Founded 1994
Let's Talk Plants!

Upcoming Meetings

    • Mon, February 13, 2023
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Congregation Beth Israel and zoom (6:45 PM)

    Plumeria 101: Grow Amazing Plumerias in
    San Diego with 
    Mike Atkinson

    Mike and his wife, Stacy, have been growing plumerias on Mt. Helix for over twenty years.

    Mike Atkinson, will share his extensive knowledge of growing and propagating the many varieties of plumerias that thrive in our Mediterranean climate.

    His presentation will cover:
    • Watering needs
    • Fertilizing
    • Best planting method
    • Rooting cuttings
    • Winter care
    • Dealing with pests
    • Regional conditions

    Mardi Gras. Photo credit: Mike Atkinson.

    Plumerias love San Diego. Often thought to be native to Hawaii, plumerias are actually native to southern Mexico, Central America, and South America. Their low-maintenance, low-water requirements, and their amazing blooms and fragrances, make them the ideal complement to our Southern California gardens. Mike will introduce the various types of plumerias, explain their fertilization needs, describe which plants make good companions in the garden, and provide advice on general care and selection.

    Mike has owned a plumeria farm on Mt Helix in San Diego’s east county with his wife Stacy for over 25 years. The PBS program "A Growing Passion" featured them on their Emmy-winning episode about plumerias. He has taught plumeria workshops in Southern California (San Diego Horticultural Society, San Diego Botanic Garden, Master Gardeners, plus many garden clubs and nurseries), all plumeria societies in the US, and the International Plumeria Conference in Florida. He is a longtime volunteer and speaker with the Southern California Plumeria Society, has authored many articles, and has been interviewed many times, including by the Los Angeles Times.

    During the eight-month growing season, Atkinson spends as many as twenty-five hours a week nurturing over 250 varieties of plumeria. He has hundreds of plants in the ground and even more growing in pots.

    Stacy was actually the first in the family to become a fan of plumerias. Her father had a plumeria growing from a cutting at his home across the street, and Stacy fell in love with the flowers. Later, after visiting a plumeria farm in Florida, Mike became interested in these remarkable plants as well. He volunteered to be a webmaster for the Southern California Plumeria Society in San Diego, and now he and Stacy are both actively involved in this organization and other groups of plumeria enthusiasts.

    Mike does not just grow plumerias; he creates new varieties. He has developed several distinctive plumerias, including Jacob’s Star, Stacy Dean (named after his wife Stacy), and Corona Surprise. Not surprisingly, he is a sought-after speaker, and has recently spoken at the International Plumeria Conference, the South Coast Plumeria Society, and the San Diego Wabi Study Group of the Ohara School of Ikebana.

    To see some of Mike’s beautiful plumerias, take a look at Nan Sterman’s interview with Mike at his home in La Mesa on KPBS TV's A Growing Passion.

    • Social hour begins at 6 PM. We invite guests to bring cuttings and flowers from their garden to display before the meeting
    • Presentations begin at 6:45 PM and will also be via zoom.
    • Free for SDHS Members; $15 Non-members, $10 Non-members via zoom
    • Free, easy parking at the Congregation Beth Israel.  PARKING IN THE BETH ISRAEL LOT SDHS members and guests can park in the Beth Israel lot at the base of their grand staircase, entered on Golden Haven Road. An elevator by the guard booth is available to access all levels.
    • In the event that the lot is full, Beth Israel has arranged for parking in the adjacent Gateway Building parking lot. Bring parking ticket to the meeting for validation.

Past Meetings

Sat, January 21, 2023 The 2023 Horticulturist of the Year presentation to Robert Lutticken
Mon, December 12, 2022 Beyond Bananas! Subtropical Fruits for So. Cal. w/Richard Reid
Mon, November 14, 2022 Ernie Cowan - There's A Marmot In My Pack & Other Reflections
Tue, October 11, 2022 John Clements, Horticulturist Of The Year Presentation
Mon, September 12, 2022 Debra Lee Baldwin - Smart, Gorgeous, Sensible Succulent Gardens
Mon, August 08, 2022 Greg Rubin, presents Fire Resistant Native Landscapes are NOT an Oxymoron!
Mon, July 11, 2022 Jeff Moore's Deep Dive Into The World Of Agaves
Mon, June 13, 2022 Sharon Reeve - Bees In The Garden
Mon, May 09, 2022 Rebecca Sweet - When to Break the Rules
Mon, April 11, 2022 How to Grow Epicactus & Help Them Bloom
Mon, March 14, 2022 March Meeting - A Livelier Iris
Mon, February 14, 2022 Bob Gordon - Raptors, Natural Predators in Your Garden
Mon, December 13, 2021 December 13, 2021 Chuck McClung & How Orchids Rebloom
Mon, November 08, 2021 November Meeting Farmer Roy
Mon, October 11, 2021 October Meeting Robin Kobaly Presents "The Desert Underground"
Mon, September 13, 2021 September Meeting Jeffrey Bale - Stone Mason
Mon, August 09, 2021 August Meeting John Forti, The Heirloom Gardener
Mon, July 12, 2021 July Meeting Toni Gattone, The Lifelong Gardener
Mon, June 14, 2021 June Meeting With Saxon Holt
Mon, May 10, 2021 May Meeting With Gabriel Frank
Mon, April 12, 2021 April Meeting With Johanna Silver
Mon, March 08, 2021 All About Cork, Natural & Renewable
Mon, February 08, 2021 Nature Restoration Landscaping
Mon, January 11, 2021 January-2021 SDHS HORTICULTURIST OF THE YEAR
Mon, December 14, 2020 December-Citrus in Southern California
Mon, November 09, 2020 November-Conserving Orchids in the Wild and Growing them at Home
Mon, October 12, 2020 Manzanitas & More - Creating Garden Structure with Natives
Mon, September 14, 2020 Live Zoom Horticultural Concert!
Mon, August 10, 2020 Kate Sessions’ World Wide Web of Horticulture - Nancy Carol Carter
Mon, July 13, 2020 2019 San Diego County Superbloom - Jim Bishop
Mon, February 10, 2020 Spiny Succulents - with Jeff Moore
Mon, January 13, 2020 January 2020
Mon, December 09, 2019 December – Brijette Peña - The Magical World of Seeds
Mon, November 11, 2019 November – Gregg Opgenorth, Palms For San Diego
Mon, September 09, 2019 September Meeting: Daniel Nolan + SD Hort 25th Anniversary
Mon, August 12, 2019 August Meeting – Al Klein, Fat Plants: Caudiciforms and Other Succulents
Mon, July 08, 2019 July Meeting – Michael Wilken-Robertson, Kumeyaay Ethnobotany
Mon, June 10, 2019 June Meeting – Night at the Fair
Mon, May 13, 2019 May Meeting – The 21st Century Botanic Garden
Mon, April 08, 2019 April Meeting – Mike Evans – Ugly is Not a Turf Replacement
Mon, March 11, 2019 March Meeting – Christopher Woods – Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World’s Best New Gardens.
Mon, February 11, 2019 February Meeting – Brie Arthur – Foodscaping
Mon, January 14, 2019 January Meeting –Jeff Chemnick – Treasures of the Sierra Madres
Mon, December 10, 2018 No December Meeting
Mon, October 08, 2018 October - Begonias, Unusual Plants, and Secrets From the Greenhouse
Mon, September 10, 2018 September - California Native Plants
Mon, August 13, 2018 August - Plumerias
Mon, July 09, 2018 July - Designing with Palms
Mon, June 11, 2018 June - Night at the Fair
Mon, May 14, 2018 May - Nan Sterman's Hot Color, Dry Garden
Mon, April 09, 2018 April - The San Diego Zoo’s Native Plant Seed Bank: Saving Flora, One Seed at a Time:
Mon, March 12, 2018 March - Jeff Moore - Soft Succulents
Mon, February 12, 2018 February - Tom Nuccio - Nuccio’s Camellias
Mon, January 08, 2018 January - Gary Ferguson – Wildfires in the West
Mon, November 13, 2017 November - Gardens on the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes
Mon, October 09, 2017 October - Designing with Succulents in the New San Diego Garden
Mon, September 11, 2017 September - 20 South African Plants Every Home Landscaper Should know
Mon, August 14, 2017 August - My Life with Plants – Confessions of a Plantaholic
Mon, July 10, 2017 July - The Geraniaceae Family in Our Gardens
Mon, June 12, 2017 June - Night at the Fair
Mon, May 08, 2017 May - Foliage First
Mon, April 03, 2017 April - The No Sacrifice Low Water California Garden
Mon, March 13, 2017 March - Preserving Rose Genetics
Mon, February 13, 2017 February - Looking for Succulents in all the Wrong Places
Mon, January 09, 2017 January - Down Under Wonders
Sat, December 03, 2016 December - Horticultural Day at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Mon, November 14, 2016 November - The Drought-Defying California Garden
Mon, October 10, 2016 October - The Bold Dry Garden: Inspiration from the Ruth Bancroft Garden
Mon, September 12, 2016 September - Aloes and Agaves
Mon, August 08, 2016 August - The Roar of the Monarch Butterfly
Mon, July 11, 2016 July - Horticultural Evening at the San Diego Zoo
Mon, June 13, 2016 June - Night at the Fair
Mon, May 09, 2016 May - Bromeliads in the Wild
Mon, April 11, 2016 April - Perspective, Forty Years Among the Natives
Mon, March 14, 2016 March - Botanical Collection at the San Diego Zoo
Mon, February 08, 2016 February - Think Outside the Box: Thirty Design and Horticultural Techniques
Mon, January 11, 2016 January - Contemporary, Expressive and Sustainable Southwestern Gardens
Mon, December 14, 2015 December - Waterwise Lessons from theGarden
Mon, November 09, 2015 November - Designer Panel: Small is Beautiful
Mon, October 12, 2015 October - Hot Colors, Dry Garden
Mon, September 14, 2015 September - Refresh Your Garden Design
Mon, August 10, 2015 August - The Ecology of California Garden Bees
Mon, July 13, 2015 July - Rush to Restios
Mon, June 08, 2015 June - Night at the Fair
Mon, May 11, 2015 May - Palms for San Diego
Mon, April 13, 2015 April - Jon Rebman
Mon, March 09, 2015 March- Eucalyptus: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Mon, February 09, 2015 February- Plants with Benefits
Mon, January 12, 2015 January - Under the Spell of Succulents
Mon, December 08, 2014 December - Centennial Celebrations: Remembering and Commemorating the 1915 Panama-California Exposition
Mon, November 10, 2014 November - Holiday Marketplace
Mon, October 13, 2014 October - Lawn Gone: Landscape Designer Panel
Mon, September 08, 2014 September - Randy Baldwin of San Marcos Growers
Mon, August 11, 2014 August Meeting - Creating Paradise Wherever You Live
Mon, July 14, 2014 July Meeting - Scent-sational Plumeria
Mon, June 09, 2014 June Meeting - Night at the Fair
Mon, May 12, 2014 May Meeting - Stuck on You! Indoor and Outdoor Projects with Succulents
Mon, April 14, 2014 April Meeting - Oaks of San Diego County
Mon, March 10, 2014 March Meeting - Tried and True or Brand New: Citrus in Today’s Gardens
Mon, February 10, 2014 February Meeting - The Wild World of Succulents
Mon, January 13, 2014 January Meeting - Native Plants of Chile
Mon, December 09, 2013 December Meeting - The Drunken Botanist
Mon, November 11, 2013 November Meeting - Holiday Marketplace
Mon, October 14, 2013 October Meeting - Trends in Contemporary Landscape Design
Mon, September 09, 2013 September Meeting - Right Plant for the Right Place
Mon, August 12, 2013 August Meeting - Drip is Hip
Mon, July 08, 2013 July Meeting - Succulents Simplified
Mon, June 24, 2013 June Meeting - Night at the Fair
Mon, May 13, 2013 May Meeting - Seriously Funny - The Business of Plants
Mon, April 08, 2013 April Meeting - Writing the Book on Natives
Mon, March 11, 2013 March Meeting - Growing on Air: Amazing Tillandsias
Mon, February 11, 2013 February Meeting - The Future of Roses in Today's Gardens
Mon, January 14, 2013 January Meeting - Exotic Bulbs for Southern California
Mon, December 10, 2012 December Meeting - Bring me Slow Flowers
Mon, November 12, 2012 November Meeting - The Edible Front Yard - Special Meeting!
Mon, October 08, 2012 October Meeting - A Californian's Guide to the Trees among Us
Mon, September 10, 2012 September Meeting - Welcome to Club Med
Mon, August 13, 2012 August Meeting - The Revolutionary Yardscape
Mon, July 09, 2012 July Meeting - Not Just for Show
Mon, June 11, 2012 June Meeting - Night at the Fair
Mon, May 14, 2012 May Meeting - Small is the New Big
Mon, April 09, 2012 April Meeting - Fitting CA Native Plants in CA-style Gardens
Mon, March 12, 2012 March Meeting - From Seed to Skillet
Mon, February 13, 2012 February Meeting - Trees of Ill Repute
Mon, January 09, 2012 January Meeting - A Rollicking Trip into the World of Cactus and Succulents
Our Mission To inspire and educate the people of San Diego County to grow and enjoy plants, and to create beautiful, environmentally responsible gardens and landscapes.

Our Vision To champion regionally appropriate horticulture in San Diego County.


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