Back from the brink

A couple of years ago I bought a specimen of Drosera dicotoma – it is an amazing sundew, which produces huge leaves and, therefore has the ability to catch a lot of flies:

Huge, trailing leaves

I hung it up in the limery and it did a brilliant job. However, during last winter it completely died back and I wondered whether, reluctantly, to tip the contents of the pot into the compost bin. I decided, after a little thought, to leave it and see whether any shoots might reappear – carnivorous plants do seem to have a tendency to ‘play dead’ and, whilst they don’t always come back (Venus fly traps, I’m talking about you), I have experienced several resurrections.

To begin with, it looked like this:

Apparently dead

But, with a little patience, I started to see signs of life:

Tiny shoots

It was weedy at first:

Struggling

But as the weather warmed up and the sun shone more often, it rather perked up:

More shoots

And now, although it’s nowhere near as big as it used to be, it is thriving once again:

Call me Lazarus

I have high hopes for a long and active life for this very useful plant. I really hope that it achieves its previous impressive size.

Hanging around

IMGP9934

Not an appealing sight

In order to control flies in the limery I have been using a combination of carnivorous plants and fly paper. The latter is unsightly, but effective to hang high up. However, now I’m getting to know my insectivores better and discovering what grows well, I have been able to ditch the fly paper in favour of Drosera dichotoma. This astonishing sundew (at least astonishing to those of us used to our tiny native Drosera rotundifolia) produces long trailing leaves, and so is best in a location where these can drape¬†down the side of the pot, unrestricted. Suspending this plant shows it off to its best advantage and gives it the greatest opportunity to trap its prey.

Since the plant needs to sit in water, a reasonably deep suspended dish is required. After a bit of rummaging around, I located a plastic bowl that had been given to me years ago full of pot pourri (pointless stuff, long since composted).  A little bit of work with some jute twine and a crochet hook and I had constructed a hammock for my pot.

And now it’s hanging in the limery looking much more attractive than the fly paper, and photosynthesising to boot!

Fingers crossed that it’s happy there and grows lots more fly-catching leaves.

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