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These hungry flowers are fun to grow

Zoom in for free workshop on carnivorous plants

Red and yellow pitcher plant flowers
Pitcher plants in bloom look like something from another planet. Learn about
them in a Zoom workshop May 26. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

These flowers are fascinating, fun – and hungry. And several varieties feel right at home in Sacramento.

Feeding on trapped bugs, carnivorous plants make their own fertilizer. They’re an instant conversation starter in any garden. Some, such as the California pitcher plant or cobra lily, are native, too.

Learn how to grow these botanical oddities during a free Zoom workshop at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 26, hosted by Exotic Plants.

For the link to the class, email or call 916-922-4769.

Exotic Plants, Sacramento’s stellar houseplant specialist, is getting back into the swing of events with a mix of in-person and online workshops.

On June 5, the large plant store will host an outdoor tent sale from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s part of a series of tent sales the first Saturday of each month.

Just in time for Father’s Day, Exotic Plants will host one of its popular “Swig and Dig” in-person workshops at 5:30 p.m. June 18. Participants sip the beverage of their choice while getting their hands dirty. The evening’s project will be a bonsai to take home. Registration is $100. Seats are going fast; sign up now via or by calling the store.

Exotic Plants is located at 1525 Fulton Ave., Sacramento. For more details:

Red pitcher plants
These dark red pitcher plants are California pitcher plants or cobra lilies, growing outdoors in Sacramento.


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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden needs nutrients. Fertilize shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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