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Drosera Soil

Hello everyone, I am new to these forums and growing Drosera plants. My first ones include: Spatulata, Regia, and Capensis. All three are doing really well. I recently repotted the Spatulata and will be repotting the Regia soon as well.

I have been growing mine in a peat/#20 silica mixture and the plants seem to really like it. I have not been able to find alternative soil mixtures, but I was curious if anyone here knew of different soil types or mixtures one could use.

I recently purchased some Derbyensis seeds. I have read that these can be grown in sand without peat or anything else, is this true? I was going to use my mixture for the seeds, but I thought I might try to just use sand for a couple of them. Would using only silica sand work for other Drosera types as well?

Thanks in advance for the input!
Welcome to Terraforums DroseraLover! Peat and sand is a soil mix used for many carnivorous plants, not just Drosera, so there shouldn't be anything wrong with using it. You could also add perlite or pumice to soil to make it more airy. In particular, your Drosera regia might appreciate that because it doesn't like being waterlogged. I don't have any experience with petiolaris group Drosera, but I know tuberous Drosera can be grown in pure silica sand, so it might be worth a try, although you might want to germinate the seeds on a medium that will hold more water to prevent them from drying out.
My go-to mix for most is roughly 60/40 #20 silica sand / chopped LFS, which has helped mitigate issues of root rot that I had early on with my gardening (which is all indoor, under lights). I adjust the numbers a bit depending on the plant. I have no tuberous dews (not enough space for them at present), but I've grown D. indica in just sand in the past, so it wouldn't surprise me if it were a viable option for a few other species.
D. regia can be a finicky plant, I would not have suggested it for someone just starting. Mine grow in a LFS/perlite mixture, and they need a LOT of food to do well. Also, unless you got the derbyensis seeds from a private grower, it's not likely they'll do much, as stores selling bad seeds of the petiolaris groups is common.
Thanks for the replies everyone!

hcarlton, yes, I am aware that Drosera Regia can be difficult to grow, mine has grown to over double its initial size since I bought it. It has been catching a lot of gnats and flies when I let it outside, so perhaps that is why it is doing so well. I have it in a peat/sand/live sphagum mixture right now. I also purchased the Derbyensis seeds from a private grower, so I hope they grow! I have never seen Drosera seeds in stores. Out of curiosity, what stores are they sold in?
I also like to mix sand and peat, with a top-dressing of LFS (also known as Orchid Moss). D. derbyensis is a Petiolaris Complex sundew. If i'm not mistaken, they need lots of heat and light. I wonder if your private grower has other Petiolaris Complex seeds... especially D. ordensis....
Whimgrinder, yes, I have read that article. I was hoping to potentially avoid peat since fungus gnats love it and it can be prone to molding. I rinsed the peat and sand thoroughly before use, so hopefully there will be no issue. I bookmarked awhile ago it because it pointed out some of the differences that Regia has from other Drosera, one being that it can take occasional fertilizer, especially if feeding it not regular. Thanks for the reminding me of the article!

jimscott, I believe he had that type of Drosera. He had a bunch of different wooly types. I think I am going to try the seeds in multiple soil types and see what happens. I will try to do one set in constantly-moist silica sand and one set in a mixture. Considering that these plants seem to like nutrient poor moist soil, I would not think either would be an issue, but I could be wrong. I was hoping to find more success stories with mixtures without peat or other plant matter, but it seems like such mixtures are almost universal in CP growing.

This is one of the few sources I have found with people using pure sand or rock-based media. http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=50560
I just use strait up peat moss. If bad stuff grows in it even after washing I microwave it. Any nasty thing that survives that deserves the potting media
  • #10
I use a variety depending on the plants, burmanni, indica and spathulata are all happy in spag slurries, pure sand or peat/sand for me, petiolaris and dilato are happy in peat/sand or spag/sand or peat/perlite, I have not tried pure sand.
My capensis thrive in dried spag/perlite and in 3sand/1peat.
Others (like my prolifera and adelae) love pure live spag and spag/perlite or spag/basalt.
Can't say about regia as its to hot here so the plant I tried cooked to death after a few weeks and never recovered(odd as the small darlingtonia near it is still going well)

Petiolaris like high humidity, so keep the seeds humid, but once they are older they are happy as low as %40 for me and temps from 5C to 40C are fine (I would keep young plants above 15C at first but.
  • #11
For Petiolaris Complex I go with LFS, mainly:

  • #12
The one medium I would add is the so-called 'premium peat'. It seems to be taken from a median layer in the bog between the long-fibered sphagnum and the standard dark peat. It is much coarser and provides for a lighter soil mix. I sometimes use it mixed with a small amount of sand. It is much more expensive than standard peat and generally must be bought online but it has its place. 'Less dense than peat also less airy than lfs.

I generally grow petiolaris sundews in peat and a relatively high percentage of sand.