Drosera regia

When I started my hobby, Drosera regia quickly became one of my most-wanted carnivorous plants, because it becomes large and majestic. However, the species used to have a reputation of being difficult to grow, tempering my enthusiasm a bit. In spite of that, I took the plunge, but my first two tries at growing it were failures. Now, its needs are much better understood, so I have high hopes for the third attempt. My current specimen comes from Thomas Carow.

August 2019

A blooming Drosera regia is a sight to behold. I think it took about two months for the flower stalk to fully grow and the inflorescence to mature, a process in which the mother plant has poured a lot of energy… and another set of flowers is on the way! Meanwhile, the suckers have been growing at a normal rate.

Although the plant mostly grows in full sun, the heat waves from June and July did not hurt it, from what it seems. Frequent watering is important to counteract soil and root overheating in such a not-so-big pot that gets hot rather quickly.

Flowering Drosera regia
The longest leaf is about 25 cm, and the flower stalk is not much taller than that. Most sundews raise their flowers much further away from their traps.
Drosera regia flowers
The flowers last two or three days before wilting.
Drosera regia flower details
The underside of the sepals and the flower stalks also bear sticky glands, albeit shorter ones—and they do trap small stuff!

April 2019

The plant has gone through its first winter dormancy under my care, during which only a little bud with a folded leaf remained, just above the soil surface. I kept it outside most of the time, except when it was freezing.

Growth resumed in March, and to my surprise, no less than four plantlets sprouted beside the main plant. Curiously, D. regia does not produce basal offshoots systematically in cultivation, or not to that extent. I would say that sphagnum moss favors the phenomenon, but I’m not sure.

Speaking about sphagnum moss, I decided to cover it with sand because the surface dried out no matter how hard I tried to keep it green and fresh. Now I will no longer have to water it every few hours, and the substrate will stay moist and cool.

Drosera regia growing back after winter dormancy
It’s now a family!

October 2018

My D. regia has enjoyed the sunny summer as well as the abundance of flies. Personally, I would have gladly done without the latter.

Also, the cool autumn nights are definitely boosting it.

Drosera regia a few month after repotting
The king sundew, growing vigorously.

Summer 2018

The plant has adjusted to its new conditions and produces new leaves constantly. They quickly get covered with flies and gnats.

Circinate vernation of Drosera regia
The circinate vernation is remarkable on Drosera regia.
Flies trapped on Drosera regia
So is the leaf flexibility to optimize catching and digestion.
Drosera regia digesting a fly
That one is ideally placed for digestion.

May 2018

The delicate Drosera regia has just arrived in it original growing pot. This is great, as it does not like root disturbance at all. To minimize stress, I just placed the whole peat ball in a larger pot and filled it with a mix of sphagnum moss and quartz sand. Now it must be given suitable conditions and left undisturbed as much as possible. That means as much sun as possible, but with the roots kept cool and the soil moist.

Newly potted Drosera regia
The plant has lost its mucilage during transport, which is normal, but makes it look a bit dreary.

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