Sundews- Encompassing One of the Biggest Varieties of Carnivorous Plants
Glandular tentacles with sticky secretions covering their laminae, characterize the sundews.
The trapping mechanism uses the stalked glands secreting the sweet mucilage that serves the triple function of attracting the insect, ensnaring them and providing the enzymes to aid the digestion process. The sessile glands help to absorb the broken down nutrients.
The sweet secretions of the peduncular glands attract small prey that includes insects. Immediately on contact, the sticky mucilage entraps the prey and prevents its progress or escape. Finally, either exhaustion or asphyxiation causes the death of the prey in about 15 minutes as their spiracles clog on the mucilage.
The enzymes protease, phosphatase, peroxidase and esterase, secreted by the plant dissolve the insect and liberate the nutrient soup that the leaf surfaces then absorb to help promote the plant growth.
As a medicinal plant
Many herbalists recommend sundew tea for bronchitis, dry coughs, whooping cough, bronchial cramps and asthma.
As ornamental plants
The sheer beauty of their shining traps and the attractiveness of its carnivorous nature have endeared this species to many as ornamental plants. However, growers must bear in mind that cultivating these plants domestically is a Herculean task, as a result of which, obtaining many of these carnivorous plants commercially is a difficult proposition.
Tips for Domestic Cultivation
With sufficient knowledge and effort, you can grow sundew at home. Please check on the following requirements:
Using pots of glazed tiles or plastic is best for the plants that need to grow to a root depth of four to six inches
Long-fibered sphagnum or peat moss mixed with silica sand is the best substrate for this plant, because the higher nitrogen content in potting soil is deadly to them.
Provide fluorescent lights for the healthy growth of your sundews
Proper food is a vital cog in the fast development of your sundew plants. Feed them with fish food pellets or live insects like flightless fruit flies. You can also feed them bloodworms (freeze-dried)
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