With spring approaching (slowly) my plants are perking up and growing. Some of my droserae are now a couple of years old, and it is time for some transplanting and upkeep. My half dollar sized D. dielsiana in its 4 inch pot had roots fully 8 inches long: 4 of them, and thicker than pencil lead. After a couple of years of growth, the dead basal leaves pose some health concerns to the plants. Their presence encourages instances of fungal attack, and provide tempting shelter for insects like mealy bug, so it is time to do some housekeeping, before the growing season hits.
Drosera species look so delicate and fragile, but established plants are really quite able to take considerable handling without any ill effect. When I repot, I also change the substrate just to be sure no accumulation of nasty minerals and salts has happened. I turn the plant out of the pot, and wash away the old medium from the roots. With the base of the rosette exposed, I carefully remove the old basal leaves and spent scapes with a downwards pull, until all the brown parts have been removed, and replace the plant in the appropriate pot and well moistened medium. Roots are able to take some bending, but the longer they reach without wrapping around the pot the better, although few of us can really afford the space for 8 inch pots! If I repot to the same size as before, I arrange the roots to be in the same relative position as they were, and add the mix around the roots, tapping the sides of the pot to settle in the plant. Remember to use enough mix: the mix will tend to settle over time. Once the plant is in the mix, I tamp down the substrate around the rosette so the arms and traps are not in contact with the substrate, and the whole is then placed in bright conditions under high humidity. If your plants look a little sad, this will perk them up, and they will grow all the better after the deed is done, I estimate every 2 years or so with most of the tropicals.
This is also the ideal time to take leaf and root cuttings for propagation.
Does anyone have some methods leaf and root cutting propagation that they could share with Forum members?