Unleash the captivating allure of the Drosera capensis and learn to grow it with this expert guide on Octopus Plant Care!
Dive into the fascinating world of gardening as we unravel the secrets of the enchanting Octopus Plant! We will share the tips and tricks to nurture its graceful elegance!
Botanical Name: Drosera capensis
USDA Zones: 7a-9b
Common Names: Octopus Plant, Cape Sundew
Octopus Plant Information
The Octopus Plant, also known as Drosera capensis, is a fascinating carnivorous specimen native to the Cape region of South Africa.
The plant gets its name from the glistening drops of mucilage on its leaves, which resemble morning dew. The leaves of the Octopus Plant are long and slender, with a reddish tinge at the base and a greenish-yellow color toward the tip.
One of the most unique characteristics of the Drosera capensis is its ability to trap and digest insects. The plant uses its leaves to produce sweet-smelling nectar that attracts insects, and once the insect lands on the leaf, it becomes stuck to the sticky droplets on the surface. Drosera capensis then secretes enzymes to digest the insect, getting important nutrients it needs to survive.
The Octopus Plant is a fascinating and beautiful plant that is sure to capture the attention of any observer.
Pot Size for Growing Octopus Plant
As Drosera capensis mostly stays compact, you can start the plant in a 6-8 inches pot, which will be good enough for a long time to come. Depending on the growth and spread, re-pot it into one size bigger container than the old one.
Propagating Octopus Plant
- Select a healthy stem with several leaves from a healthy Octopus Plant.
- Using clean, sharp scissors or a knife, cut a section of the stem just below a node (the point where a leaf attaches to the stem).
- Remove the lower leaves, leaving a few at the top.
- Dip the cut end of the stem in a rooting hormone (optional but can aid in rooting).
- Plant the cutting in a suitable propagation medium, such as a mix of sphagnum moss and perlite or a carnivorous plant-specific soil mix.
- Place the cutting in a humid environment with bright, indirect light.
- Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
- After a few weeks, roots should begin to develop. Once the cutting has established roots, it can be transplanted into its own container with appropriate growing conditions.
Pro Tip: Propagating Drosera capensis can be a hit or miss, so it is always a good idea to get a healthy specimen from a garden center.
Octopus Plant Growth Requirements
The Octopus Plant thrives in bright, direct sunlight. It requires at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day to ensure healthy growth and vibrant coloration.
You should put Drosera capensis near a south-facing window or under artificial grow lights to provide it with the necessary light intensity.
These plants prefer a well-draining, acidic soil mix. A recommended medium for Octopus Plant is a mixture of sphagnum moss and perlite or sand.
The sphagnum moss helps retain moisture while allowing excess water to drain away, preventing waterlogged conditions that can harm the plant’s roots.
Octopus Plant are carnivorous plants that naturally grow in boggy, wet environments. They require consistent moisture to thrive. You should water Drosera capensis using distilled or rainwater to avoid the minerals present in tap water.
Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, allowing the top layer of the soil to dry slightly between waterings.
Temperature and Humidity.
They prefer warm temperatures between 70-85°F (21-29°C) during the day and slightly cooler temperatures at night.
Octopus Plant can tolerate a wide range of humidity levels, but higher humidity (around 50-70%) is ideal for optimal growth. If the air in your home is dry, you can increase humidity by placing Drosera capensis on a tray filled with water or using a humidifier nearby.
Octopus Plant Care
The Octopus Plant derives most of its nutrients from insects as it is carnivorous. However, if you want to provide additional nutrients, you can feed it with occasional small insects like fruit flies or ants.
Avoid using traditional fertilizers, as they may harm the plant’s delicate roots. It is well-adapted to obtaining its necessary nutrients through its carnivorous nature.
Pruning requirements for Octopus Plant are minimal. You can remove any dead or withered leaves by gently pulling them away from the plant. This helps maintain its appearance and prevents the buildup of decaying matter that may attract pests or diseases.
Pest and Diseases
These plants are generally resistant to most common houseplant pests. However, occasionally they can be affected by fungus gnats or aphids.
If you notice any signs of pest infestation, such as small flies around Drosera capensis or aphids on the leaves, you can manually remove them using tweezers or use an insecticidal soap solution to control the pests.
Be sure to follow the instructions on the insecticidal soap product carefully to avoid harming the plant.