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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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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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