The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

Q: Why doesn't my sundew have "dew" on its leaves?

A: So you have a sundew, and you want to see all those neato globules of goo on them, just like in my photographs, right? But your plants just are not making dew! Frustrating, isn't it?

The lack of droplets on your sundew is probably an indication that you are not growing it properly. Only a happy Drosera makes mucus. (I got that from a Chinese fortune cookie two nights ago, I swear.) The most common reason for a dewless sundew is low humidity. Other possibilities include temperatures that are too high, light that is too low, and impure water. Oh lord, you didn't fertilize your plant, did you?

These are not the only reasons your sundew may not be happy, but they are common ones.

Even if you are growing your plant properly, it might not make mucus drops. It might just be going through a dewless phase. For example, despite the best of care, the lovely African species Drosera capensis occasionally dies back to the ground. As the stem is dying back, the plant's leaves will lose their dew and look dreadful. Worry not, the plant is fine, and will resprout from the base. (I hope.)

Incidentally, spraying your sundew with water from a spray bottle is not going to help. It will hurt. The dew drops consist of a special mix of compounds, and are not just water droplets. Spray water into your own eyes if you want to see what it would feel like to the plant.

What is stranger, you---running to the internet because you have inadequate mucus drops---or me writing about them?

Page citations: Rice, B.A. 2006a; personal observations.

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Revised: January 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005