Drosera regia

When I started growing carnivorous plants, Drosera regia quickly made it to my “most wanted” list, because it becomes so large and majestic. This species had the reputation of being difficult to grow, but I could not resist giving it a try. Well, the first attempt was not very conclusive, to say the least. The second one comes after a long, long time, and is related here.

March 2020

Drosera regia has spent the winter months in a cool room, with moderate fluorescent lighting for a few hours each day. After two or three weeks of somewhat low activity, the plants decided to start growing profusely, which is nice per se, but makes me wonder if they can now sustain a normal growing season…

As I write this update, they’re a bit light starved, but are otherwise healthy. It’s also time to slowly get them used to sunlight again. I guess the leaves won’t be pristine for much longer, with the already active flying insects out there.

Drosera regia in March 2020
Drooping and curved leaves, as well as rather dull colors, are the consequences of a slight lack of light.
Drosera regia in March 2020
Still, they’re all growing vigorously.

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 into 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 didn’t hurt it, from what it seems. Frequent watering is important to counteract soil and root overheating in such a medium-sized pot because it can get hot rather quickly.

Drosera regia in August 2019
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 in August 2019
The flowers last two or three days before wilting.
Drosera regia in August 2019
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 in April 2019
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 in October 2018
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.

Drosera regia in Summer 2018
A textbook example of circinate vernation.
Drosera regia in Summer 2018
The remarkable leaf flexibility enhances catching and digestion.
Drosera regia in Summer 2018
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.

Drosera regia in May 2018
The plant has lost its mucilage during transport, which is normal, but makes it look a bit dreary.

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