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Carnivorous Plants/Drosera capensis red and filiformis var. tracyi


QUESTION: Hi again sarracenia northwest! I'm Alan and I have a few concerns regarding 2 species of sundew that I want some guide to their care. I have bought all 3 DVDS and read all the care guides but there is a bit of mystery when it comes to the red cape sundew. Unlike the other varieties,  I get alot of confusion about their care since it is an all red. Because of that I hear that this variety should be given the same care as a drosera multifida and filiformis all red or I hear it should be kept just the same as other variety of cape sundew. Whats your word on that? Another species I have question about is filiformis var. Tracyi. This plant is pretty straight foward, I treat it as any temperate filiformis but it's dormancy requirement is confusing. Again I hear that filiformis var tracyi doesn't need a dormancy as long as other temperate sundews and I even hear it doesn't need any. Whats your input on that? Also thank you for the help i had with the fungus gnat larvae infection i had. I treated all the flytraps and they now look gorgeous without all those deformed traps. Every plant is doing fine although my yellow trumpets and green leucophylla could do better but the podcasts tells me why they look like they do. I'm a big supporter of those podcasts. Hope to hear from you!

ANSWER: Hi Alan,

Treat the red form of D. capensis just like other Cape sundews.  There's nothing all that unique about where they come from in South Africa compared to the other types.  They do exhibit some odd little characteristics at times, and they are often not quite as vigorous as other capensis types, but their care is pretty much the same.

Drosera tracyi originates in the Florida panhandle, which is USDA zone 8.  They do experience frost with occasional colder snaps.  My experience with them is that they do need a dormancy.  They don't need to be particularly cold, but they need the shorter days, and to be allowed to form their hibernacula.  Red forms of filiformis originate further south in Florida in Zone 9, so they are more sub-tropical.  Having said all that, D. tracyi is more frost tender than other filiformis types.  I've frequently lost them in Northwest winters during arctic fronts where lows were in the teens.  They seem to be fine with short snaps into the 20's.  Trayci's and Florida Giants are very prone to damage from late spring frosts.  Also, they are fine with a shorter dormancy.  We've kept them in our tropical sundew/butterwort greenhouse during the winter with no issues.  They go dormant in November, and re-emerge in February.

I'm glad you find the podcasts helpful.  We try hard to make them that way.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you that was informative. I know what to do with these plants especially drosera filiformis var. Tracyi when winter comes. Yes the podcasts help alot since this is my second year growing carnivorous plants the correct way. Been growing these plants ever since I was 7 but always failed to grow them. Because of the new information you provide I am getting the hang of it very well and it's very easy so far. Sometimes I get concerned about the appearance of my plants but the podcasts resolves those issues as well as the dvds. I have an additional question. I have lowland nepenthes truncata that I have had for about 1 year. I bought it from a online nursery and it was a impulse buy lol. Now that I looked back at what I actually bought I am excited about actually have long lowland nepenthes truncata. The volume 3 DVD showed how big a lowland truncata can get which really excited me. The plant currently has a 4 inch leaf span excluding tendrils and pitchers. How long does it take for a nepenthes to get to a size of that seen in the DVD?

Hi Alan,

Speed of growth of your N. truncata will depend quite a bit on your growing conditions, but you could see a respectable size plant in about 3 years.  The lowland forms are much faster growers than the highland forms.  Also, since you're from Louisiana, your nice humid summers should help out quite a bit.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

Before submitting your question, please read their care guides on their main website. Many issues can be addressed by simply adjusting your growing conditions as recommended in the care guides. Click here to read the care guides.

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Jeff and Jacob are owners and growers of Sarracenia Northwest. They've been in business since 1995. Watch their professionally produced DVDs, Grow Carnivorous Plants. It is a three-volume set that covers all aspects of carnivorous plant care. They literally show you how to be a successful grower!


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