Repotting and Dividing Sundews

After sundews grow for a while, their roots may start to pop out of the bottom of the pot if it is too small, and it may also clump over time. Therefore, it will be beneficial for your sundews if they are repotted or divided. Repotting sundews may be tricky when you first start, but if you follow the guidelines below, you will have no problem at all!

Repotting (with long-fibered sphagnum or live sphagnum as media)
  • Repotting a sundew that is growing in a live or dead LFS mix is much easier than peat:sand, because the large strands tend to stick together and compact over time.

1. Prepare the pot you want to use with appropriate media that has been thoroughly rinsed (see sundew media preparation page)

2. Form a hole in the media that is deep enough so that the surface of the plant will be level with the top of the media in the new pot. This way, once you unpot the plant in the next step, you can just place it in the prepared hole, and you won't have to struggle doing this while holding the sundews and bundle of media in one hand.

3. coax the entire bundle of media along with the plant out of the pot by gently squeezing the sides of the pot. If this doesn't work, then use a fork to pry up the media from the bottom of the pot. Do this by sliding it in on the edge of the pot, avoiding root disturbance.

4. Now is the time to divide your sundews if you have a clump (see instructions for sundew division below). If you are going to have a lot of clumps, prepare multiple pots ahead of time. OR if you want to have a bunch of sundews in one pot, get a wide pot and prepare enough holes in the media before moving them.

5. Place the sundew/rootball with media into the hole you've prepared.

6. Gently compress the media surface to make it level, and to make sure there isn't an air gap (not that it matters all that much).

7. Top-water the pot with your newly repotted sundew in it to make sure the roots can take-off right away.

Repotting (with a peat:sand mix):
1. Make sure soil is compacted at the top, or pour it over the side of the pot, to avoid crushing your sundew in an "avalanche" of peat.

2. Follow the guidlines given in the LFS repotting directions directly above.

3. Flip the pot on its side, and see if you can ease the entire rootball/peat mass out together. If this doesn't work, you may have to CAREFULLY tip the pot upside-down, while putting your hand over the entire surface of the pot, to keep the peat:sand mix from cracking apart and destroying your sundew.

4. Place the entire sundew/rootball/media clump into the hole you've prepared in your new pot with peat:sand media.

5. Genty compress media to make surface level.

6. Gently top-water the new sundew pot with water several times. Do this slowly so that you disturb the sand minimally. Otherwise, it will separate from the peat, and you will have to mix it up again (which is a big pain in the butt).

7. And you're done!

Dividing a clump of sundews
LONG ROOTS- unpot the entire plant. With the mass of roots and media, gently *GENTLY* split the sundew clump by following these steps:
1. Pick up the sundew clump/mass of media and roots so that it looks like the following picture:

-the plant should point away from you (horizontally) and rest in the "cradle" of your hands-your index, 3rd, 4th, and pinky fingers should be underneath the plant.

2. Gently squeeze the upper portion of the media surface so you can get a good grip of the plant- primarily use your index, and middle fingers while you add pressure with both of your palms.

3. Split the plant apart by using your thumbs to pull the sundews apart *AT THE BASE* of the sundew.

4. Once the plant is separated at the surface, you now have to worry about separating the roots. Do this by first splitting apart the media clump (surrounding the roots) and then gently tugging apart the roots. If you break any of the roots, you can normally take root cuttings and have extra sundews.

1. If you don't want to go through the hassle of unpotting the entire pot of sundews, you can *carefully* dig-up the clump out of the pot with a spoon or fork. The trick is digging deep enough. If you go too shallow, you may end up cutting or ripping a few of the roots. This will set-back your sundew a bit, but if you place the root segments you broke off on top of media (in humid conditions) it will generate new plants.

2. Now is the part where you decide what to do.
Your options:
a. Cleaner- dip the rootball in water so that roots are cleaned off and you can see them more easily when repotting. It is also a good idea if the media is several years old. I don't do this, because it can be more of a hassle if the plant has a large number of long roots. With this method, you will have to guide each root segment into long holes.

b. "Normal way"- simply place the entire mass of roots and media in a new pot, without rinsing it off. It can be easier to transplant into the sundew's new pot.

Additional Questions or Suggestions?

Contact me at: sundewman(at)