6 Best Books About Houseplants That Will Stop You From Killing Them

Written by Marisa Wilson
Updated: May 27, 2024
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Indoor gardening books are helpful because they provide detailed instructions on identifying, growing, and caring for houseplants, and how to troubleshoot common problems such as insect pests and disease. Additionally, indoor gardening books can be a great source of inspiration, helping you develop new ideas for your own indoor garden and deciding which plants best complement your décor.

We’ve rounded up the six best books about houseplants, including titles about specific types of plants (succulents and herbs), how not to kill your houseplants (you know you want that one!), and using houseplants to enhance your décor. With so many different titles, you are sure to find one that meets your needs and interests.

  1. Essential Succulents: The Beginner's Guide
    • Easy-to-understand guide covers everything you need to know about succulents
    • Lists 50 types of plants to choose, and how to care for them
    • High-quality resource for beginners and experts alike
    Check Amazon
  2. Houseplants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants
    • Photographs and profiles of over one hundred houseplants
    • Excellent for all experience levels
    • Includes what to do about specific types of pests
    Check Amazon
  3. How Not to Kill Your Houseplant: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally Challenged
    • Lists over 50 popular houseplant varieties and how to care for them
    •  Step-by-step guide style of this book makes it beginner friendly
    • Learn what your plant requires in light, heat, and more
    Check Amazon
  4. Wild at Home: How to style and care for beautiful plants
    • Learn all the skills required to take care of your plants
    • Gorgeous pictures
    • Cheerful writing style
    Check Amazon
  5. The House Plant Expert
    • Author has been honored by Queen Elizabeth for his horticultural knowledge
    • Book covers all possible horticulture-related questions
    • Great for beginners and experts alike
    Check Amazon
  6. Herbal Houseplants: Grow Beautiful Herbs - Indoors! For Flavor, Fragrance, and Fun
    • Beautiful presentation
    • Lots of great recipes
    • Shows you how to grow herbs at home, without expensive equipment
    Check Amazon

A-Z-Animals’ Top Picks for the Best Books About Houseplants

1. Essential Succulents: The Beginner’s Guide by Ken Shelf (Author) and Rachel Weill (Photographer)

Essential Succulents: The Beginner’s Guide by Ken Shelf (Author) and Rachel Weill (Photographer) is the perfect book for anyone interested in learning about and growing these popular plants. This easy-to-understand guide covers everything from choosing the right succulents for your home to caring for them properly. You’ll also find helpful tips on designing beautiful displays, propagating new plants, and dealing with common pests and problems. 

Whether you’re completely new or an experienced gardener, Essential Succulents is sure to become a valuable resource. This book is focused solely on how to maintain these plants indoors and lists 50 types to choose from. You can use this guide to identify succulents that you already own or to research new varieties that you may wish to add to your collection. The high-quality images make it clear and easy to understand the various types.

If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to grow succulents in the past, you’ll definitely want this book, which is available in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, and spiral-bound versions.

This book has a 4.6 positive rating (out of five). Some reviewers said that they purchased the book to identify succulents in their collection and their plants weren’t featured.

Pros and Cons of Essential Succulents: The Beginner’s Guide by Ken Shelf (Author) and Rachel Weill (Photographer)

ProsCons
This guide will help you select the right succulents for your home and care for them properly.Some reviewers said that they purchased the book to identify succulents in their collection and their plants weren’t featured.
You’ll also learn how to design beautiful displays, propagate new plants, eliminate pests, and more.
This book features high-quality images that will help you identify 50 different succulents.
It’s available in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, and spiral-bound versions.
Essential Succulents: The Beginner's Guide
  • Easy-to-understand guide covers everything you need to know about succulents
  • Lists 50 types of plants to choose, and how to care for them
  • High-quality resource for beginners and experts alike
Check Amazon

2. Houseplants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants by Lisa Eldred Steinkopf 

Houseplants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants by Lisa Eldred Steinkopf includes information about all types of houseplants, including photographs and profiles of over one hundred varieties. It is separated into three sections concerning how difficult a plant is to grow or maintain. The three sections are: roughly easy to manage, moderate, and challenging to grow. You’ll learn plants’ common and botanical names, light requirements, how frequently (and how much) they need to be watered, how to propagate them, and more.

This is excellent for all experience levels, and several indoor gardeners appreciated how the book is organized. Beginners like that the author includes what to do about specific types of pests. Readers said the information is presented nicely and not cluttered like some other gardening books. 

After reading this book, which includes over 125 profiles of the most popular plants, you’ll better understand which level of difficulty you want in a plant and the options you have for choosing one based on the space and lighting available in your home. If you’re looking to add green to your home, this is a great starting point on which ones to pick.

This book is only available in hardcover illustrated format.

It has a 4.7 star positive rating. Several reviewers, however, indicated that the photos were too small and that plant care tips were “minimal.”

Pros and Cons of Houseplants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants by Lisa Eldred Steinkopf

ProsCons
This book includes information about and photos of over 125 popular plants.It’s only available in hardcover illustrated format.
It’s divided into three sections based on how difficult a plant is to grow: roughly easy to manage, moderate, and challenging to grow.Several reviewers, however, indicated that the photos were too small and that plant care tips were “minimal.”
You’ll learn plants’ common and botanical names, light and water requirements, how to propagate them, and more.
This book is appropriate for all experience levels.
Readers appreciate how the book is organized and that the author advises how to eradicate specific pests.
Houseplants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants
  • Photographs and profiles of over one hundred houseplants
  • Excellent for all experience levels
  • Includes what to do about specific types of pests
Check Amazon

3. How Not to Kill Your Houseplant: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally Challenged by Veronica Peerless 

If you’re tired of killing every plant you touch, How Not to Kill Your Houseplant: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally Challenged by Veronica Peerless is the book you’ve been looking for. This book lists the care requirements for more than 50 popular houseplants. You’ll learn what kinds of plants will flourish in your home, how to repot plants, where to hang air plants, and how to maintain succulents. 

Learn what your plant requires in terms of light, water, temperature, humidity, and more. Find out how to identify and rescue sick plants and when to fed them to keep them healthy. The step-by-step guide style of this book makes it beginner friendly. 

Several readers were happy to learn how to take care of their houseplants because they thought they didn’t have the ability that “green thumb” people do. While this is a good book for you, it can also be a humorous gift to give someone you know has a horrible reputation for killing plants. They might think it is a funny title, and you could save a houseplant’s life by gifting it.

This title is available in Kindle and hardcover formats. It has a 4.7 star positive rating. Several reviewers said that it was a “cute gift idea but not very informative.”

Pros and Cons of How Not to Kill Your Houseplant: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally Challenged by Veronica Peerless 

ProsCons
This book includes care requirements for over 50 popular houseplants.Several reviewers said that it was a “cute gift idea but not very informative.”
Find out what kinds of plants will flourish in your home, how to repot plants, where to hang air plants, how to grow succulents, and more.
Learn what your plant requires in terms of light, water, temperature, humidity, etc.
Determine when plants are sick and how to rescue them, and when to feed them to keep them healthy.
This title has a step-by-step format that beginners find user-friendly.
It’s available in Kindle and hardcover formats.
How Not to Kill Your Houseplant: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally Challenged
  • Lists over 50 popular houseplant varieties and how to care for them
  •  Step-by-step guide style of this book makes it beginner friendly
  • Learn what your plant requires in light, heat, and more
Check Amazon

4. Wild at Home: How to Style and Care For Beautiful Plants by Hilton Carter 

Wild at Home: How to Style and Care For Beautiful Plants by Hilton Carter will teach you how to select the right plant, find the best place for it in your home, care for it, repot it, and propagate it.

You’ll also learn how to arrange your plants so they accent your décor. While this book isn’t as detailed about plant care as other books on this list, it is full of inspiration. This book features gorgeous photos of the author’s home filled with his unique plant arrangements. Readers found a lot of great ideas inside and tailored the styles in this book to their own rooms. 

Several readers enjoyed the author’s writing style and said it reflected his cheerful nature. The most notable addition is the incredible photography. The pictures are high quality, and you can almost breathe the fresh air through the pages. 

You can purchase this title in Kindle or hardcover format. It has a 4.8 star rating. Some readers were disappointed that this isn’t so much a plant care guide as it is a book on home decorating with plants.

Pros and Cons of Wild at Home: How to Style and Care For Beautiful Plants by Hilton Carter

ProsCons
This book will teach you how to select the right plant for your home, find the right spot for it, care for it, repot it, and propagate it.Some readers were disappointed that this isn’t so much a plant care guide as it is a book on home decorating with plants.
Mainly, you’ll learn to arrange plants so they accent your décor.
Photos of the author’s home filled with unique plant arrangements will inspire.
The photos are high-quality.
You can purchase this title in Kindle or hardcover format.
Wild at Home: How to style and care for beautiful plants
  • Learn all the skills required to take care of your plants
  • Gorgeous pictures
  • Cheerful writing style
Check Amazon

5. The House Plant Expert by D.G. Hessayon

The author of The House Plant Expert, Dr. Hessayon, is the world’s bestselling horticultural author. He has been credited with teaching millions of Britons to garden and has been honored by Queen Elizabeth for his horticultural contributions. Clearly, he is the preeminent plant expert, and this book is an excellent way to access his experience and advice.

It is simple to understand why Dr. Hessayon’s 21 Expert gardening titles have sold over 53 million copies around the world and The House Plant Expert has surpassed one million sales in both the U.S. and Russia. It identifies plant species with images, care guidelines, and other advice organized in a logical, accessible manner. These pages cover almost all possible questions, but they never feel overwhelming. 

This book is available in paperback and mass market paperback formats. It received 4.7 stars on Amazon, with readers calling it “the greatest plant book” and “a must-have for houseplant enthusiasts.” Some negative reviews said that the book “doesn’t go into as much information as what [they] would like.”

Pros and Cons of The House Plant Expert by D.G. Hessayon

ProsCons
The author, Dr. D.G. Hessayon, is the worlds leading horticultural author and has been credited with teaching millions of Britons to garden.Some negative reviews said that the book “doesn’t go into as much information as what [they] would like.”
He has also been honored by Queen Elizabeth for his horticultural contributions.
His 21 Expert gardening titles have sold more than 53 million copies globally and The House Plant Expert has surpassed one million sales in both the U.S. and Russia.
This book provides images to help you identify species, care guidelines, and other essential advice, presented in a logical, accessible manner that’s informative without feeling overwhelming.
The House Plant Expert
  • Author has been honored by Queen Elizabeth for his horticultural knowledge
  • Book covers all possible horticulture-related questions
  • Great for beginners and experts alike
Check Amazon

6. Herbal Houseplants: Grow Beautiful Herbs — Indoors! by Susan Betz

If you’d like to grow herbs indoors but don’t know where to start, Herbal Houseplants: Grow Beautiful Herbs — Indoors! by Susan Betz will teach you that you don’t need to overcomplicate the process. She will walk you through the fundamentals of growing herbs without expensive grow lights or other specialized equipment.

In this beautifully illustrated guide, the author, who is an expert herbalist, demonstrates how easy it is to prune and maintain your favorite herbs. She even explains how to harvest, process, and store herbs for use in cooking, crafts, herbal teas, cleaning products, and more. Betz also provides dozens of recipes and projects you can make using your herb harvest. 

This title is available in Kindle and hardcover formats. Readers said that the quotes scattered throughout the book made the it even more entertaining. The sole negative review said that the book was “a bit disappointing.” They thought that the photos were too “artsy rather than realistic for home setups” and that some of the photos were too small and uninspiring.

Pros and Cons of Herbal Houseplants: Grow Beautiful Herbs — Indoors! by Susan Betz

ProsCons
This book was written by an expert herbalist, who will teach you how to grow herbs indoors without grow lights or other fancy equipment.One reader said that the book was disappointing because the photos weren’t a realistic reflection of home setups and that some photos were too small and uninspiring.
This guide is beautifully illustrated.
It explains how to prune and maintain, harvest, process, and store herbs.
The book includes dozens of recipes for using your homegrown herbs in cooking, crafts, herbal teas, cleaning products, and more.
Herbal Houseplants: Grow Beautiful Herbs - Indoors! For Flavor, Fragrance, and Fun
  • Beautiful presentation
  • Lots of great recipes
  • Shows you how to grow herbs at home, without expensive equipment
Check Amazon

How to Choose a Book About Growing Houseplants

When choosing a houseplant book, you should keep two key criterion in mind: the type of houseplants you want to learn about and your level of gardening experience. If you are new to gardening, starting with a general introduction to houseplants might be a good idea. This can give you ideas of the different types of plants available and what they require in terms of care. Once you understand houseplants better, you can move on to more specific books that focus on a particular type of plant or gardening technique.

If you are a more experienced gardener, you might already know what you are looking for in a houseplant book. In this case, you can search for books that focus on a specific type of plant or gardening technique. This will help you get the most benefits out of your reading and ensure you can find the information you need.

About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

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