Drosera binata, the Forked Sundew is a temperate Sundew. Drosera binata is found primarily in sandy marshes and other wet places of Southern and Eastern Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. It is a tall perennial herb, 60 cm high.
Known as the Forked Sundew, it is easy to see how Drosera binata got that name. The long upright leaves form a "Y" shape at the extremity. The erect stems can reach 20 inches high or more and branched in upper part.
Most forms of Drosera binata in cultivation are either sterile or have self-incompatible flowers. If the flowers are self-incompatible, you will need to have two unrelated plants of the same type to get seed. The flowers are pink or white, have 5 petals and are about 2.5 cm across. They are numerous on erect stalk.
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 zone 10, (1øC/35øF) in Winter. Drosera binata go through a period of dormancy each Winter. The plants will stop producing new leaves and effectively die back to the ground. At this point it is best to not let them stand in water or they could rot, keep just damp. Ideally, during dormancy temperatures should not dip lower than 40øF, but these can survive colder temperatures. Plants may die back, but these are very prolific in producing new plants from their root system.
They require seasons in order to survive long term. They need a dormant period of about 3 months in the Winter. The typical heated home is too warm in the Winter. During the Winter the pots should not sit in water and need to be kept cool. The entire planter may be moved to an area where the temperature will remain at 8-10øC / 45-50øF. It doesn't even mind a light frost. 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.
Drosera binata isn't very picky about soil. It best in one part peat moss for 2 parts sand in the top half of the pot, the rest being a regular 1:1 peat moss:sand mix. There's no need to fertilize, as the plant relies on insects for food. The plants like large pots. In nature these plants send down long rope-like roots to tap water under the sand.
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings. 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%.
These plants can grow nicely in terrariums, or can grow outdoors in areas with higher humidity in a sunny position. They should be grown in bright light, but with protection from full midday sun. In cloudy coastal areas, artificial light is a required. When kept outdoors, somewhere out of the wind will be best. Breezes can blow the plants over, decrease ambient humidity, and clutter up the sticky leaves with debris. The plant stand in 2 cm rainwater in growing season.