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King Sundew
King Sundew  

King Sundew 2
King Sundew 2  
I'm writing in regards to my King Sundew (Drosera Regia), which I've owned for several years.  In the spring it was growing well and put out some impressively large leaves.  Then in the heat of the summer it slowed down considerably, putting out some stunted, mangled leaves.  I didn't get too concerned about this at the time because my understanding is that this is normal as the plant does not like it when it's too hot--especially at night.  Later on, when things cooled down a bit, the plant perked up again and put out some impressive foliage.  Now, I notice that the most recently produced leaves in the center of the rosette are back to being tiny and stunted.  I'm not sure what would account for this now, and so am a bit concerned.  I'll mention that I notice that the plant seems to be producing a daughter plant; perhaps this is draining its resources?

I have the plant near a window; however it does not get a lot of direct sunlight.  I supplement the natural light with a T5HO fixture, which is the primary light source.  I use only distilled water.  I foliar fertilize the plant weekly with half-strength orchid fertilizer, and I also apply a few Osmocote pellets to the soil about once a month.  Thanks for your help.

Answer
This is a typical life cycle of your plant.  The main growing portion might live for a couple years.  After that, it will create new shoots as it begins to die back.  It happens to our mother plants too.  In fact, a bunch of our mother plants happened to do it all at the same time last month.  Right now, a bunch of smaller shoots are popping up.  

So what you're witnessing is nothing unusual.  Care for your plant as usual.  In time, the smaller shoot will reach the size of the mother plant.  Cape sundews, a relative of the king sundew, will also do this too.

Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

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