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'Houseplants 101' covers indoor gardening basics

Exotic Plants offers free in-person workshop Friday

Indoor plants
Pothos is a popular indoor plant that also is great at cleaning the air. (Photo
courtesy N&R Publications)

When it comes to indoor gardening, how green is your thumb? Learn the basics – and a lot more – during a free in-person workshop Friday evening, May 20, at Exotic Plants.

“Houseplants 101” will focus on all aspects of basic care. Exotic Plants staff will cover popular as well as more unusual plants that thrive indoors. Find out their basic needs as well as which plants can cope with more challenging conditions.

No advance registration is necessary for this 6 p.m. workshop. Love orchids? Exotic Plants staff are orchid specialists. Learn how to keep your plants healthy and blooming.

What are the easiest houseplants to grow (or at least, not kill)? Here are some favorites:

– Monstera – known for its unusual cut foliage. Can thrive in low-light conditions and can bounce back quickly from neglect.

– Sansevieria – also called mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant. Copes well with a wide range of light conditions and helps purify indoor air.

– ZZ Plant – Zamioculcas zamiifolia. Is almost indestructible and has attractive glossy green leaves.

– Pothos – wonderful for hanging containers or trailing from a tall perch. Grows attractive heart-shaped foliage and also is great at cleaning indoor air.

Get more ideas at Exotic Plants, Sacramento’s oldest indoor gardening store. Exotic Plants is located at 1525 Fulton Ave., Sacramento.

Store website: www.exoticplantsltd.com .

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Dec. 3:

Make the most of gaps between raindrops. This is a busy month!

* Windy conditions brought down a lot of leaves. Make sure to rake them away from storm drains.

* Use those leaves as mulch around frost-tender shrubs and new transplants.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they're dormant.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Plant one last round of spring bulbs including daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas. Get those tulips out of the refrigerator and into the ground.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers such as California poppies.

* Plant such spring bloomers as sweet pea, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Late fall is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from fall and winter rains.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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