Carnivorous Plant Help (Cape Sundew)

Discussion in 'Houseplants' started by MarbleQueen, Oct 19, 2022.

  1. MarbleQueen

    MarbleQueen New Seed

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    I didn't see a specific carnivorous forum to post this in, so hopefully Houseplants is okay. If there's any carnivorous plant experts or enthusiasts out there, I could really use your help!

    My step-daughter bought a Cape Sundew plant about a month ago online from Amazon. I kinda wish she wouldn't have until I/we had the chance to do more research on the plant's needs, but she was excited and an impulsive teenager. I've been doing the best I can to help care for this plant, but I'm certain I need to change everything to help it thrive, as I don't think it's doing very good now.

    For one thing, it's still in the moss stuff that came with it (I'm not really sure what it is specifically). It's in a terracotta pot, which I don't think is the best material for it to be in. He gets watered with tap, and I understand now these plants need distilled. I think there's some kind of fungus growing on the moss/pot and I don't know if this plant is a lost cause now or not. When she initially bought the plant, she would put him outside. I kept advising her to stop doing that, because the change in environments (indoor to hot outdoor) wasn't good for the plant, and then he got scorched by the hot afternoon sun a little :frustrated:

    Sometimes his leaves are that bright red color, sometimes they're not. Sometimes they curl around their food like their supposed to, sometimes they don't. For a while he had dew, now he doesn't seem to. These plants need to stay moist, and everything online says to keep them in a tray of water in order to achieve this (which we do... in a terracotta dish beneath the terracotta pot). She read you can feed them beta fish food instead of bugs, so she crumbles that up and gives him some. We do not over-feed him.

    1. What kind of soil/potting material is going to be best for this plant?
    2. What type of container material is best?
    3. I want to confirm DISTILLED (not tap or filtered water) is best for him
    4. Is he salvageable? Am I going to do more harm than good if I put in in a new pot, with fresh soil and start using distilled?

    20221019_100802.jpg 20221019_100849.jpg 20221019_100908.jpg
     
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  3. Zigs

    Zigs Young Pine

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    Afraid I'm Cactus department but I'll have a go :D

    They do need rainwater/distilled. They won't tolerate lime that's often in tapwater.

    They need acidic compost, again with no lime in it.

    Teracotta is ok but best stood in a tray of water to stop any risk of drying out.

    Your plant looks ok :)

    In the wild i've seen them die back and disappear over winter so don't be suprised if it does that :)
     
  4. Jewell

    Jewell Incorrigible Gardener Plants Contributor

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    The plant looks good. They are carnivorous so mainly moisture dependent, small unseen insects,in moss will feed them. Most carnivorous plants grow in peat bogs, so no heavy potting soil and I never repot new plants. Good luck :like:
     
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  5. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest In Flower

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    Jewel. That plant is so cool… amazing horticultural expectations …I could use a few of those to gobble up the house tiny gnats…
     
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  6. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I feel the need to go plant shopping - again.
     
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