Top 5 new books for house plant owners
It's impossible to keep up with the hundreds of houseplant titles published each year. Southside Plants have selected some of the best.
Catherine Horwood, Potted History: How Houseplants Took Over Our Homes, 2020
Indoor gardening has long been a popular hobby and recently enjoyed a massive resurgence amongst millennials. But when, why and how did people start growing plants in the home? Catherine Horwood tells the story, beginning in the fourteenth century and ending in the 2000s. The book looks at changing cultural attitudes toward indoor cultivation along the way. The appendix lists details on when and where over a hundred houseplant species were first discovered by the West. It comes with an extensive bibliography on houseplants for each of the centuries covered.
Maddie Bailey and Alice Bailey, The Green Indoors: Finding the Right Plants for Your Home Environment, 2021
Houseplant books are normally practical affairs – botanical names, watering regimes, common pests and diseases. This book is different – it reminds us where our plants come from. By taking a plants-eye view of the world, this book reminds us just how strange our living spaces must be to our botanical companions and how to work with their natural adaptations to make them feel at home. The first section tells you ‘how to recognize where your plant has come from by looking at its physical features’, and the second section lists houseplants that suit different home environments. The final section covers the day-to-day of plant care, with tips on how to revive struggling plants. Read for a deep-dive into the plant world.
Lauren Camilleri, Sophia Kaplan, Plantopedia: The Definitive Guide to House Plants, 2020
This book is ideal for deciding what plants to buy next. It profiles over 130 houseplants with at-a-glance details on light, water, and propagation techniques. A visual index ranks plants in order of their care difficulty. It is especially helpful for people with pets as it has a quick-reference code indicating toxicity levels in plants. The stunning photography and cover design makes it a great coffee table purchase.
Fran Bailey, Zia Allaway, Practical Cactus and Succulent Book: The Definitive Guide to Choosing, Displaying, and Caring for More Than 200 Cacti, 2019
Succulents and cacti have different soil, humidity, and lighting needs to tropical rainforest plants. This is the only book you need for getting to grips with succulent care: everything from propagation to display is covered in an easily digestible style with lots of photos. Care information is detailed and species are grouped by family.
Kay Maguire, The Kew Gardener’s Companion to Growing House Plants: The art and science to grow your own house plants, 2019
This title is published by one of the most famous botanical research institutions in the world, the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in London. Beautifully illustrated and packed with information, this book is great for beginner and expert gardeners alike. Plant profiles contain precise information on lighting, watering, feeding, and propagating as well as interesting plant facts. They also feature growing tips that will help you understand the idiosyncrasies of each species. You will also find fun plant projects, such as making a living decorative screen or a succulent bowl.