Have you never met a house plant you couldn’t kill? Do indoor plants wither in your presence? Do you long to add some greenery to your home but don’t know where to start?
If so, you’ll want to pick up a copy of House Plants: A Primer For A Dumb Thumb by Nancy Roca Laden. Laden shares what she learned as the owner of a San Francisco plant store and from leading classes about growing plants in her shop. She knows how important it is to add leafy green accents to your home in the city.
The guide begins with a discussion of basic plant care. The author covers watering and watering problems, light and the problems of too much or too little sun, temperature and how to get the temperature right for your particular plants, and feeding and soil enhancement. The author’s tone is low key and friendly — you’re sure not to get intimidated by horticulture with this book at your side.
Are you wondering which indoor house plants are easiest to raise? Looking for those hardy choices that will thrive even when you’re in charge? Happily the book includes a list of house plants that are easy and accommodating. The entries are illustrated with photographs and line drawings. Each entry is peppered with helpful hints, comments from the author’s experience, and fun facts about the different species.
There is also a list of plants with special needs. Nancy describes those specimens that need extra moisture, those that like a lot of sun and dry soil, and a few with miscellaneous sensitivities and requirements.
You’ll also get your questions answered about repotting — when to do it, how to do it, and how to tell when you need to do it. And while you’re repotting you’ll want to think about the best soil to use. There’s advice on preparing good soil mixes, fertilizing, and good drainage.
Even indoor plants can be attacked by pests. Laden discusses the most common bugs and how best to treat infested plants with pesticides and with natural remedies.
The book ends with a potpourri section with tips on a variety of miscellaneous topics. Issues covered include how to pinch, prune and shape; using eggshells in your pots; creating terrariums; propagating new plants from old; growing avocados and other items from kitchen cast-offs; and lastly a section on talking to your plants.
You just might gain a green thumb by the time you’re done with this thorough and helpful volume. Your house plants will thank you.