Propagation experiment: Drosera gigantea

Propagation experiment: Drosera gigantea

The tuberous Drosera are comparatively uncommon in cultivation, perhaps owing to the difficulty of raising seed-grown plants to maturity. Little is known about their propagation, although scattered experiments suggest that some species can be multiplied through conventional vegetative means.

Drosera gigantea is a species that has a natural propensity to propagate itself through the formation of tubers on their leaves and stolons in humid conditions. Leaf cuttings have also been successful for this species. These attributes (as well as the fact that it was the only species I had excess of) made it the ideal candidate to perform some experiments on.

My idea was to bury the main stem of the plant under a layer of soil, with the side stems exposed and able to grow carnivorous leaves. I hypothesise that the plant will grow a new tuber at the buried junctions between the main stem and side stems. Hopefully, this would be a way to propagate this species without having to sacrifice the display quality of the plants (as the side stems will still look nice).

I will continue to update this page throughout the growing season.

28 June 2020.

I dug up a young plant still in early growth phase. The main stem and side stems are well formed but the leaves are still in bud. At this stage, the tuber is still largely intact so there is little risk to damaging the root system.

Freshly excavated D. gigantea plant.

I repotted this plant in a mixture of 50% peat 50% sand, burying the tuber at its original depth. I then pressed down the stem against the soil and buried the main stem under a thin layer of soil. I made sure not to bury the side stems.

Pressing the main stem against the soil
The main stem is buried. If you look closely, you can see the exposed side stems.

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