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These Books Will Help You Keep Your Houseplants Alive (and Thriving!)

Three book covers, focused on happy and thriving houseplants.
Cool Springs Press/Aurum Press/Sterling

Bringing houseplants into your living space has a ton of benefits, but it can be a little overwhelming to try to figure out what plants to choose and how to keep them alive and thriving. You’re definitely not alone—that’s why there are so many books dedicated to advising you on the best way to choose and care for plants!

Indoor gardening can be a wonderful and relaxing hobby, especially if you don’t have a lot of space outside for a big, traditional garden.

With a huge variety of plants that love being indoors, there are plenty of options to choose from, and these books cover it all: plant profiles, care tips, and even ideas on how to use your plants as part of your overall design and style. Check out our picks for the best books on indoor gardens and houseplants and see which ones fit your needs best!

Urban Botanics: An Indoor Plant Guide for Modern Gardeners

For a comprehensive (and beautifully illustrated!) guide to a variety of indoor plants, Emma Sibley’s Urban Botanics: An Indoor Plant Guide for Modern Gardeners can’t be beat.

Designed with the demands of the modern world in mind, this book features illustrations and profiles of 75 plants, with all the info you need to turn your home into a green paradise (or just keep a couple of succulents alive).

Wild at Home: How to style and care for beautiful plants

Wild at Home by Hilton Carter isn’t just a simple guide to caring for plants. Instead, it’s about how best to incorporate indoor gardens and plants into your lifestyle and decor.

Carter’s book approaches plants as design elements, emphasizing how they can work with the flow and design of your living space for creative and stunning displays.

The New Plant Parent: Develop Your Green Thumb and Care for Your House-Plant Family

Got a new plant and don’t know where to start? Darryl Cheng has you covered with The New Plant Parent. The guide focuses on the three most important elements in caring for plants—light, water, and nutrients—and demystifies how to learn what your individual plants need, rather than trying to memorize a how-to guide. It’s all about individuality here.

How Not to Kill Your Houseplant: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally Challenged

Veronica Peerless’s How Not to Kill Your Houseplant is a tongue-in-cheek but seriously helpful book for the “horticulturally challenged,” as the title describes. If you’re the kind of person who’s worried that you won’t even be able to keep one plant alive, let alone a houseful, this guide is for you.

It’s filled with simple, practical tips on how to choose the right plants for your space and give them the care they need to not just survive but thrive.

Essential Succulents: The Beginner's Guide

Succulents are some of the most popular indoor plants, but their needs are somewhat different than your usual leafy greens.

Essential Succulents: The Beginner’s Guide by Ken Shelf is a great guide to get you started with these beautiful and low-maintenance plants, with information on everything from types of succulents to DIY projects and more.

Urban Jungle: Living and Styling with Plants

Get inspiration for caring for and decorating with indoor plants with Urban Jungle: Living and Styling with Plants by Igor Josifovic.

The book includes tours of real plant-filled houses, complete with gorgeous photography and advice on how that inspiration can translate into real tips for creating your own indoor green paradise.

Plantopedia: The Definitive Guide to Houseplants

For a comprehensive detailed guide to a huge variety of houseplants, Plantopedia: The Definitive Guide to Houseplants by Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan, has it covered.

No frills, no fuss, just gorgeous plant photography and a wealth of information on over 130 houseplants, complete with care instructions and answers to all your biggest concerns.

Houseplants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants

Lisa Eldred Steinkopf introduces readers to over 150 different plants in Houseplants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants.

Learn to make the most of what your home has to offer by finding plants that match your climate, light, seasons, and interests—plus, the guide includes some scientific info on each plant to make botany geeks of us all!

Little Book of House Plants and Other Greenery

The saying “good things come in small packages” definitely applies to The Little Book of House Plants and Other Greenery by Emma Sibley. The compact-sized affordable book features a detailed glossary of 60 popular indoor plants.

Entries include lush photos, plus info on light, water, potting, propagation, and tips unique to each individual species.

How to Houseplant: A Beginner’s Guide to Making and Keeping Plant Friends

Indoor gardening doesn’t have to be a super serious intense pursuit! Heather Rodino’s How to Houseplant is a delightful charming book about “keeping plant friends,” a.k.a how to keep them alive!

It’s a light, fun, and illustrated guide that gives serious information without feeling overly serious and formal—instead, it focuses on making everything feel more accessible.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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