11 best indoor planting books
From practical tips on house-based horticulture to how to perfect your #shelfie, these are the reads you need to up your greenteriors game
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Publishers are catching on to the greenteriors trend with a whole host of books providing inspirational photographs and genius care tips for your growing house garden.
Whether you're struggling to keep a particular plant happy, not sure which variety to choose for your basement flat or wanting to get some dirt under your fingernails with some creative planting projects, we've found a book to help.
1. How Not to Kill Your Houseplant by Veronica Peerless: £9.99, DK
Our favourite feature of this book is the "Find Your Plant" section of the contents: four spreads of gorgeously illustrated plants, so that you can spot the one you have and find the information you need even if you don’t know its name. The introduction covers all the basics - buying, potting, placing, watering, feeding and how to deal with pests - and the rest covers common houseplants one by one. It has suggestions for plants that suit particular situations, such as compact, low-maintenance plants for your desk.
2. Living with Plants by Sophie Lee: £15, Hardie Grant
This new book from Sophie Lee, founder of the botanical styling company Geo-Fleur, is full of trendy greenteriors porn. Its first half covers reference information about care and plant types, while the second half is packed with unique projects such as making a wire hanging plant holder for air plants and marbling your own plant pots.
3. RHS Miniature Garden Grower by Holly Farrell: £10, Octopus
This is a book of projects for making, as the title suggests, miniature gardens. Chapters cover creating miniature landscapes in pots, with an illustrated how-to, a care guide and a plant file for each, terrariums, "vertical gardens" such as kokedama and wall gardens, miniature gardens for wildlife, and "productive" miniature gardens for growing edibles such as herbs, leaves and even pineapples. A creative, fun and inspiring book to get your imagination going.
4. Succulents Simplified by Debra Lee Baldwin: £16.99, Timber
For a detailed look at these brilliant easy-care plants, this guide from the so-called "Queen of Succulents" contains everything you need to know about buying, potting, placing, feeding, watering, propogating and trouble-shooting the plants. The middle section details some of the most creative planting projects we've seen, from planting succulents in a photoframe to hanging on the wall to planting in a carved-out pumpkin. It ends with a photograph index of 100 different types of succulents, with facts and care details for each.
5. Wonder Plants by Irene Schampaert: £29.95, Lannoo
For greenterior inspiration, Wonder Plants is a short, beautiful collection of plant-filled homes from Antwerp to Tokyo, put together by the graphic designer and blogger Irene Schampaert. The last 50 pages contain practical care tips and trouble-shooting, but this book is at its best for visual examples of how to select and arrange plants to bring your room to life.
6. How Not to Kill Your Plants by Nik Southern: £16.99, Hodder & Stoughton
This, from the founder of the London-based florist Grace & Thorn, is a great book to dip in and out of, covering everything from how to choose your pot and creating the perfect #shelfie to buying a healthy plant and troubleshooting when they’re not behaving. It does so with great humour, with comic titles such as "How to grow a f’ing huge plant up your wall" and "Don’t let the pricks intimidate you!". The agony aunt columns littered throughout aid with issues such as safe plants for pets and when to repot.
7. My Tiny Indoor Garden by Lia Leendertz: £14.99, Pavilion
The lovely thing about this book is the way it marries instructional guides with celebrating the craft of plant lovers (Nik Southern from How Not To Kill Your Plants makes an appearance on page 76). For example, the succulent-filled home of gardening writer Francine Raymond is followed by a section on taking cuttings from succulents, and an interview with Emma Sibley of London Terrariums is followed by a "how-to" for making terrariums.
8. The House Gardener by Isabelle Palmer: £25, Ryland, Peters & Small
Isabelle Palmer, writer of the blog The Balcony Gardener, is an expert in bringing greenery to small urban spaces. Her second book, The House Gardener has the usual practical tips but is best for its creative projects, such as a moss wall and tiny greenhouse terrarium. Best for those who want to get their hands a little muddy.
9. House of Plants by Caro Langton and Rose Ray: £20, Frances Lincoln
House of Plants, by the team behind air plant experts Ro Co, has a gorgeous photo of every houseplant you can imagine, from Monstera to the Fishbone Cactus, with a care guide for each. The most useful section may well be "The Immortal Companion", which features the ultimate low-maintenance, hardy options. It also features the usual info on care, potting, watering and feeding, and propogating.
10. Bring the Outside In by Val Bradley: £9.99, Transworld
This tiny book, by the trained horticulturist and author Val Bradley, has crammed every page with projects and care for common household plants. It's particularly good if you've ever struggled to keep an orchid alive or want to grow edibles such as chillies and citrus fruits at home. Also included are the usual terrariums and hanging plants.
11. The Little Book of Cacti and Other Succulents by Emma Sibley
A fun, colourful book from the founder of London Terrariums Emma Sibley (who also makes an appearance in My Tiny Indoor Garden), this is a sort of photographed index of 60 varieties of cacti and succulents with care information for each. Extra to the usual potting, feeding and positioning tips are information on flowering, things to watch out for (for instance, if a plant is poisonous to pets) and "did you knows". Cacti-collectors will enjoy "window" shopping for their next buys.
The Verdict: Indoor planting books
For a real user-friendly, simple guide, How Not to Kill Your Houseplant by Veronica Peerless is your best bet; if you're after something a little trendier and with plenty of inspirational interiors photography alongside all the essential info, Living With Plants gets our vote.
All prices listed are RRP