Houseplants for Beginners: A Simple Guide for New Plant Parents for Making Houseplants Thrive

New Shoe Pr. Dec. 2023. 144p. ISBN 9780760383902. pap. $16.99. GARDENING
Steinkopf, who blogs at Houseplant Guru and is manager of annuals and houseplants at Steinkopf Nursery, has penned a heavily illustrated, concise, but thorough introduction to growing houseplants. She covers repotting, potting mediums, watering, fertilizing, propagation, grooming, pruning, and lighting, including electric lights. She offers solutions to common houseplant problems, including identifying and treating pests and diseases and solving environmental damage issues such as sun scald, wilt, or cold damage. Each section is illustrated with detailed, easy-to-follow color photographs. The remainder of the book is divided into “Easy to Grow Plant Profiles” and “Moderately Easy to Grow Plant Profiles.” Arranged alphabetically by common name, each entry in the “Plant Profiles” sections includes a color photo, introductory paragraph about the plant, light preference, watering, flowers, mature size, propagation, and a selection of available cultivars if applicable. Larger photos, a discussion of pebble trays, and a chart listing the plants by preferred light level would have enhanced the book.
VERDICT An excellent choice for beginning and intermediate houseplant growers. The instructions are thorough and easy to understand, and the accompanying photographs complement them. The browsable “Plant Profiles” sections include a host of interesting choices.
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