Drosera oblanceolata

Drosera oblanceolata originates from the subtropical climate of Sunset Peak in Hong Kong. It can develop stunning red coloration when given enough light. This striking sundew is becoming a bit more common in cultivation in recent times, but is still fairly difficult to obtain. When provided higher humidity, D. oblanceolata is among the easiest sundews to grow (on the tray method, at least). However, it can not tolerate warmer temperatures very well, unless additional humidity is supplied. 

 Drosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong) beautiful red sundewDrosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong)
Media: 1 peat: 1 sand is the mix my plants are growing in at the moment. Living sphagnum or good-quality dead sphagnum has worked very nicely as well in the past. Not picky. See habitat info below for a picture of the native soil D. oblanceolata can be found growing in.

Media moisture: Drosera oblanceolata seems to do best in moist to very moist/damp soils. It can grow well in a bit drier soils if temperatures are cooler.

Pot height: grows well in 3-4 inch pots or even a bit smaller when younger. Larger pots (6-8 inches tall) don’t seem to increase the plant’s size much, if at all.

Humidity: in hot temperatures of 800+F (270C+) (indoors on the tray method), Drosera oblanceolata prefers higher humidity (50%-60%+). Otherwise, the plant tends to produce leaves without dew or tentacles (see picture below). Based on the results from another grower and personal experience, this species appreciates higher humidity at any temperature (but it is not required in cooler temperatures).

     Drosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong)Drosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong)

Trapping and speed: average. Noticeable tentacle movement within a couple hours. Leaves will also curl over food (see picture above/left).

dramatically speeds up growth (especially when growing from seed or propagating this species). If not fed, D. oblanceolata will grow fairly slowly and will produce very few flowers. See feeding page for more information.

Food size:
small to medium.

      Drosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong)Drosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong)
Plant dimensions and structure: the leaves of Drosera oblanceolata can reach a height of 2 inches from the base of the petiole to the tip of the leaf. The plant may only stay about a half inch smaller, upon reaching maturity, if left unfed. This species produces white hairs on the petioles, especially when under bright light intensity. The petiole margins and backside of the petiole contain the most hairs (see above right picture). Feel free to check out the youtube video I made of D. oblanceolata here in order to get a better idea of this plant's size (muting the audio is encouraged ;)).

Light Intensity & Photoperiod: Give as much light as possible. Tentacles and leaves will become a vibrant red color in bright light (or if fed infrequently). 

Temperature: Drosera oblanceolata thrives in cool to warm temperatures (50-75F) when grown indoors on the tray method but seems to only thrive in hot conditions (~85F) if provided with elevated humidity. On the tray method, indoors, this species has survived for me through temps of 85-90F (30C) without additional humidity provided. But this is not recommended if you want your plant to be as healthy as possible (see pics directly below). I essentially neglect my plants every summer and I’m fortunate enough that this species is willing to hang on and survive my abuse :). See habitat info below for the natural temperatures of Sunset Peak, Hong Kong.

Drosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong)Drosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong)

Dormancy requirements: no dormancy required, but goes into a dormancy-like "survival mode" when subjected to a combination of high temps and low humidity (pictures above). During this pattern of growth, the tentacle portion of the leaf will not develop, and frequently turns brown or shrivels up. No dew is produced, consequentially. The leaves also become smaller during this time. Provide additional humidity to avoid this occurrence. Can be grown year-round indoors (or outdoors in warm enough climates). 

Flowers and Seeds: Self-fertile. When fed often after reaching maturity, Drosera oblanceolata will produce an abundance of large seeds. The flowers on my plant are a pinkish-peach color (see picture below), but in nature, there are other white-flowered varieties. You can expect this species to flower within ~1.5 years when grown to maturity from seed, (if fed moderately).

     Drosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong)Drosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong) 

Genetics: 2n=40. Several interesting hybrids have been made, including crosses of D. oblanceolata with a variety of different species, such as D. capillaris (n=20), D. neocaledonica (n=40), and D. spatulata. The naturally occurring hybrid of Drosera oblanceolata with D. spatulata is known as D. sp. “Lantau Island Hybrid.” The "Launtau Island Hybrid" can handle hot temperatures quite easily.

Where can I obtain this sundew?
I purchased my original plant in 2009 from Cook’s Carnivores. I have only seen it sold there infrequently. Seeds and plants can also be found at bestcarnivorousplants.net. Otherwise, keep your eye out for occasional trades, sales and giveaways at terraforums.com and cpukforum.com. If you're in Canada, check out keehnscarnivores.com, since they have this species available for sale.

 Drosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong) beautiful red sundewDrosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong)

Propagation Techniques

For detailed instructions, visit the sundew propagation page.

Seed: easy- no cold stratification required. Give seeds a warm, moist, humid environment for highest germination rates. Follow the guidelines on this page in order to speed up the growth of your seedlings.

Leaf-cuttings: work very well (plants in below left and above right pictures are ~6 months old from leaf cuttings). Warmer temperatures stimulate better strike rates. Make sure to feed the plantlets after they sprout in order to rapidly speed up growth.

Root cuttings: Roots are fairly slender, so try using the largest roots available for the best results. Take root cuttings during the coolest part of the year to avoid stressing the plant.

Flower stalk cuttings: I haven't tried this yet, since it doesn’t seem that it would work very well with this type of more slender flower stalk.

     Drosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong) leaf cutting, medium plantDrosera oblanceolata (Sunset Peak, Hong Kong) base stem cutting

Base stem cuttings (Stem cutting at base of stem): works quite well (see above right pic). I generally clip the stem slightly below the soil surface. Then, place the upper half of the plant in a clear sealed container with some moist dead or living sphagnum moss. I place the container very close to the fluorescent lights in my T-8 fixture, but a well-lit windowsill will work just as well, as long as the sealed container doesn’t overheat. In a month or so, you will be able to see roots developing--- carefully peel back the sphagnum moss from the base of the stem to monitor their progress. After a few months of regular feeding, the plant should be established and can be potted up normally on the tray method (after acclimation, if needed). Meanwhile, in the pot that you originally took the base stem cuttings, you should observe plantlets emerging from the roots where the original plants were taken from. These will grow very quickly into mature plants, especially when fed. Click here for a stem cutting guide, made for D. madagascariensis (similar concepts).

Be careful not to break or disturb the somewhat slender roots that branch out through the soil. If the roots are kept intact, this plant will have no trouble handling divisions- I usually don’t supplement additional humidity after transplanting, unless temperatures are above 75-800+F (~260C). This plant can spread more readily on its own in a consistently moist living sphagnum mix.

Habitat Information

Drosera oblanceolata is native to the subtropical climate of Sunset Peak, in Hong Kong. The temperatures on Sunset Peak, during the warmest part of the year, can reach 82 degrees F (~28C). It is quite humid during these warmer months (from May to September).  During the winter, temperatures generally never drop below freezing and generally remain around 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). This species can be found growing in sunny meadows and bogs. As can be seen in the pictures below, the soil appears to be peat-based, or simply nutrient poor soil. More info to come in the near future...

Habitat Photos- used with permisson from kuno menjina
Drosera oblanceolata in habitata at Sunset Peak, Hong KongDrosera oblanceolata in habitata at Sunset Peak, Hong Kong

Additional Questions or Suggestions?

Contact me at: sundewman(at)yahoo.com