Book Review: Growing Healthy Houseplants

Growing Healthy Houseplants:  Choose The Right Plant, Water Wisely, And Control Pests, by Ellen Zachos

If this book was not an astounding read, it was at least a solid one whose merits are easy to appreciate.  A great many of us (myself included) are not particularly confident about our skills in dealing with plants, whether in gardens or in the house, and a book like this is certainly a good one when it comes to encouraging people on how they can better take care of plants so as to not feel that they are cursed with a black thumb when they simply lack knowledge and experience in how to deal wisely with growing plants indoors.  The author, with text and black and white drawings, seeks to use this book as a way of encouraging people to grow plants and manage to understand the way that plants attempt to communicate through the way they appear in hopes that people will be able to respond effectively and grow some plants indoors.  The author also believes that growing plants indoors is a great way to spruce up a place and make it appear much more beautiful as well as much more alive, and that seems a fair judgement.

This book is a slim one at just over 100 page sand is divided into three parts.  Before this, though, the book begins with a preface and an introduction that encourages the reader to learn how to speak plant.  After this, the first part of the book deals with some essentials to being able to deal with plants (1), such as knowing how much light is enough, mastering watering and humidity levels, using the right growing medium for one’s plants, and appropriate fertilization.  After that the author discusses the daily care of plants (2), including some cool tools, repotting, good grooming, propagation of new plants, dealing with plants while one is on vacation, managing pests, and diseases.  After that the book continues with a discussion of how someone can design an indoor garden (3), with a discussion about the importance of display before the author shows off various foliage, flowering plants, trees, and cacti that are shown roughly one to a page with species name and a black and white drawing of them included along with a paragraph of information about each plant.  The book then ends with an index that is easy to use for those who want to look at one page in particular.

This book is aimed at an audience that is looking for a practical guide to self-reliance in a way that, as the publisher says, encourages personal independence in harmony with the environment, and this book certainly lives up to those expectations.  Not only is the advice generally quite intriguing but it is also advice that limits the use of toxins and encourages a gentle treatment of plants to seek to overcome pests, provide appropriate watering, and encourage the development of beautiful indoor gardens.  To be sure, the book is highly ambitious in seeking to do so in such a slim fashion when so many other books exist with far more colorful photos and techniques that this book does not deal with, but if you want a serviceable and somewhat plainspoken guide this is certainly one that can be easily recommended to the reader.  This book is by no means flashy but it does its job and does it well, and if one can listen to its advice it is likely that one will be able to grow quite a few plants to one’s own personal satisfaction and pleasure, even if one is a long way from being a professional at it.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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