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So many begonias! Come get some!

Sacramento show and sale features more than 1,000 plants

Rex begonia with large reddish swirl
A rex begonia shows off the spectacular form
and color pattern that make these plants so desirable.
Rex begonias will be featured during the Sacramento
Begonia Sale and Show this weekend.
(Photo and video courtesy Mike Tentis, Sacramento
Begonia Society)

If you’re looking for unusual and eye-catching plants, this is the place. More than 1,000 begonias — many of them rare and hard-to-find varieties — will be available this weekend at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center during the annual Sacramento Begonia Show and Sale.

But it’s two days only: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18; 10 a.m. to 3 pm Sunday, Sept. 19. That’s a small window – not just to buy begonias, but to sell.

For their first big sale since 2019, members of the Joan Coulat Sacramento Branch of the American Begonia Society went to great lengths – and mileage – to gather the best plants possible. Last weekend, they took a bus trip to Los Osos near San Luis Obispo to personally pick out the specimens at a major begonia nursery.

Society members Mike Tentis and Paul Tsamtsis shared photos and video (see below) of their great begonia hunt. What they brought back to Sacramento is truly eye-popping: Rex begonias with foliage in a rainbow of colors and patterns. (They’re called “painted begonias” because each leaf looks like a living masterpiece.) Some even shimmer with a silvery patina.

Besides the amazing rex begonias, the sale will feature cane-type “angel wing” begonias as well as rhizomatous-type begonias and begonias which require terrariums. And they all need to be sold in just two days.

This is the society’s largest fundraiser in two years; those funds are needed to support its programs and keep this important and historic Sacramento garden club thriving. Admission and parking are free.

Show your support – and maybe discover a new favorite plant.

Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento, in McKinley Park. Due to Covid restrictions, patrons are required to wear face masks while inside the building.

Details and directions: .


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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