How To Split And Repot A Sundew

split and repot a sundew

Sundews need an environment that is conducive to their growth in order to thrive. They can be grown in a garden or in a pot, but if you’re growing your sundew in a pot, you will need to monitor it to ensure that it doesn’t outgrow its pot. When this happens, you’ll either need to split the sundew or repot it into something larger.

How do you split and repot the sundew?

  1. Remove the sundew from its pot.
  2. Split the sundew by pulling it apart at the base of the plant and then separating the roots.
  3. Place the sundew into its new pot with a growing medium that is equal parts peat moss and horticulture sand.
  4. Ensure the roots are covered with soil.
  5. Water and care for your plant as it acclimates to its new pot.

Splitting and repotting the sundew is relatively easy, but it should be carefully done. Before you begin with splitting your sundew, consider how often a sundew needs to be split and repotted and if your plant is ready to be split and repotted. After splitting and repotting your sundew, you should observe your sundew for signs that the splitting and/or repotting was successful. Continue reading for all the information you need to successfully split and repot your sundew.

How to Split and Repot a Sundew: A Comprehensive Guide

Before you start splitting and repotting your sundew, you’ll need to make sure that it actually outgrew its pot. Splitting and repotting should not be done unless it is necessary because it can put some stress on the plant, and there is a small risk that the plant will be harmed in the process.

To determine whether your sundew needs to be repotted, you need to make a visual inspection of the plant. If there are many clusters and the plant is seemingly growing out of the pot, then it is time to split the plant and repot it. If the roots are coming out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, then it will definitely need a repotting.

Tools You Will Need To Split And Repot A Sundew

Before starting on any project, it is important to make sure you have gathered all the tools you will need to complete the job, and repotting a sundew is no different. The tools you will need are simple, and nothing out of the ordinary is required.

We’ve compiled this list of the tools and materials you will need to complete this job so you can be sure you’re ready to begin.

  • a slightly larger pot
  • a spoon 
  • a fork
  • sand
  • a 4-6 inch plastic container
  • peat mos, 
  • a pair of gardening gloves
  • distilled water or rainwater

Using these tools to split and repot your sundew will help you with the process of maintaining the health of the flower during the splitting and repotting process. 

How To Split A Sundew

Regardless of your experience, there are steps you should follow when you want to split a sundew. 

When Your Sundew has Long Roots

When you are dealing with long roots, you will need to unpot the whole plant. There’s no way around this. 

  1. Ensure that the soil around the sundew is compacted before attempting to remove it from its pot. If it is not, carefully remove the loose soil. This will prevent the plant becoming damaged by the soil tumbling past it when you perform the next step.
  2. Tip the pot on its side. Gently try to remove the entire root ball from the pot. In most cases, this will work. If it does not, you may need to slant the pot even further and let gravity help you pull the plant from the pot.
  3. Hold the sundew away from you horizontally with your fingers directly under the sundew. You can grip this part of the sundew with a gentle squeeze with your index finger, middle finger, and thumb. 
  4. Use your thumbs to split the plant apart at the base of the sundew. Don’t go digging around in the roots with your fingers at this point.
  5. Now that you’ve separated the plant, you need to separate the roots. To separate the roots effectively, first break up any clumps of soil that are in the root system.
  6. Now you should be able to gently tug the roots apart. Some of the roots may break in the process.

Now you can repot the separated sundew into new pots as normal, which we will go over later in this article.

When Your Sundew has Short Roots

When you have a sundew with short roots, you don’t necessarily have to unpot the entire plant to split the plant. 

To do this, you use a spoon or fork to carefully dig-up the part of the sundew you want to split off out the pot. This method can be a little riskier (but a lot easier) because if you do not dig deep enough with your spoon or fork, you could cut or rip the roots, which can make it more difficult for the newly potted sundew to thrive.

You can repot the sundew as normal, as we will go over in the next section.

How To Repot A Sundew

Repotting a sundew can be lots of fun, but there are a few things to consider when doing so. If you find yourself struggling to successfully repot your sundew, do not give up. Simply follow our tips for how to repot your sundew, and you will be on your way to giving your sundew a healthy growing environment.

Selecting The New Pot

Selecting the right pot for your sundew is very important. You don’t want something too small, or you’ll find yourself repotting your sundew every six months, which isn’t good for you or your plant.

A good rule of thumb when repotting is to use a pot that is approximately 2 inches larger than the current or previous pot. The pot should be at least 4-6 inches deep, depending on whether your variety of sundew has long or short roots.

Ideally, you should avoid clay pots when repotting your sundew as they can put nutrients into the soil of the sundew that can actually kill your sundew eventually.

Select The Grow Medium

Sundews, like most carnivorous plants, like moist and peaty soils. Most varieties of sundew will thrive in a typical potting soil mix meant for carnivorous plants like this one

If you don’t want to purchase a premade mix, you can certainly make a mix all on your own. All you need is sphagnum peat moss and horticulture sand, sometimes known as river sand. Do not use contractor’s sand as it contains clays and other substances not conducive to growing sundews.

You can use a 50/50 mixture of peat moss to sand, but it is not essential that you get his ratio just right. Some sundew owners prefer to use a 70/30 mixture of peat moss to sand. So you don’t have to worry about measuring it out precisely. 

You will fill the pot with this mixture to almost full and dif a little hole in it that is as deep as the roots of your sundew.

Cleaning The Roots

After splitting your sundew, you may want to clean the roots before you put it into its new pot. This is an optional step and provides a few benefits, but it is not necessary in most cases.

Benefits of cleaning the roots:

  • Increases visibility of the roots. Cleaning the roots allows you to clearly see the length and structure of the roots, and it enables you to accurately choose the best pot for repotting your plant. 
  • Removes old soil/medium. If you’re having trouble with root rot or drainage, then starting over with fresh soil is your best bet for improving the health of your plant.

Cleaning the sundew can be achieved by dipping the root-ball in water to clean the roots off. This will remove most of the medium, and it is most useful if you have been using the grow medium for several years.

However, the most popular way of repotting is to simply retain the original grow medium, which is entangled in the sundew roots. Doing this is easier than cleaning the roots and it ensures that the entire section of root will aid in anchoring the plant to the new soil. 

Repotting The Sundew

This is the easiest part of the whole process! Getting your sundew into its new home with fresh soil and more room to grow should help it continue to thrive for years to come, until it needs a new pot of course.

  1. If you did not clean the roots, you should remove any excess soil from the root ball.
  2. Afterward, gently lower the plant into the new pot. 
  3. Make sure the sundew sits at the same height as it was in the original pot. 
  4. Fill the pot with the sand and peat moss mixture, as needed, so the roots of the plant are covered.
  5. Gently compact the soil around the base of the plant by pressing the soil with your fingers.
  6. Water the plant with an especially good dousing of water.

How Often A Sundew Needs To Be Split And Repotted

Although there is no rule about how often you should split and repot your sundew, most sundew owners find that it is necessary about every 1-2 years. A particularly healthy sundew will require more repotting, so take it as a sign that you’re doing a good job.

Signs that you should repot your sundew:

  • Roots coming out drainage holes. After sundews have been growing for some time, their roots could protrude from the pot. This is a sign that the roots need more room.
  • Clumping. If the sundew is beginning to clump, it is overcrowded and time to split up the plant or get a larger pot.
  • Root rot. If your sundew has root rot, then you will need to remove it from the pot that it is in, clean the roots, discard the soil and start over with a fresh pot and fresh soil.

If you notice any of these things happening with your sundew, it is time to go buy a new pot and fresh soil because it needs to be repotted.

Tips For Caring For A Sundew After Repotting

After your sundew is comfortably in its new home, you’ll have to take some extra care with it until it gets established in its new pot. You don’t want to skip any waterings or go on vacation for a week after splitting and repotting your sundew.

Watering Your Sundew

After you have split and repotted your sundews, you will want to take care of the flower and foster its growth. To do so, consider a few things when watering your sundew. 

  • You can use rainwater or distilled water. Rain water and distilled water is the best for sundews because they do not have any chemicals added to them that could harm your sundew. Spray both the growing medium and the sundew leaves. Continue spraying the water onto the growing medium and the leaves until the growing medium is well moistened.
  • Always provide enough water. Out in nature, sundews grow in very moist soil. Your sundew’s soil should never dry out. This is recommended for some plants, but sundews are not these plants.
  • But don’t overwater! Over watering a sundew can cause root rot and issues with fungus and mold. The sundew should not be sitting in a puddle of water. They like a moist environment, not a completely saturated one.

Watering your sundew is clearly not as simple as it seems. Some sundew owners like to use the tray method of watering. In this method, you place a tray with an inch or two of water it in under the sundew plant. The plant is able to draw on this water as needed. This helps avoid overwatering.

What to do if You Overwater Your Sundew

If you’ve accidentally overwatered your sundew, there are a few things you can do to help remove some of the excess water. One overwatering is probably not going to kill your sundew, but if you continue to overwater, it will cause problems eventually.

  1. Gently tip the sundew’s pot on to its side to drain some of the excess water. 
  2. Follow this step by gently applying pressure on the growing medium. This will ensure the excess water is removed. 
  3. Place the repotted sundew near the window or in a room that has sufficient access to sunlight and space to enable the sundew grow.
  4. Avoid any location that is cold as warmth will help with evaporation.

Make Sure Your Sundew Has Enough Light

Obviously all plants need access to light in order to perform photosynthesis, but after splitting and repotting, you should take special care that your sundew has adequate access to light. 

Your sundew is going to be weakened, and it is going to need to repair any damage that has happened during the repotting process. 

Sundews prefer full to partial sunlight and require 4-8 hours of full sunlight per day. Too much direct light can harm them. If you keep your sundew outside, you may need to move it so that it doesn’t get too much direct sunlight during the day.

If you grow your sundew indoor, you should consider an indoor fluorescent or LED plant lighting system. This will allow you to get the proper amount of light for your sundew even if you don’t have good access to light indoors, or the winter sun is making it difficult to give your sundew the light it needs.

Signs That Your Sundew Isn’t Getting Enough Light

If your plant isn’t getting enough light, it will let you know with some telling signs.

  • Pale stringy growth or lack of growth
  • Tentacles that are not a healthy red
  • No dew on your sundew

Temperature for Sundews

The temperature that sundews require will vary depending on the variety that you have. In most cases, you should keep your sundew in an area that averages between 55° to 80°F (12° to 26°F. For most of us, that is any part of our home.

Beware of things that can cause temperature fluctuations in your home like heaters, air conditioners, and exceptionally sunny or drafty windows.

Should I Repot a Sundew After it is Dormant?

First of all, not all varieties of sundew experience a dormancy. Cold weather varieties tend to experience a summer dormancy, and tropical varieties do not go dormant at all.

So before you determine whether you should wait for a dormant period, make sure your variety of sundew has a dormant period.

If you have a cold weather variety of sundew that goes dormant in the summer, then you should repot in the fall, when it is just awakening from its dormancy.

Overall, splitting and repotting your sundew is an easy process and should be done regularly to ensure the health of the plant, but it is also a great way to propagate sundews! If you’re looking to expand your collection, split and repot, and you’ll soon find yourself brimming with sundew plants.