The Octopus Plant is small. How do I get it to grow bigger?
There are many species of Octopus Plants. Some never grow larger than an inch in diameter. Others have leaves which can grow a foot long after a year or two. Check the photos to see which species you have. The glue tipped tentacles on all species are small, less than an 1/8th inch long, perfect to snare small gnats and flies. Care for these plants is very simple: keep the soil moist, humidity very high (above 55%), and the light bright. They do not need additional fertilizer. Even small amounts of plant food can burn these delicate plants. If the leaves turn too yellow, the safest way to increase nutrients is to replant the plant into fresh peat moss. Peat moss as it decays provides a perfect amount of nutrients for one growing season for Octopus Plants.
Why are my Octopus Plant leaves turning brown at the edges?
The plant is suffering drought stress. Keep the soil moist at all times, and keep the humidity high, above 55%, by growing the plants in the plastic box, a terrarium, or in a plastic bag.
Why aren’t there glue drops on the tentacles of my plant?
The humidity is too low. Increase the humidity and the drops will form again. Simple terrariums such as a plastic bag, an inverted soft drink bottle, or cut open plastic mild carton, will raise the humidity quickly.
Does my Octopus Plant need to go to sleep in the winter?
No. The Octopus Plant you have is a tropical species (Drosera capensis or Drosera adelae) which can grow all year long, with no resting period. Keep evening temperatures above 65F, and they will reward you with new leaves every month.
There are Octopus Plant species native to cold regions of the planet which do require a cool winter resting period. The easiest way to satisfy dormancy requirements of these temperate species is to place the plant near the glass of a cool outdoor window where temperatures fall to about 40F during winter months. Leaves will stop growing, and some long leaf species such as Drosera binata, will actually lose their long leaves. The dormant leaves turn yellow, then black, and collapse. A small rosette of leaves remains, smaller than a dime in size, pressed close to the soil level. Usually by March 15th with the advent of longer warmer days, new summer leaves emerge again.
Do my plants need fertilizer?
NEVER ever apply fertilizer to Drosera species. These plants do not have the adaptations to handle them, so their leaves become distorted or fry brown when you apply most any type of fertilizers.
Should I transplant the plant when I get it?
If you want to, yes, but the plants do not need to be transplanted right away. Octopus Plants can live indefinitely in small pots no larger than 3” in diameter.
I bought an Octopus Plant to give to somebody as a gift. How do I take care of it until then?
Relax. Our plastic boxes hold enough moisture around the plants that they can live about 2 weeks without any water or food being needed. Just place them near a bright sunny window, out of the direct sun until you can give them away. If they get very dry, you can water them through the vent holes on the sides of the box.
Is the plant I received fully grown?
Your Octopus Plant is about a year old. It will continue to grow larger. By the second year, it will reach mature size. Mature size will vary by species. For example, Drosera adelae grows to 4” diameter, D. capensis to 5” diameter, D. spathulate to 3”, D. intermedia to 2”, and D. binata to 20”.
Should I buy bugs to feed my carnivorous plant? There aren't any in my house.
You do not need to buy bugs for your Octopus Plants. They have roots and can feed themselves by using the nutrients from the soil, and sunlight, just like any other plant.
Will Octopus Plants control the fly problem in my house?
No, but it is amazing to see how many small bugs they do catch.
Are the plants poisonous?
None of the Octopus Plants are known to be toxic.
In which window should I place my carnivorous plant?
Give these plants as much sunlight as possible, if you grow them in your home. Place them right next to the glass. Normally, direct sun does not harm them as long as they are NOT in a closed terrarium where the heat can build up and cook them. If you place these plants in a terrarium, leave the lid off the aquarium so that the heat can escape