Pygmy Drosera, where have you been all my life?

I received my first batch of pygmy drosera gemmae in a trade a little over a month ago. While I am always up for trying something new, I really didn’t expect them to be so rewarding, fun,  and ridiculously easy!

The gemmae I received were omissa x pulchella. As I mentioned briefly in my sundew post, pygmy sundews have their growing season the winter and are dormant in the summer. You can prevent them from going dormant by keeping them cool and wet. Omissa x pulchella is pretty tolerant of high temperatures, so I will be keeping it shaded in the summer.

I started the gemmae in my space bucket and they seemed to love the LED light! They germinated and began putting out carnivorous leaves within a week!  The awesome thing about starting pygmy drosera from gemmae is that they germinate and grow so quickly! It’s just like having seeds but without the need for patience!

Drosera omissa x pulchella. Pygmy sundews are easiest to propagate through gemmae, which act like seeds but are reproductive bodies that create clones of the plant.
Drosera omissa x pulchella gemmae. My first pygmy drosera!

Gemmae do have an extremely short shelf-life though. They can be kept in a refrigerator for a few weeks after being harvested from the mother plant, but lose viability with each passing day! Ideally they should sown immediately.

But the absolute best thing about pygmy drosera is simply how tiny and adorable they are! I love looking at them probably a bit too much. I wish I had experienced the joy of growing them years ago.
Pygmy sundew Drosera omissa x pulchella. Tiny, adorable, and easy to grow!

Pygmy sundew Drosera omissa x pulchella. Tiny, adorable, and easy to grow!

This pot is now outside in the greenhouse, enjoying the cool temperatures and slowly increasing hours of sunlight!

Pygmy sundew Drosera omissa x pulchella. Tiny, adorable, and easy to grow!

Those rocks on the surface are actually grains of sand! I still need to get pretty close to take decent pictures. In a couple more months, they will spread out across the surface of the pot like a jeweled carpet!

Pygmy sundew Drosera omissa x pulchella. Tiny, adorable, and easy to grow!

Naturally, I need more and can’t get enough! But I am running into space issues. In order to make room, some Dionaea and Sarracenia will be up for grabs soon!

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6 comments

  1. Hayden says:

    Hi Maria, I recently purchased several gemmae packs (specifically D. scorpioides, closterostigma, oreopodion, leucoblasta, dork’s pink, and dichrosepala) and had sown them the same day I received them (12/10/15). I’ve been keeping them under my 4 foot T5 fluorescent 4 bulb fixture on a 12 hour photoperiod with humidity domes on top of them, as well as misting them 1-2 times a day. I’ve noticed several gemmae have put out roots (mostly the dork’s pink), but one of the d. scorpioides gemmae has begun to turn brown. Is there anything I can do to prevent any more from dying? Is there any way to tell if the gemmae are unviable?

    • Maria says:

      Hi Hayden! They are most viable when freshly harvested, so if you know that date then you have an idea.

      Unfortunately, some gemmae can be duds just like seeds. Sounds like you are doing everything right so I wouldn’t worry about it!

  2. Andrew Vastardis says:

    Hi Maria, I’m Andrew. I bought Pygmy sundews over the summer and kept them under lights and since September moved them to a window sill to hopefully have reduced light and make gemmae. None have made gemmae get though… How do I get them to do this? Thank you!!

    • Maria says:

      Hi Andrew! It’s probably both reduced temperature and light that cause them to make gemmae. Depending on the species, they may also make gemmae at slightly different times. So be patient, they may need a couple of months.

      I’ve also had a D. scorpioides randomly make gemmae in the middle of summer, so who really knows!

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