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I have had a Drosera for about a month, and in the beginning it was taking care of flies and little insects but for a couple of weeks it has stopped eating them:

enter image description here This little bug has been here for a little while...

Now it's winter where I live. As you can see, I keep it by the window but the temperature doesn't go below 60°F in winter where I live.

When I bought it the seller told me to make sure that it always has water in the cup, I've made sure of that.

For some reason it's not eating its bugs... Any help would be much appreciated!

  • 1
    Are you using rain water or distilled water? Tap water is not good for this plant. Also, does it get enough sunlight? It can handle (requires actually) direct sunlight. Reason I ask, is because the tentacles on the older leaves are red (because of the sunlight), but the newer ones seem to be lighter. Testing the mucus may give some indication too. If you touched it when you bought it, you may remember it to be thick and sticky. Low light may cause it to become more runny.
    – GolezTrol
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 9:08

2 Answers 2


Maybe the plant is not 'hungry', can I ask if that insect in the photo was captured by the plant itself or did you put a dead insect there? The trap will only work for living insects, they'll have to move and keep moving to keep triggering the trap. A dead bug won't trigger the trap to completion.

Like stormy already said, the plant is dormant in wintertime, so it doesn't need much of nitrogen now. I would not fertilize the soil of carnivorous plants, you may burn them (because of high concentration salts). They live in bogs, with a lot of rain and water with scarce amount of nutrition in the soil (that's why they evolved to capture insects for nitrogen intake). So in nature they don't get nutrition from the roots.

You can test if your plant is still alive, by touching one of the traps and see if it responses. However, don't do it too often, because a trap can only be used a few times.

  • 1
    There are now two bugs on the plant, both of them got there by themselves without my help. "a trap can only be used a few times", could that be the reason why it's not eating? I bought it from a shop, maybe the plant had eaten its total share of bugs while in the shop? What happens when the plant has eaten its max amount? Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 22:30
  • @MicroMachine The traps work only a few times, so it will depend on new traps to be formed. You can try to see if the traps with bugs on it still work or are out of order (by touching them). Don't worry about it though, the plant is not very active now and can handle a period of fast.
    – benn
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 8:34
  • Other forms of life know when to stop eating. It is a waste of energy to eat when one doesn't need the ingestion of energy. One fly might mean enough energy to last a long time...plants and animals are very very different even though the DNA is very very close.
    – stormy
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 21:39

What kind of soil have you used and have you added fertilizer of any kind? This is the only plant, these carnivorous plants that are able to get the chemistry with which to survive, without a lot of the chemistry most plants that only do photosynthesis need to have to make their own food to survive.

Yet even these plants need a tiny bit of chemistry because they ARE doing photosynthesis and need to do that in order to digest and extract chemistry for the entire plant to survive.

I do not like that they are watered from the bottom up. They need drainage, yes, constant moisture, but not a 'bog' situation for an indoor plant.

Interesting question.

If I were you, I would chalk this up to winter and slow growth. When the light is low and temperatures are low, energy is maintained at low levels. More fertilizer during this time is a death sentence. At least an insect attack and or disease problem sentence. Leave your plant alone. Allow it this hibernation period. Keep the temperatures stable and do not over water.

  • 5
    Actually, for drosera the "bog" is a good thing - speaking from experience.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 12:34
  • @Stephie It generally can handle it, although it's safer to be a little less generous with water for indoor plants in small pots. I'd recommend giving them about 1/4" (0.5cm) in the dish, and not replenish that until it's mostly gone.
    – GolezTrol
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 8:59

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