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'Orchid Mania' workshop offered in person and online

Master gardeners cover basics of how to buy and care for orchids

Placer master gardeners will offer tips on caring for orchids such as this beautiful cymbidium.

Placer master gardeners will offer tips on caring for orchids such as this beautiful cymbidium.

Debbie Arrington

Walk into any garden gift shop – or supermarket – and it’s clear: Orchids have become the go-to gift plant.

But which one to buy? And how do you care for these beautiful indoor tropicals? Or get them to rebloom?

Learn how at “Orchid Mania,” a new workshop offered by the UC Cooperative Education Master Gardeners of Placer County. And during this busy holiday season, this workshop will be presented both in-person in Loomis and via Zoom.

Set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, “Orchid-Mania: How to Buy and Care for Orchids” will be hosted at Loomis Library, 6050 Library Drive, Loomis. It’s free with no advance registration necessary for the in-person event.

“This presentation is for you if you are ready to move beyond tossing orchids in the trash when they are done blooming, say the master gardeners. “You will learn how to keep and care for orchids and how to help them rebloom, maybe for many years. Warning: You may become addicted to these beautiful babies!”

This workshop will cover popular Phalaenopsis or moth orchids as well as Dendrobium and other species. Get some tips on outdoor grown cymbidiums, too.

And here’s a special free offer for those attending in person: Bring your ‘sad’ orchids for recommendations on how to make them ‘happy’ again.” That may include repotting or other ideas.

To watch it live on Zoom, you will need to register in advance to receive the link. For Zoom registration and link:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

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

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* 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 help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* 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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