Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

Learn about bug-eating plants – and take some home

Sacramento Bromeliad and Carnivorous Plant Society hosts 54th annual show and sale at Shepard Center

North American pitcher plants are right at home in an outdoor pond in Sacramento.

North American pitcher plants are right at home in an outdoor pond in Sacramento. Debbie Arrington

In most gardens, bugs eat plants. But these plants eat bugs.

Discover the fascinating world of carnivorous plants during the 54th annual Sacramento Bromeliad and Carnivorous Plant Society Show and Sale, set for this Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16, at Shepard Garden and Arts Center.

Show and sale hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking are free.

Club members will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice. An excellent selection of plants will be offered for sale. Find pitcher plants, sundews, butterworts, nepenthes (tropical pitcher plants or “monkey cups”) and other bug eaters as well as tillandsia (air plants) and bromeliads in a rainbow of hues. Don’t miss the Venus flytraps!

This show is fun for all ages. Kids love to experience the bug eaters in action and learn how these plants have evolved to feed themselves. Grown-ups are attracted to the colorful bromeliads, presented as part of a tropical diarama.

See hundreds of intriguing bug-devouring specimens, with several carnivorous species that are right at home in Sacramento. North American pitcher plants, for example, can be grown outdoors in our area. Also known as Sarracenia, they do particularly well as part of a backyard water feature such as a half wine barrel or small pond; their roots get the boggy conditions they prefer while the plants have access to insects that may fly by.

California also has its own native pitcher plant: The cobra lily or California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica). A member of the Sarracenia family, the cobra lily is native to sunny wet areas such as stream banks or bogs throughout Northern California. Cobra lilies need cold to thrive, but also require summer heat protection.

“Growing Darlingtonia californica in your own bog garden requires patience and diligence,” says the U.S. Forest Service. “Cool nights are required and as the temperatures warm up in the summer months keeping the roots cool during the day is a must.”

Because they evolved to grow in such poor soil, carnivorous plants get most of their nourishment from insects that can become trapped in their specialized (often sticky) foliage. Likewise, bromeliads trap moisture and nutrients in the center of their swirl of colorful foliage.

Shepard Center is located at 3330 McKinley Blvd., Sacramento, in McKinley Park.

Details and directions: www.sgaac.org.



Comments

0 comments have been posted.

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Taste Summer! E-cookbook

square-tomatoes-plate.jpg

Find our summer recipes here!

Local News

Ad for California Local

Taste Spring! E-cookbook

Strawberries

Find our spring recipes here!

Thanks to our sponsor!

Summer Strong ad for BeWaterSmart.info

Garden Checklist for week of June 23

Get to work in the mornings while it’s still cool.

* Irrigate early in the day; your plants will appreciate it.

* Generally, tomatoes need deep watering two to three times a week, but don't let them dry out completely. That can encourage blossom-end rot.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the early hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Avoid pot “hot feet.” Place a 1-inch-thick board under container plants sitting on pavement. This little cushion helps insulate them from radiated heat.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants. Mulch to conserve moisture and reduce heat stress.

* Cut back Shasta daisies after flowering to encourage a second bloom in the fall.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes. 

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

Taste Fall! E-cookbook

Muffins and pumpkin

Find our fall recipes here!

Taste Winter! E-cookbook

Lemon coconut pancakes

Find our winter recipes here!