What’s the summer for if not tackling the growing stack of books you’ve been putting off all year? Whether you’re heading to the beach or the back porch, hardcore hammocking or just hiding from the heat, we’ve put together a list of eight summer reading recommendations to revolutionize your at-home plant care.
An excellent coffee-table book, complete with beautiful photos, an easy-to-read layout, and plenty of helpful tips and tricks on getting started. While the advanced plant parent may not find too much new information, it’s a helpful launching point for beginners, complete with helpful methods for adjusting lighting, watering, and draining, and even some fun DIY projects to tackle.
Packed with beautiful photography and well-presented information for growers of all experience levels, Heather Rodino presents a breakdown of fifty of the most popular houseplants, with in-depth advice on how to help you grow them into the healthiest plants they can be. Including tips on troubleshooting, pest prevention, and disease treatment, How to Houseplant is a must-read, regardless of your skill level.
A Beginner’s Guide to Succulent Gardening, by Taku Furuya
Everyone always wants to talk about how easy it is to raise succulents, but they can present some unique challenges. If you, like me, have had only moderate success when caring for these famously ‘low-maintenance’ plants, then Furuya’s guide to growing long-lasting succulents might be the resource you’ve been looking for. This beginner’s guide offers step-by-step instructions on how to pair the right plant with the right soil and lighting conditions and also tackles specific succulent challenges such as dividing and potting.
From the creator of House Plant Journal, one of the most influential houseplant experts on social media today, Darryl Cheng presents one of the best resources available for plant novices and experts alike. The magic of this book is Cheng’s ability to illustrate the balance of water, nutrients, and light in a way that makes it make sense. This book has had a massive influence in moving many plant parents from the role of passive observer to the role of active participant—myself included! Learn to listen to your plants, observe and understand their needs, and respond with confidence.
Equal parts education and artwork, Wild at Home tell you how to style your plants at home to create a stunning indoor jungle scape. From Instagram icon Hilton Carter, this plant-care guide takes a special focus on interior design, and in doing so presents you with a whole new vision of what you and your houseplants are capable of. Wild at Home is an instant classic, full of helpful lighting and potting techniques, and a whole new world of propagation possibilities.
How to Grow Your Own Food: An Illustrated Beginner’s Guide to Container Gardening, by Angela S. Judd
Not all plants are merely decorative. In this modern, easy-to-follow beginner’s guide, Angela S. Judd illuminates the magical world of container gardening and shows you just how accessible maintaining your own personal garden really is. Whether you’re growing indoor or outdoor, this comprehensive book tackles fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you can use to spice up your summer meal routine, and broaden your houseplant horizons. Speaking from personal experience, there are few things more instantly rewarding than finishing your homemade meal with freshly-picked herbs from your own garden.
How Not to Kill Your Houseplants: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally Challenged, by Veronica Peerless
Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward healing yourself and your plants. There’s no shame in having a plant die on your watch—they’re complex life-forms, susceptible to a slew of issues invisible to our eyes. But you don’t have to keep the cycle going.
In her houseplant classic, How Not to Kill your Houseplants, Veronica Peerless meets the horticulturally challenged among us right where we’re at, and offers a comprehensive guide to identifying the root of the problem. Presenting comprehensive information that’s easy to digest, along with specific care instructions for over 50 common (and rare) plants, this book gives you everything you need to feel confident when approaching your next plant problem. The information in this book may come across as overwhelming for beginners, but it’s the perfect solution for the intermediate plant-grower looking to make their thumbs a little greener.
While you probably won’t find this book on most houseplant reading lists, it is nevertheless one of the books I recommend the most highly. The author, Peter Wohlleben, a German forester, shares his personal story alongside the life-changing results of years worth of research, all revealing just how complex and misunderstood the growing things on our beautiful planet really are. While Wohlleben’s focus is primarily on forest trees, there is a universe of knowledge in The Hidden Life of Trees that will revolutionize the way you look at and relate to plants. Spoiler alert: they’re more like us than you think.
Just as it’s next-to-impossible to have too many plants, it’s next-to-impossible to have too many houseplant resources. We hope that this list gives you some summer reading inspiration, and helps expand your houseplant library. See any familiar books you know and love? How about some that we missed? Let us know what’s on your summer list by tagging @houseofplantlovers. Happy reading!