Drosera admirabilis

Drosera admirabilis is a striking rosetted South African sundew. This subtropical sundew is a vigorous grower and can do well for beginner growers if it is provided with proper conditions. There are several location forms that look slightly different, but they are all just as easy to grow. I put my first D. admirabilis (Ceres, R.S.A) through a lot of abuse and it always hung on- even when I forgot to water it for a week. Drosera admirabilis can get rather wide in diameter at maturity, sometimes exceeding 2 inchess across. Drosera admirabilis forms a skirt of old growth after growing for several years, and can eventually grow 4+ inches tall! Drosera admirabilis reaches its full potential when fed often, and will flower frequently when fed, as well. See my youtube video of this species!
Drosera admirabilis (Ceres R.S.A) mature sundew
  A mature Drosera admirabilis (Ceres RSA)
Drosera admirabilis (Ceres R.S.A) adult sundews
      Drosera admirabilis (Ceres R.S.A) adult sundews
Leaf of D. admirabilis (Ceres R.S.A.). Notice the snap tentacles at the bottom of the leaf.

Drosera admirabilis (Ceres R.S.A) with leaves curling around food
The leaves of Drosera admirabilis curl over when they eat a large enough piece of food.
Drosera admirabilis (Ceres R.S.A) flower
The beautiful light violet flower of Drosera admirabilis is large and lasts for several hours.
    Drosera admirabilis (Ceres R.S.A) 7 months after budding above the surface
D. admirabilis root cuttings after 8 months
Drosera admirabilis (Ceres R.S.A) adult sundews with younger sundews in front of itDrosera admirabilis (Ceres R.S.A) medium-size sundew
Drosera admirabilis (Ceres R.S.A)Drosera sp. "Floating"
D. sp. "Floating" is shown at the bottom right. See more about this close relative of D. admirabilis in my youtube video.

Not picky. I use 1:1 peat: sand (silica). Small amounts of perlite can be added as well. I think LFS or live sphagnum could work as well
Be sure to rinse your media before you use it

Media moisture:
Keep soil moist to drier. My Drosera admirabilis have been succeptible to root sensitivity in higher water levels, especially when younger or recently transplanted. Taller pots can prevent most issues. D. admirabilis becomes more tolerant of very moist media (or even very dry soil) once it establishes itself or reaches maturity. 

not much needed. I'd recommend at least 25% for the best results. My plants receive about 40% during the warmest months of the summer with the tray method.

Pot height: I recommend 4 inches or taller, though this sundew can do fine in smaller pots. Drosera admirabilis has extremely thick roots that can reach over 8 inches long when established. A tall pot will allow this sundew to reach its full potential.

Plant dimensions:
Drosera admirabilis forms a skirt of dead growth over time. My adult plant has grown about an inch each year, and is now 2.5" tall. My plant is also ~2 inches across.

Very adaptable. Drosera admirabilis has grown well for me in the temp range of 60-85+ degrees F. Give Drosera admirabilis subtropical conditions year-round. In temps around 60-75F, this species seems to thrive the most, and will flower even without feeding, once full-grown.

I grow mine under  T-8 lights with a 16-hour photoperiod. The leaves usually remain green, but can have a red to purple tint under intense lighting. Generally the tentacles show the most difference in color in response to brighter lighting. Under intense light, D. admirabilis can develop red-purple coloration
(especially when young).
Trapping speed:
moderate. Leaves will curl noticeably around food within a few hours- see the picture to the left. 

Feed once every two weeks for rapid, larger growth and flower production. See feeding pageFeeding encourages flowering. My plant didn't flower until I fed it several times. It greatly increases growth.

Food size: 
medium to large.

Dormancy requirements:
None required. Drosera admirabilis can be grown year-round if grown indoors during the cold months. I recommend the tray method. However, Drosera admirabilis will come back from the roots if the plant freezes or pot dries out.

Drosera admirabilis produces a thick, long flower stalk that often gets burned in my lights. The flowers are quite beautiful and large, and they last much longer than typical sundew flowers. D. admirabilis self-pollinates very readily and sometimes up to a thousand seeds per stalk. If grown under lights indoors, D. admirabilis can flower several times from fall to spring the without being fed, once the plant has reached maturity.

Propagation Techniques

(click here to learn more about propagating sundews)

Seed: easy. no cold stratification required. It can take Drosera admirabilis over 1 year to grow to flowering maturity from seed.

Leaf-cuttingssomewhat more challenging compared to other easy-growing south African sundews. Younger leaves will not work as well. The water-floating method works best in my experience. Place leaves directly under lights for the hightest strike rate. Flower stalk cuttings should also work well, but I am yet to try this with mine.

Root cuttings: very easy. Drosera admirabilis has very large, thick roots that are excellent for root cuttings. See the picture to the above left.

Divisions: easy. Drosera admirabilis tends to form clumps over time- especially when grown from root cuttings. D. admirabilis has no trouble dealing with repotting and root disturbance, so divisions can be taken easily.

Drosera admirabilis (Ceres R.S.A) flowerA close-up of a leaf from Drosera admirabilis (Ceres R.S.A)
D. admirabilis (Ceres, R.S.A) flower (left) and leaf close-up (right).

Additional Questions or Suggestions?

Contact me at: sundewman(at)yahoo.com