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Exotic Plants celebrates 50th anniversary

Sacramento's destination indoor plant store hosts Saturday party, workshops

For half a century, Kifumi Keppler has shared her passion about indoor gardening at Exotic Plants.

For half a century, Kifumi Keppler has shared her passion about indoor gardening at Exotic Plants.

Courtesy Exotic Plants

Sacramento’s Kifumi Keppler is a force for nature. For half a century, Keppler has shared her passion about indoor gardening at Exotic Plants, a destination plant store like no other.

Saturday, Oct. 22, Exotic Plants will celebrate its 50th anniversary in business. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the public is invited to drop by and join the party. Tickets are free and may be obtained on eventbrite here.

“We are so excited to celebrate 50 years with our community!” the store posted online. “This will be a free event; we will have live entertainment, costumer appreciation sales, workshops and more! Thank you to every one of you who have supported our local business the past 50 years – we wouldn't be here without you!”

After stints in four different locations (including 10 years on Howe Avenue), Exotic Plants moved in 2019 into its much larger home at 1525 Fulton Ave., Sacramento, near Arden Way. With a 4,000-square-foot-building and 3,000-square-foot patio, this location has room for outdoor events (as well as outdoor tropical plants and succulents) as well as space for indoor workshops.

Known for its vast selection of indoor tropicals and orchids, Exotic Plants has built a loyal following, not only for sales but rentals. Need an instant jungle? This is the place.

Its clientele extend throughout California and Nevada. Besides live plants, the store also features a wide selection of plant-centric décor, terrariums and one-of-a-kind “moss art,” collages made of mosses, barks and other plant material.

From Boston ferns to moth orchids to rare anthuriums, the family-owned and operated store has seen plants come in and out of fashion. Keppler and her team continue to keep up with indoor plant trends while offering a wide range of species and varieties. From beginner to collector, there’s something in her jungle for every indoor gardener.

A native of Kyoto, Japan, Keppler arrived in Sacramento as a Fulbright scholar at Sacramento State. KCRA hired her as a film editor and producer. But, as Keppler recalls, she found her true calling in plants.

“I went through a lot of changes in the plant industry,” she said in an interview last year. “(When she started), it used to be wandering Jew, piggyback plant and Swedish ivy, lots of Boston ferns. I did a lot of designer homes with three to five plants in each room. Designers used houseplants in model homes because they helped sell the property faster.”

Designers switched to fake foliage, but many homeowners want the real thing. Plants naturally clean indoor air as well as lift people’s spirits.

Keppler made adjustments to her business, and kept Exotic Plants growing, too.

“A lot of people started after me in the plant business; it’s become more and more competitive,” she added. “But we were strong, and still are.”

Details: or 916-922-4769. 


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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