I’m trying to grow sundews. I know they require water with low or no minerals, but I live in Louisville. I’ve been watering them for a while with tap water. Do you know if Louisville water is good enough for them or if I should use purified water?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Paul in Kentucky: Sundews are considered carnivorous plants that belong to the Drosera genus. There are over 100 species within this genus and even more hybrids. These plants are able to survive in nutrient-depleted soil where most other plants would not survive. They are unique in that they are able to trap insects in the dew they produce and eventually absorb these nutrients. Each species is different in terms of the growing conditions they prefer, so I cannot give you specifics without knowing which one you have, but it really is best to try and mimic the environment these plants are native to. This can be a challenge indoors but a terrarium filled with peat or even orchid bark will help give your sundew the acidic soil they require. As for watering, it really is best to water your plant with collected rain water or distilled (demineralized) water. We are fortunate in Louisville to have high quality drinking water but for your purpose it may not be ideal.