Houseplant Hookups: All the Dirt You Need To Find the Perfect Match

Gibbs Smith. Sept. 2023. 112p. ISBN 9781423663461. $17.99. GARDENING
This user-friendly, entertaining how-to guide on selecting and caring for plants uses a dating-app model to present 35 profiles of potential plant “partners.” The plants—aloe, bromeliads, cacti, philodendrons, and more—each have their own personality and character traits. Each profile includes the plant’s origins, Latin name, light/water/humidity/room temperature needs, and difficulty of care. Like many dating profiles, each summary also presents the plant’s best/worst features and hidden qualities. Award winner Degnan creates beautiful illustrations for every featured plant. Introductory pages provide tips on watering, soil maintenance, and addressing common problems (dry leaves, root rot, air quality, sickness, pests). The only thing missing is a list of references to other resources, but the book does contain a plant-based personality quiz and a “quick and dirty” index that groups plants by categories like difficulty, size, pet-friendliness, and maintenance type, which aid readers in selecting the perfect plant for themselves.
VERDICT Isabel, who hails from three generations of plant-loving family members, shares her expertise and knowledge of houseplants in this amusing, informative book, best for neophyte horticulturists who might not yet have a green thumb.
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