Drosera capensis

Probably the most famous, commonplace, weediest, easiest-to-grow, and infamous sundew all at the same time, Drosera capensis is probably the first sundew most people buy for their collections. And I think it's for a very good reason - Drosera capensis serves as an excellent testing plant. It is very easy to keep and very easy and cheap to get. If Drosera capensis can't survive in your set up, be it a windowsill, terrarium, or fully-fledged greenhouse, there's a very good chance no other carnivorous plant will. But if you find your sundew thriving, you'll almost certainly be able to grow a host of other sundews - including Drosera spatulata, Drosera alicae, Drosera madagascariensis, and Drosera scorpiorides, among others.

Once again, Drosera capensis is very easy to keep. All you need is pure, non tap water, and bright light. As long as temperatures aren't really extreme the plant should still continue to grow. Brief freezing also shouldn't kill this plant - it can easily return from the roots. Even if one of your plants does die, you probably have another one or two plants that hijacked another pot.

Propagation isn't something I really need to mention. Drosera capensis will do it for you, to the extent that you will probably want to prevent its spread. Drosera capensis flowers profusely and self pollinates. Once the flowers dry out, any breeze will cause the seeds to spill out onto your other pots. Drosera capensis will also invade other pots using its thick roots and cause more plants to sprout from neighboring pots. Drosera capensis will easily grow from leaf cuttings, but I'm not sure if anyone wants more Drosera capnesis around. I'm surprised that I don't see any reports of Drosera capensis being an invasive species!!!

And now I will give you a warning - if you have another carnivorous plant that you really care about, and you see a Drosera capensis plantlet hanging in the pot, you should really pull it out. Sometimes I feel really bad about doing this, but otherwise your plant will be overwhelmed within months. I had a pot of Ultricularia livida (ironically another weedy plant that is a little less intrusive) that was completely wiped out by Drosera capensis. Now that pot has become merely a huge mass of Drosera capensis sundews.

One more thing - as an extremely prolific, relatively undemanding plant, it is unsurprising that Drosera capensis comes in many different colors, shapes, sizes, and hybrids. The four most famous forms of Drosera capensis are the wide leaf form, narrow leaf form, albino form, and red leaf form. Currently I only have the albino leaf form (which is one of the first carnivorous plants I ever got) and the narrow leaf form (which hijacked some other pots of plants I bought). It has been hybridized extensively with many different types of other South African sundews and has produced many interesting results!

Overall, Drosera capensis makes for a wonderful beginner's plant. It is very easy to grow and comes in many interesting varieties! However, I'm not even sure if I would recommend buying the common forms of this plant, as Drosera capensis frequently hijacks pots from nurseries and comes as an (unintentional) free gift.

Media/Soil: Long fibered sphagnum, peat and sand in a 1:1 ratio
Lighting: As with other South African Sundews, it does best with bright light. I used T5-HO grow lights and now use a Happy Leaf LED light with them.
Water: As usual, use water with a t.d.s. reading of < 50. I personally use zero water because my own collection is relatively small and zero water filters are much cheaper and easier to use than reverse osmosis filters.
Temperatures: Probably almost anything within reason! 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, maybe even 90's or 40's! I'm sure it could stretch even further for short periods!!
Feeding: Drosera capensis grows a lot faster if you feed it more. This also leads to more flowers and more - you guessed it! - baby plants.
Propagation: Leaf cuttings, root cuttings, and flowerings all work. If your Drosera capensis is happy, it will do it for you!