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Drosophyllum watering advice

Joined
Nov 10, 2013
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Hacienda Heights, CA USA
I got a Drosophyllum at the BACPS show on Saturday, and I would like some advice on how often to water it.

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It is in the same two-foot terracotta pot as my old one which died. The pot is about two feet tall as well. The medium is equal parts of perlite, sand, peat, and vermiculite although there is a lot of sand on the top. When I had my old one, I watered it once every other day with a mug of water, which was fine during the winter but as it got hotter the plant shrank before it eventually got killed when someone tipped the whole pot over. The plant came in a peat pot and I ripped the top half off before planting it.

It is in front of my house and gets at least eight hours of full sun a day. I think online people say to feel the soil and water if it feels dry to the touch but with the hot weather lately even peat dries out after a few hours of sun so I don't think I can rely on that.

I would really like this plant to thrive this time and would appreciate any advice.
 
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Joined
Jun 13, 2011
Messages
342
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United States, Utah
It's still a smaller one, per the advice of Petar Kostov, a great grower and friend:

If it is very hot where you live you'll want to water once in the morning, and maybe even at night, especially if it is outside and small.
Water the pot, not to the point where it flows out the bottom, but sparingly. Enough to hydrate it in the morning/afternoon. Since your pot is clay you'll have to watch it with some vigilance. I have almost the same set up and a similar area as you, if it rains or is cool then water less or not at all that day. If you give it a good soaking, don't water it again until it has been dried out well.
 
Joined
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Athens, GA
None of this is my own information; I am reposting from an authoritative grower (Jeff Dallas) on another forum:

"I wanted to echo what you've said about Drosophyllum care. So much hay has been made in the past about keeping them too wet, that I think many people have lost theirs because of keeping them too dry. They don't like to sit in water for any length of time, but it is very much like a houseplant. Each time I water plants in our sundew greenhouse I'll walk by the Drosophyllum and feel the top of their pots and if it's feeling dry, time to water. I'll water until runoff, then stop. I've definitely had the experience you've had of letting them dry too much, bloom like crazy, then start to die. A former (emphasis on the former part) employee often had a hard time with this concept, and I'd walk into the greenhouse to see wilting plants.

One other piece I would add is to pot them up in as large a pot as you have space for. I'm guessing in nature they have very long roots to go down to damp soil, so problems seem to compound when in smaller pots just like it does with lots of other plants. I have one that I grow in my house under a 32 watt 6500K CFL sitting in a West window that's been there for two years now. It's in a 6 inch pot with a small dog dish type tray, and I find it drinks about a cup of water a day in the summer. It's my door guardian for flies. It hasn't tried to bloom yet, but its photoperiod is a bit messed up since I don't change the photoperiod in the winter. I've been getting away with this one in a small pot, but it's high maintenance."
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2011
Messages
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I can certainly agree with this. Given extra water via rain, the plants don't die but tend to slow down and not look as lush, but it won't kill them like underwatering will.
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
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Hacienda Heights, CA USA
Thanks for all the advice! I guess it might have been underwatering that caused my first plant to decline before it got tipped over. I'll definitely be watering at least once a day on hot days.
 
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