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Indoor Plant Book Reviews

Winter is a trying season for gardeners. That’s when houseplants come to the rescue. This is a great opportunity to expand our horizons with respect to indoor gardening. Here are some books that can help.

“Houseplants from A to Z” by Karin Greiner et al is part of the Compass Guides series from Barron’s. This comprehensive guide is essential for indoor gardeners. Easy to use and well organized, it will help you choose suitable plants for your home. This features over 200 lush color photos.

Much of the book is devoted to the 200+ plant profiles. These include a color photo of each plant along with an in-depth plant description, its preferred exposure and growing needs, tips on routine plant care, and potential pest/health problems.

For quick reference, you can also refer to the symbols used in each profile. This tells you at a glance about the watering, the type of plant, and its preferred location.

This has separate sections for flowering plants, foliage plants, and cacti/succulents.

In addition to the plant profiles, this guide explains how to choose houseplants based on the room’s growing conditions and how to create gorgeous displays of houseplants throughout the house. This devotes a section to each room. Readers can also learn about the origins of houseplants, and how to select pots and potting soil. It explains step by step how to care for your plants. There is also a helpful glossary of terms.

“Indoor Gardening the Organic Way” is by Julie Bawden-Davis. This was released by Taylor Trade. It is illustrated with line art and color photos. Whether you’re an organic gardener or not, this has all the basics on growing houseplants. It can also help you select the best plants for your home. This tells how to use a light meter to measure the available light, how to water, and how to mix your own potting mix. Readers will learn all about natural fertilizers and how to use them. Every aspect of plant care is covered, including grooming, repotting, propagation, and natural pest/disease control.

The author also explains the various benefits of indoor plants. Throughout the book are lists of recommended plants for various growing conditions.

This has an encyclopedia of around 50 houseplants. These are organized by category, including vines and climbers, foliage plants, flowering plants, and large plants. For each plant, this gives its lighting needs, soil recommendations, and tips on routine care.

“Miracle-Gro Complete Guide to Houseplants-Successful Techniques for Indoor Growing” was published by Meredith Books. Excellent for beginners, this covers all aspects of indoor gardening. With over 200 pages, it is the essential guide to houseplants. The plant encyclopedia has over 300 easy to grow plants. Though the dust jacket doesn’t say, this must have 400 or so lush color photos.

Chapters are devoted to propagation, routine plant care, grooming, and troubleshooting. Gardeners will learn how to fertilize, water, and repot. This also devotes particular attention to choosing appropriate plants for your lifestyle. There are helpful lists of plants for each exposure/room. It also shows how to display your plants.

The introductory chapter highlights the many benefits of indoor plants. This book also sheds light on specialty indoor gardens. There are chapters on each group. These include forced bulbs, bonsai, dish gardens, terrariums, and water gardens.

The encyclopedia takes up about half of the book. The plants are arranged alphabetically by common name. The encyclopedia entries give the growing conditions, size, and growth habit along with a complete plant description. You’ll learn how to care for each plant, how to propagate it, and how to cope with problems, such as pests. When available, the encyclopedia also recommends specific varieties.

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