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For the Love of Plants: books to help you keep your plants alive

Just a few of my plant babies for some inspiration…

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Since lockdowns began last year in March 2020, there has been an explosion of plant purchases and pseudo-jungles being set up in people’s homes and apartments. As a lover of plants, I can only thoroughly support this home greenification.

I feel pretty lucky when I look back at how I grew up with plants and gardening as a big part of my life. We had our own large vegetable garden which was able to supply us with most of our vegetable needs. We had chickens and ducks for eggs and occasionally meat, and the chicken poo would make great fertilizer for our garden. We had this set up out of complete necessity – I grew up poor, in government housing, with both parents on government benefits. My father was extremely savvy, and growing our food meant we didn’t have to worry about buying it.

Calathea tricolour who is fondly named Michel Foucault.

In saying that, I feel pretty comfortable around plants. Although, if my Dad were alive today he would be asking me why I was growing something I couldn’t eat. There is a calmness that I feel when I am around plants and nature in general. I feel like my plants are a part of me – an extension of my relationship with the earth.

I have had the pleasure of reading some plant books recently, two of which I would like to share with you if you are interested in making your home a little greener, and also, making sure you know how to look after your plant babies once you get them.

Plant Society: Create an indoor oasis for your urban space – Jason Chongue

Buy from Book Depository here. Buy from Booktopia here.

Jason Chongue’s book is like the bible of plant books. If you are completely new to the world of plants – Chongue’s advice on plant care, pest control, and where to keep your plants will have you covered. Even I have learnt some things from this book. It is such a great guide.

The part that is also really great about this book is that Chongue has a chapter on the most common house plants and how difficult they are to take care of. So this is a great book to get if you want to know if you are getting in too deep. For example, if you are a beginner, don’t even bother with a Maiden hair fern.

A Peace Lily is fairly kind to new green thumbs.

Urban Botanics: an indoor plant guide for modern gardeners – Maaike Koster and Emma Sibley

Buy your copy from Booktopia here. Buy your copy from Book Depository here.

This book, Urban Botanics, is a beautifully illustrated book. If you just love plants and want a beautiful book to drool over, then this is a great book. This book doesn’t have a lot on specific plant care like recipes to control pests or propegating plants. Although, this book has a great section on succulents and cacti, which for me, was great.

Here is my Lithops (also known as a Living Stone) called Ivanka Butt.

I love succulents and cacti as much as I love flowering and foliage plants. I have a mixture of them throughout my house as I try to pick plants that will be best suited to the light and climate conditions around my house. As a quick tip: not all cacti and succulents like direct full sun, so don’t be fooled by that myth.

Koster’s drawings of Lithops.
Sibley’s description of the plant and how to take care of them.

I also thought I would share some of my tips to help you on your plant journey!

  • Think about the space – pick plants that will go with the sunlight and climate conditions of your home.
  • Know your capabilities – start of with something easy and work your way up if you’re new to plant parenting.
  • Know what care your plants need – make sure you know when and how to water your plants. For example, some plants, like cyclamens, prefer being watered from below rather than from the top.
  • Make sure they are pet-safe – not all plants are good for your dogs and cats.
  • Have fun! Enjoy the world of plants. Celebrate each new leaf and always remember to share the love.

Some plant accessories for you to dream about:

Colourful plant pot! Picture taken from Personality Pots Etsy page. Buy yours here!
Plant mister for the plants that love humidity. Picture taken from PassItForwardGifts Etsy page. Buy yours here!
Propegation station for your plant babies! This picture is taken from LittleLeafInteriors Etsy page. Buy yours here.

So there you have it! These are my favourite plant care books and also some tried and true Bound2Books plant care tips for you and your new home jungle. Tell me about your plant babies in the comments below. As always, share the reading love.

Buy your copy of Plant Society here.

Buy your copy of Urban Botanics here.

My senecio rowleyanus (string of pearls) rocking out in this cute skull pot.