Drosera intermedia, the Spoonleaf Sundew is considered native to the United States of America and can currently be found within 14 States. This Sundew is a temperate perennial plant. Drosera intermedia is found in shallow water in bogs and seeps of eastern North America, Europe, and high elevations in South America. The whole plant height 2-8 inches.
The blades are 2-3 times as long as wide. The upper surface of blades are covered with reddish, glandular hairs tipped with a sticky, glutinous secretion that traps insects. The leaves, curl around any captured prey like a fist. It is distinguished from the other North Country Sundew, the Round Leaf Sundew, Drosera rotundifolia, by the oblong, rather than round leaf.
The flowers are 1/4 inch wide, white to pale pink, with 5 petals and 5 sepals, and appear between June and September.
The plants eat small insects to provide them with the azote which is lacking where it lives. When an insect becomes entangled in the hairs, the leaves bend inwards so that the insect comes into contact with fine, inner hairs. Enzymes are produced by the hairs which dissolve the insect, which is then absorbed by the leaf. Only the insect's exoskeleton remains which blows away when the leaf hairs uncurl to become erect again, ready for the next meal.
Hardiness zones 6-9, (-20øC/-5øF, -5øC/25øF) in Winter. They should be grown in bright light, but with protection from full midday sun. In cloudy coastal areas, artificial light is a required. They like cool temperatures. Temperatures should be kept between 20øC/68øF, 25øC / 80øF in growing season.
The North American and European varieties require a definite Winter season to survive long term. You should consider growing them outside year round if you live in their natural range. Dormant plants should be kept damp but not wet.
They need a dormant period of about 3 months in the Winter. In the Winter, when food is scarce the leaves die back to form a tight resting bud. The typical heated home is too warm in the Winter. During dormancy they should be kept cool and only damp. The entire planter may be moved to an area where the temperature will remain below freezing point, down to -10øF. Protect from dry freezing wind during deep freezes by covering the plant with black plastic. Uncover the plant when the deep freeze and dry freezing wind is over. Otherwise, place it in a refrigerator for 3 months in a ziplock bag. At this time the compost should be allowed to dry slightly.
Use peat moss or a mix with up to 50% sand. There's no need to fertilize, as the plant relies on insects for food. Water must be continually available to the roots. Good for an acidic peat bog garden if you've got one. Full sun is preferred.
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings. Drosera intermedia likes short pots to be close to the water level and to be very wet when growing. Water must be distilled or rain water because they do not tolerate city or hard water. It is a good idea to place a pie pan or large saucer, with about an inch of water in it, under the pot. Elevate the pot by placing pebbles under it so that the base of the pot is barely in contact with the water, not submerged; the growing medium must stay moist, but never soggy. This will keep the humidity around the plant higher and it will ensure that the plant has a constant source of moisture. The humidity should be between 60-80%.