A couple things.
First, your plants - by no means - look unhealthy. So as far as the overall health of the plant (to me at least) they look like they're doing pretty okay.
Second, when seeing plants in the wild, they don't always look like the pristine or "ideal" pictures you provided for us. They can sometimes look kind of ratty having to deal with nature and so on; so on that front I wouldn't fret too much about it.
Third, while I have dews that do what you showed (that do have that much dew on them), I've also noticed that a quick spritzing with a water bottle will make them look as though they have twice the amount of dew on them. To that end, I'm not completely convinced some people don't fake out the photos.
And finally, to address your issue directly: while I'm not an expert by any means at Sundews, I have had immense luck with mine this year. Mine experience far less humidity than yours (somewhere between 30-40%) and have about the same temperatures you experience (70-80). My setup includes 4 T-8 (so very intense) lights about four inches from the plants. I keep water in the trays consistently (I never let the trays dry out).
Under this setup I seem to get a lot of dew on my plants. Here are a couple (not so good, but it's the ones I had with me at work) photos of the dew I tend to get:
Ultimately I think it comes down to a lot of variables, not withstanding the plants themselves. I have noticed my plants cycle a bit: sometimes they produce lots of dew and go wild, while other times they tend to slow down slightly. I don't think nature really cares too much about our preferences, she just does what she wants when she wants.
In my personal experience, feeding them frequently ( a couple times a month) and giving them plenty of water and TONS of light produce the best results. Humidity and the like tend to come in second.
Last edited by kwende; 10-30-2012 at 11:42 AM.
1st q.....how long have they been under the lights? if not a long time then they may need to acclimate still. and how far are they away from them? if they are fairly close try moving them an inch or 2 further away....perhaps if they are too close the lighting may be evaporating the dew.
Thanks for your reply
The plants are definitely healthy and continue to keep growing nicely.
I currently use a humidifier to keep that humidity level, so do you think I should perhaps turn off the humidifier?
From what I have read, I thought the humidity was needed under intense lighting, which I assume I have because most of my Drosera are going very red.
"Humidity is important because it decreases transpiration/ water loss, allowing dew droplets to be larger. While humidity is not as important if there is no air movement, humidity can be very beneficial in higher temperatures, bright sunlight..."
Quoted from growsundews.com
I think temperature may be an issue. I grow my sundews at 80+ temps constantly, and I often see the dew you pictured as optimum. The plants I leave outside, though, which in the fall saw 70F days, had markedly less dew. I would try to raise the temperature to 80F if you can, especially if you're growing tropicals/subtropicals.
I have had these plants a fair time now, I think they are settled.
They were 8 inches above the plants.
I increased the distance to 11 inches a few days ago, as I think they are getting plenty of light, due to how red the plants are turning.
My thinking was they were getting too much light, although with the humidity shouldn't they be fine?
I also have a piece of acrylic under the lights to block off the heat. Before I had this the temps were higher and they had even less dew than they have now.
It really does seem everyone has different experiences and conditions to get the best results.
However I have tried all sorts....with and without the acrylic, with and without the humidifier, and currently they seem the best they have been.
True, what works for me may not necessarily work for you. All I know is that with 60% RH, 80-85F temperatures, and 4 t12 bulbs 3 inches from the plants, I get this:
Hehe fair enough! I shall give that a try
Should I see improvement quickly? Or are they likely to decline first before re-acclimatizing?
I'm not really sure. I'd expect a short acclimation period, but I don't think it should take long.