Drosophyllum ( Dewy Pine ) Introduction:
Far away in a land that shouldn’t inhabit carnivorous plants, you will find Drosophyllum lusitanicum. Only native to Spain, Portugal and parts of Morocco ( North Africa ), this plant lives in conditions that are generally not suitable for other carnivorous plants. You will find this plant on non-acidic ( alkaline ) hills of the coast lines of these countries.
This is a perennial plant whose only way at cultivation is through seed ( if you can get through the thick seed coating ). Some people have reported it taking months to germinate this plant.
Dewy Pine seems to receive most of its moisture from the wet winters rather than the dry summers. Many have theorized that the fog during the dry times is an important way for the plant to receive moisture.
The way that these plants capture prey is awesome. An insect will be attracted to the plant by the sweet smell it puts out. The bug will land on the leaf, and will then stumble in a downwards spiral. In the end, the bug is covered with a glue the plant produces. This will in turn suffocate the insect. After the struggle and death of the bug, the digestive enzymes are released and the soft tissue of the insect is dissolved.
The watering cycle is described above. And as always, with all carnivorous plants – it is recommended to only water with Distilled, Rain or Reverse Osmosis Water. Tap, Drinking, Mineral, Bottled waters sometimes contain salts ( not listed ), chemicals and minerals that are harmful to CP’s ( Carnivorous Plants ).
Since this plant grows in areas where rain is a limited commodity, it is not recommended to use the tray method for watering this plant. During the summer, allowing the soil to stay a little drier than in the winter is best.
Dewy Pine is a great plant for full sun to partly sunny for the greater part of the day. The light requirements are somewhat strict for these plants, and many have reported difficulties with placing them in terrariums. These are perfect for the greenhouse though.
This plant is tolerant of a wide range of temps. During the day, 70’s to 80’s and at night the plant should be on the chilly side; 50’s to 60’s. The plant has been reported to take temps into the 100’s ( though not recommended ) and into freezing ( but not recommended either ).
Drosophyllum will consume just about anything that lands on it. Gnats, mosquitoes, flies, moths…. Really anything that happens to get caught on the plant. Since movement isn’t a key to digestion ( like Venus Flytraps ) you can sprinkle fish food or dried or dead insects on the plant. This plant should on its own catch a ton of bugs.
As with some other carnivorous plants, you can dilute an Orchid Fertilizer ( Miracid ® or an Epiphytic Fertilizer ). Just be sure to make it AT LEAST ¼ strength. Only apply this:
- No more than monthly.
- Only if the plant isn’t catching insects on its own.
Remembering that this plant lives on cliffs of the Spain, Portugal and Morocco, it is best to have a soil mix that is open, alkaline and loose. Recommendations are:
25% sand ( Silica )
25% lava rock or something similar
- The seeds of this plant have a very hard shell. Many have used a mild acid to soften them up. Or what you could do is nic them a bit and soak in warm water. That way, the water will soften the seed capsule.
- Cuttings from this plant will not work ( to date ). Seed is the only way to grow Dewy Pine.
- Transplanting is a no-no. This will more than likely kill your plant.
- A few nurseries offer this plant however, it’s not common. There is an abundant source of seed for this plant. So finding it isn’t an issue, more so getting it to germinate is.