away, until the soluble mineral level in the media is greatly reduced. It seems like a good leaching is now quite overdue.

When you unpot the plant, I'll guess that many of the roots will be soft and rotting. I would recommend to carefully cut away any rotten roots, being careful not to spread the infection. It is not always easy to save plants if the rot is too advanced. However, as has been mentioned, finding pieces of firm root, with healthy white interiors, can usually be used to start plantlets, and thereby save your ailing plant.

I grew all of mine at daytime temperatures well over 100F, most days. I kept growing and propagating them for more than five years, in these conditions. The only problem the high temperatures created, was a lack of any dormancy, or flowering.
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Mine have stood in 2" of water throughout the growing season (8-9 months annually) for 26 years without root problems. So no, from my experience they don't require a watering regime like Nepenthes. The medium varies from Peat / sand / gravel to Peat / perlite to live Sphagnum In other words, whatever I have to hand at the time. Pots are plastic.
It's not a fussy plant in the least and very tough.
I was waiting for you to have your say Fred, and I agree , I too grow my D. regia (only for a few years) in constant water in growing season and find them to be easy growers, touchwood. If you do repot the plant I think you should definitely take some root cuttings,from my few years experience they have a very high success rate and you could then experiment with different media and watering methods with more plants
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I grow two different clones labeled Clone "C" and Clone R1. The origins of the labels appears to be unknown but seem to have come out of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Clone "C" I obtained bare root recently deflasked from tissue culture. I potted this in a mix of coarse sand, chopped long fibre sphagnum and peat moss. A year later I obtained the R1 clone, potted in a mix of perlite and peat moss. At that time both clones were about the same size with 3-4 inch leaves. Both were growing side by side on a windowsill. Clone R1 showed better growth. Since both had outgrown the pots I repotted both into larger pots both in mixtures of perlite and peat moss. Growth rates were then about equal, even though clone C remained behind. After 4-5 years under these conditions for clone C (3-4 for R1) clone C starting showing a noticeable decline. It would die down to the winter bud as such that this species forms even though neither of the clones had do so previously. They would just produce leaves 25-50% smaller during the winter. Repotting seemed to help but only briefly, leaves only reached 1-2 inch size range. Finally it just slipped in the shrunken phase two springs ago and stayed that way. And R1 was starting to show a similar decline. Since I figured the plant wanted dormancy I would give dormancy and put it outdoors in the fall. The following spring much to my relief clone C resumed growth with the leaves reaching the 4-5 inch range by summers end. I moved R1 outdoors at the end of spring and in a short time started to show an improvement in growth too. At present clone C has leaves in the 6-8 inch range and R1 8-10 inch. It was in the 5-6 inch range at the beginning of summer. Clone C is now going through its second winter outdoors, R1 its first. With luck one or the other will flower for the first time next spring.

Cuttings I took 2 years ago were grown under lights in pure live Sphagnum moss. They were kept with high levels of water in non-draining tubs to keep the Sphagnum live. I repotted those at the beginning of summer with leaves in the 2-4 inch range. Some of the plants had 8 inch long roots. These were repotted into perlite and peat moss. The plant I kept is now in the 6-8 inch range, the others being sold or given away. I won't dispute this species can grow in standing water. My experience suggest they grow better in drier conditions. That you find otherwise doesn't surprise me at all since much of it depends on your local conditions.

A change in conditions can make a difference. There are such things as climates and micro-climates. What works in the South of England may not work in the North of England. Or in Southern California. Or South Africa. A change in cultural practices can make a difference too. What works for one grower may not work for another living just next-door. A grower I know laments the plants that he can no longer grow after moving from Southern California to southern Oregon, but rejoices in the plants that he can now grow.

If something isn't working, try something different. What was it that Albert Einstein is quoted as saying?: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
  • #10
If something isn't working, try something different.

Precisely. Now please tell me what were the conditions that you were trying to change? They're not specified,apart from the temperature.

You stated your preferred growing conditions, I stated mine, which are different to yours. It's up to the grower to decide which to go with. He's in South Africa which is neither Los Angeles nor the Midlands.
  • #11
Ok, I have re-potted my D. regia. It had roots coming out of the bottom of the old pot.
I have also taken some root cuttings which I have placed placed into a sand/peat mix in my grow tank.

I am growing my plant outdoor, Not in direct sunlight though but I always fear that it does not get enough sunlight.
I am busy building a grow rack which will receive about 5-6 hours of morning sun but not sure if I will move the D. regia there when it's done.

Here are some photos of the roots and end result.




Root cutting

End result, The pot is Glazed on the inside. Did not have enough moss to cover the whole pot. Got the D. regia in a Sand and peat mix.

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  • #12
Did you take any photos of the cut ends of the roots?
  • #13
This prompted me to take a couple of root cuttings. Your roots should be white inside if healthy,the one in your pic doesn't look the best,bit shrivelled isn't it? see the white inside and white growing tip(turned brownish within an hour)
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  • #14
Roots look good and healthy to me. Could be slightly thicker, but overall they appear in good condition. At the very least, I can say they don't look like roots that are rotting.

The dieback of the plant is still quite strange, though. Do you supplement it with fertilizer? Does it get a decent amount of prey?
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  • #15

I don't use any fertilizer on my D. regia but it does catch a lot of bugs outside and I give it crushed bloodworm's mixed with RO water that I drop onto the leaves once a week or so.

@fredg, the 3rd photo is a piece that I cut off from the root system. You can see the white in the middle.

Guess all I can do now is wait and see if the plant recovers and hope my root cuttings produce new plants as well.
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  • #16
I see that now you explain it Brolloks. That looks encouraging. The centre of the crown also looks quite healthy.
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  • #17
I got a plant (actually 2) from Not A Number, several months ago. I put it outside for the summer, into the fall, until we had an overnight frost. Like everything else (D. binata and pygmy sundews), it reacted. I had to bring them all inside, to the grow rack. Surprisingly, the D. regia recovered and is doing pretty well. D. binata almost always do the Phoenix thing. Pygmy sundews still look like death warmed over.
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Jim, a frost is nothing to D. regia. Mine were subject to 0C a few years back. By then of course they were dormant.

This is D. regia sitting in ice and starting to shoot on January 18th 2013. Unheated (very cold) greenhouse.

  • #20
Sounds like D. regia is a very cold hardy plant
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