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Drosera pulchella Dormancy

Not a Number

Hello, I must be going...
Staff member
Some of you were curious as how Pygmy Drosera appear when dormant during the summer. Thanks to the freakish hot weather we have been experiencing some of my D. pulchella have developed the "stipule bud" and shifted to dormancy. The stipules are the white - silvery fibers that grow at the leaf base around the growth point. When the plants go dormant normal leaf growth slows down and halts and the stipules grow to protect the growth point. The leaves will die back but if there is still a speck of green within the stipule bud the plant is still alive. You would need to spread the bud open with a probe but sometimes you can see the green part without disturbing the bud.

Here are some shots of D. pulchella with stipule buds in various stages. You should check that the white bits are not mealybugs.




The appearance of the bud will vary from species to species/hybrid but these should be fairly representative of what to expect.

If move the plants to a cooler location early on you can usually halt the development of the bud and avoid dormancy.

My plants growing on a west facing window sill are particularly susceptible to going dormant because of the brutally hot late afternoon sun during "heat waves". Moving them a few feet away from the window is usually enough to prevent dormancy although the plants may etiolate slightly from the reduced light. I tend to have a 40-50% mortality rate when these plants go fully dormant. A few growers swear that large pots improve the chances but I've found no significant difference in between growing them in 6 in or 3.5 in pots other than the amount of media used.
Good post and info. You don't see much information around about pygmy Drosera dormancy. Nice to see someone explaining it :)
Question about flowering d. pulchella

...I know this is an old thread, but just in cas people are still subscribed to it, I thought I'd post my questions here.

I have some rapidly growing d. pulchella that have started flowering. I'm curious if this is a species that normally flowers at this time of year or if my plants are off. When are thee supposed to flower?

They grow under an enclosed T5 light set up that is around 75 degrees or so during the day, and maybe 65 at night. Up until a month ago they were languishing in an open, poorly lit grow area with temps a little cooler, so I'm wondering if the change might have triggered an unseasonal flowering.

I am possibly interested in trying to pollinate these by hand, but if I decide against that, should I cut the flowers? Are they likely to trigger dormancy or otherwise hurt the health of these plants? I expect temps to reach up to the eighties this summer--or higher, if I moved them outdoors--and that's when they should be dormant, right?