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Top 7 Best Houseplant Books

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There are so many houseplant books out there and not all of them are created equal!  Over the years, I’ve browsed through a lot of them, and I’ve chosen 7 of my favorites to share with you. 

Be sure not to miss the last one. It is my own book that I’m very proud of and is all based off of problems, questions ands struggles that you, my readers have, along with my best advice for all beginners or those struggling with plant care.

Among the general topics covered in these books are:

  • General houseplant care, including a variety of specific plants
  • Plant propagation
  • Troubleshooting your houseplant problems

Here are some of the very best books out there on houseplant care. I own all of them and highly recommend all of them.

1. The House Plant Expert

This book is an older one, but is an absolute classic in the houseplant literature! Few books in houseplant care will revival the detail in this book.

The House Plant Expert by Dr. D.G. Hessayon is a classic.  In addition to documenting a wide variety of houseplants, both common and uncommon, it really teaches you how to troubleshoot issues with your plants. 

There are plentiful photos and color diagrams in the book for illustration.

One thing I love about this book is that it documents common problems with many varieties of houseplants.  It shows you what to look for when you have an issue with your plant, and gives suggestions on how to fix the problem.

The House Plant Expert is tops when it comes to troubleshooting houseplant problems, but it also catalogs a wide variety of houseplants and is a great book if you are looking to expand your collection!

2. The American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation

The American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation book is a gold standard on how to propagate a gigantic variety of plants!  Whether it is houseplants, or others such as outdoor annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees.

If you are wondering how to propagate ANYTHING, this book is for you!  It has fantastic illustration and step-by-step instructions on a vast array of propagation techniques and plants. 

It goes into detail on various propagation techniques, supplies needed for various types of propagation, and even common problems and troubleshooting propagation issues.

Whether you are wondering how to sow seeds, take cuttings, air layer, divide plants, or even graft plants, this book is a wealth of information. 

Any propagation technique imaginable can be found in this excellent reference guide.  In addition to broader chapters on propagation techniques, there are detailed sections on individual plants as well.

If you want a plant propagation bible, look no further than The American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation book!

3. Success With Succulents

Succulents are all the rage these days.  The huge variety of succulents, along with their ease of culture and propagation, make them a joy to grow and share with friends! 

However, there are a lot of myths and misleading information online about succulent care. 

Look to Success With Succulents to give you solid information on how to grow succulents.

One interesting portion of this book is that it explains what cacti are and what succulents are.  It also features 100 different cacti and succulents that you can grow in your home, both indoors and outdoors.

I particularly jived with this book, because as I preach on my blog and my Instagram (@ohiotropics), the authors share my views on watering succulents. 

This is a huge topic of confusion among many people, and the book is worth the price just for the insight that it gives on how to properly water succulents.

Success With Succulents also goes into detail the various pest problems that you may encounter, as well as various propagation techniques.   Look no further for a wonderful succulent care guide!

4. House Plants:  The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants

There are so many houseplant books out there.  Many of them seem antiquated and offer too much generic information to be practical. 

For a modern and practical guide on houseplants, take a look at House Plants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants by Lisa Eldred Steinkopf.

I love this book for a variety of reasons. 

It provides very solid information on a variety of basic topics for the houseplant grower:  watering, fertilizing, grooming of plants, propagation, troubleshooting, as well as highlights many varieties of houseplants that you can grow.

House Plants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants divides the houseplant varieties into easy to grow, moderately easy to grow, and challenging to grow. 

This makes it very convenient, especially for the beginner houseplant grower.

5. Air Plants:  The Curious World of Tillandsias

Air plants (Tillandsia genus) are a huge rage these days.  They are curious oddities in the plant world, and as a result of the unique way that they grow, can be very versatile and allow for many ways to creatively display these plants indoors.   

Air Plants: The Curious World of Tillandsias is a fantastic book that provides a wealth of information on both air plant care, as well as creative ways to display your air plants.

I absolutely love this book and it is really a wonderfully complete guide on growing air plants. 

It goes into detail on the natural habitat of Tillandsias, as well as into depth on various watering techniques, light, fertilizing, temperature, and propagating.

An especially delightful section of the book includes a section on how to design and decorate with Tillandsias. 

Since these plants don’t grow in soil, you can have a lot of artistic license in how you can display them! 

Don’t miss Air Plants: The Curious World of Tillandsias if you are an air plant fanatic.

6. Moth Orchid Mastery:  The Novice’s Guide to Mastering Moth Orchid Culture in Less Than 1 Hour

This is my own self-published book that I wrote on Phalaenopsis, or moth orchids.  This is available as an ebook, paperback and even as an audiobook!

Don’t take my word for it though.  Check out the reviews online of Moth Orchid Mastery:  The Novice’s Guide to Mastering Moth Orchid Culture in Less Than 1 Hour.

I’ve been growing Phalaenopsis orchids for many years.  Throughout those years, I’ve accumulated a lot of practical knowledge on every aspect of care for these beautiful plants.

Moth orchids, or Phalaenopsis, have a repuation of being “throw away” plants after they are done blooming.  But this is such a shame because once you know some very easy, basic things, they are a joy to grow! 

In fact, they are some of my easiest houseplants that I have in my large collection. 

If you are looking for how to get an orchid to rebloom, look no further than Moth Orchid Mastery:  The Novice’s Guide to Mastering Moth Orchid Culture in Less Than 1 Hour.

7. Houseplant Warrior: 7 Keys to Unlocking the Mysteries of Houseplant Care

This is my own book, and my first traditionally published book, published by Countryman Press. I’m very proud of this one because I strove to make this accessible to anyone.

My intent of Houseplant Warrior was to make it the best indoor plant book for beginners. Why am I confident in this statement?

After years of listening to the struggles of my readers and helping countless people with their plant problems, I created this bible for beginners.

I address all the common myths, misconceptions, and real struggles that you, the plant parent, are continually struggling with. I even included real-world case studies to learn from.

You will walk away with the confidence and learn to become your own problem solver, and be able to easily grow your own indoor jungle in no time!

Throughout the book, I include detail on how you can develop your own observational and troubleshooting skills so that you can effectively resolve your own issues.

From choosing the plants for your home, to learning about light, watering, repotting, soil mixes, pot types, humidity, fertilizing, and propagation, I strove to make this an accessible, beginner’s bible that you will want to come back to again and again.

Lastly, I included specific care profiles of several dozen houseplants that I know you will enjoy, complete with plenty of color photos.

Are there anymore houseplant books that you enjoy?  Comment below!

Tawny M Leste-Carlson

Thursday 21st of February 2019

Hi Raffaele ~ I love love love your blog! I've learned so much and look forward to every post. I just wanted to add to your wonderful list of books ~ Houseplants for Dummies by Larry Hodgson and the Editors of the National Gardening Association. It's an AWESOME resource for both beginners AND experienced plant parents. I have a small library of both gardening and houseplants books and it's one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge! Hugs, Tawny

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Thursday 21st of February 2019

Thank you Tawny for the suggestion! I haven't read that book but I will have to check it out. I'm always looking for a good plant book. It makes me so happy that you enjoy my blog, and it really keeps me going when I hear from my readers! Have a fantastic day.

Carolyn Spano

Sunday 7th of October 2018

Thank you, this is a great place for me to start as I am as novice as they come! I have always been a nurturer, which is why I've always had animals, and why I became a nurse, however a car accident put an end to my career and the last 4-5 years I have not know what to do with myself. Because of this accident I suffer from PTSD and have been afraid to drive. I'm working with that though. Which brings me to why I'm writing, I have two dogs who are no longer pups and don't need to be glued to my side and often get perturbed when I fuss over them too much. Enter plants, planting, succulents, air plants veggie garden, and houseplants. I don't know why that last one makes me nervous. Then I came across your blog and I'm so eager to start reading! Thanks you for the suggestions. It's a jungle out there when it comes to finding good reading material.

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Monday 8th of October 2018

Thank you for the note Carolyn and I hope you enjoy the books! There is a lot of great information!