The most recommended books on houseplants

Who picked these books? Meet our 9 experts.

9 authors created a book list connected to houseplants, and here are their favorite houseplant books.
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Book cover of In Defense of Plants: An Exploration into the Wonder of Plants

Sue Burke Author Of Semiosis

From my list on making you love plants.

Why am I passionate about this?

A house plant in my living room attacked another plant, wrapping itself around it and killing it. Then another plant tried to sink roots into a neighbor. I began to do a little research, then a lot of research, and learned that plants accomplish amazing feats. They can tell by the angle of the sun when spring is coming, and they can call parasitic wasps to rid themselves of caterpillars. Plants vastly outweigh and outnumber animals, so they run this planet. What if, on another planet, they could think like us… and that’s why I wrote a novel.

Sue's book list on making you love plants

Sue Burke Why did Sue love this book?

Blogger and podcaster Matt Candeias used to think plants were boring. Then, in college, he got a summer job in habitat restoration at an old quarry, and he fell in love.

He learned about the strange ways plants have sex, how they conquer new territories, and what animals they prefer to eat. Most of all, they fight for survival. It’s not exactly war, but there is never enough water, nutrients, space, and light, and there are always predators. Plants meet their challenges in surprising, wonderful ways.

So go outside, he says, and get to know your local plants like you know your friends.

By Matt Candeias,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Defense of Plants as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Study of Plants in a Whole New Light

"Matt Candeias succeeds in evoking the wonder of plants with wit and wisdom." James T. Costa, PhD, executive director, Highlands Biological Station and author of Darwin's Backyard

#1 New Release in Nature & Ecology, Plants, Botany, Horticulture, Trees, Biological Sciences, and Nature Writing & Essays

In his debut book, internationally-recognized blogger and podcaster Matt Candeias celebrates the nature of plants and the extraordinary world of plant organisms.

A botanist's defense. Since his early days of plant restoration, this amateur plant scientist has been enchanted with flora and the greater environmental ecology…


Book cover of The Indoor Garden Book: The Complete Guide to the Creative Use of Plants and Flowers in the Home

Catherine Horwood Author Of Potted History: How Houseplants Took Over Our Homes

From my list on keeping your houseplants alive.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember my first ever houseplant—doesn’t everyone? It was a spider plant, just a small one grown as an offset from my mother’s vast ‘mother’ plant. Yestwo mothers! The plant and my green-fingered mother got me hooked on houseplants. As a social historian, I’ve written about all things to do with the homeclothes, gardens, even gardeners themselves but houseplants? Why was there no social history of plants in the home? Where did that spider plant come from? And when? The answer is Japan in the late 18th century. But the truth is that plants have been brought into homes for centuries and their stories are fascinating. 

Catherine's book list on keeping your houseplants alive

Catherine Horwood Why did Catherine love this book?

This book has been my indoor plant bible for over thirty years. John Brookes is best known for linking indoor living spaces with outdoor gardens but here he turned his masterly design eye on houseplants. Yes, all the necessary practical information on a wide range of houseplants is here. But what really separates this book from the rest—and makes it completely agelessis the photography which was so ahead of its time, it looks as though it was published last year. Interior shots with plant placement ideas with enough inspiration for the most demanding Instagram generation. What more could one need?

By John Brookes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Indoor Garden Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Offers advice on decorating with plants, tells how to match plants with containers, and covers cut- and dried-flower arrangements, plant care, and room-by-room deoorating advice


Book cover of Living Wild: How to Plant Style Your Home and Cultivate Happiness

Kim Kuhteubl Author Of Branding + Interior Design: Visibility and Business Strategy for Interior Designers

From my list on feeling at home.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning producer, author, and member of the Producers Guild of America. One of my fondest memories as a child is coming home from a weekend at my oma’s house to find that my mother had redecorated my room. The bedspread was pink, red, and white and so were the curtains but the main event was the fluffy white pouf of a rug on the floor. Home is a place that has always been important to me, which is why these books have found their way into my library.

Kim's book list on feeling at home

Kim Kuhteubl Why did Kim love this book?

I used to fancy myself as having a green thumb, until I planted my first outdoor garden.

These days I’m back inside with Hilton Carter’s Living Wild. Based in Baltimore, Carter is a director, editor, and fine artist with an encyclopedic knowledge about plants and how to style them. He’s also the dad to 250 plants including a fiddle-leaf named Frank.

In this, his fourth book, Living Wild, he talks about everything that is needed to design a “living home” and walks the reader through rooms he’s styled and his process. Check out his Instagram for a Living Wild playlist. 

By Hilton Carter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Living Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Living Wild, bestselling plant stylist, author, designer and family man Hilton Carter explores multiple ways to style your home with plants - and cultivate happiness along the way.

The therapeutic benefits of living with and tending plants are well known - they offer a connection to the natural world that nurtures our mental and physical health. In this, his latest book, Hilton shows how to create a lush, stylish space with flourishing plants that bring life to your home and promote a happy and contented mindset. He discusses interior design choices - choosing the right colour scheme, textures and…


Book cover of RHS Practical House Plant Book: Choose The Best, Display Creatively, Nurture and Care, 175 Plant Profiles

Catherine Horwood Author Of Potted History: How Houseplants Took Over Our Homes

From my list on keeping your houseplants alive.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember my first ever houseplant—doesn’t everyone? It was a spider plant, just a small one grown as an offset from my mother’s vast ‘mother’ plant. Yestwo mothers! The plant and my green-fingered mother got me hooked on houseplants. As a social historian, I’ve written about all things to do with the homeclothes, gardens, even gardeners themselves but houseplants? Why was there no social history of plants in the home? Where did that spider plant come from? And when? The answer is Japan in the late 18th century. But the truth is that plants have been brought into homes for centuries and their stories are fascinating. 

Catherine's book list on keeping your houseplants alive

Catherine Horwood Why did Catherine love this book?

Sometimes you need to refer to the highest authority and in the case of plants, that means the Royal Horticultural Society. So when it comes to knowing which house plant is which, what conditions they like, and how to care for them, you can’t really do better than this book. With 175 different plant profiles, the one you picked up without a label at the supermarket is bound to be there, not to mention more exotic offerings that scream "I need special care." 

By Fran Bailey, Zia Allaway, Royal Horticultural Society

Why should I read it?

1 author picked RHS Practical House Plant Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Turn your indoors into a green oasis! Learn about 175 house plants and follow step-by-step projects to create an indoor garden.

A plant book perfect for people who live in apartments and enthusiastic gardeners who want to move their gardening expertise inside! Learn how to create an indoor garden that will improve your wellbeing, is good for the environment, and will bring tranquillity to your home.

The RHS Practical House Plant Book shows you how to create a green home - literally. Inside this plant guide you'll find:

- A "Designing with Houseplants" section that reveals key principles for choosing,…


Book cover of A Family Guide to Terrariums for Kids: Imagination-Inspiring Projects to Grow a World in Glass - Build a Mini Ecosystem!

Maria Colletti Author Of Terrariums - Gardens Under Glass: Designing, Creating, and Planting Modern Indoor Gardens

From my list on indoor gardening houseplant.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent 25 years working at the New York Botanical Garden! My life’s pursuit of the green has been my greatest achievement. I'm a self-made terrarium designer. I developed my style and skills at NYBG and knew that I had to share this with the world. My books have sold over 14,000 copies worldwide. This is amazing to me and has taught me that my though-ness and step-by-step lessons were worth every word! Horticulture is a subject that comes naturally to me. I happily know the names of dozens and dozens of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, tropical, desert, you name plants from all over the world and I’m learning new ones every season. 

Maria's book list on indoor gardening houseplant

Maria Colletti Why did Maria love this book?

Patricia has a distinct design that is breath-taking. Her moss creations are pure images of botany at its best. She herself is an experienced botanist and she shares all she has learned in her book for you to utilize. She knows her subject and her how-tos are informative and easy to do at home. This is a great gift for anyone in your life.

By Patricia Buzo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Family Guide to Terrariums for Kids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Design, plant, and grow a world of your very own—inside a terrarium! Including 15 unique, imagination-inspiring project plans, each accompanied by adorable, full-color photographs, kids and their grown-ups will discover how easy terrariums are to plant and grow. 

*As featured in The New York Times*

Kids love to create, imagine, and have fun. Nothing fulfills all three of those desires quite like designing and planting a terrarium. With the step-by-step project instructions found in A Family Guide to Terrariums for Kids, the results are beautiful, inspiring, and confidence-building. Making these little landscapes develops motor skills, spacial awareness, and provides a…


Book cover of The Random House Book of Indoor and Greenhouse Plants Vol. 1

Pam Peirce Author Of Golden Gate Gardening,  The Complete Guide to Year-Round Food Gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area & Coastal California

From my list on California Mediterranean Gardening.

Why am I passionate about this?

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you know that its climate is unique in the U.S. and that there are many microclimates within the region. It’s all mediterranean, as you can tell by its dry summers and mild, wet winters. But near the coast, summer fog carpets the land for weeks and winter is rarely frosty, while inland summers are hot, winter frosts are frequent. I live here and use my academic and first-hand experience with plants to help regional gardeners create year-round beauty and harvests in all of our wonderful, often perplexing microclimates.

Pam's book list on California Mediterranean Gardening

Pam Peirce Why did Pam love this book?

Written originally for Great Britain, this book (and also Volume II) describes plants that grow outdoors in California's mediterranean climate. You will delight in recognizing old friends and discovering new plants that grow well in our region. There is a photograph of each plant in its native habitat and information on its basic care. An index in Volume II includes the plants in Volume I as well.

By Roger Phillips, Martyn Rix,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Random House Book of Indoor and Greenhouse Plants Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The indispensable new reference book for every gardener.

A unique photographic guide to plants that grow outdoors in subtropical climates (from Florida to California) or indoors in areas that have frost in winter. All can be grown outdoors in the summer. Includes introductory chapters on garden and greenhouse cultivation and on the habits of species in the wild.

With details on the history, characteristics and cultivation of each plant, Indoor and Greenhouse Plants is an essential addition to the popular Random House garden series by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix.

Available in the series:

The Random House Book of Perfect…


Book cover of The Complete Book of Ferns: Indoors • Outdoors • Growing • Crafting • History & Lore

Maria Colletti Author Of Terrariums - Gardens Under Glass: Designing, Creating, and Planting Modern Indoor Gardens

From my list on indoor gardening houseplant.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent 25 years working at the New York Botanical Garden! My life’s pursuit of the green has been my greatest achievement. I'm a self-made terrarium designer. I developed my style and skills at NYBG and knew that I had to share this with the world. My books have sold over 14,000 copies worldwide. This is amazing to me and has taught me that my though-ness and step-by-step lessons were worth every word! Horticulture is a subject that comes naturally to me. I happily know the names of dozens and dozens of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, tropical, desert, you name plants from all over the world and I’m learning new ones every season. 

Maria's book list on indoor gardening houseplant

Maria Colletti Why did Maria love this book?

Mobee has literally spent her professional life at New York Botanical Garden. She knows everything!  Ferns are her expertise. This book is beautifully put together with her creative prowess! She really knows so much about the art of fern growing. I also find her to be a  terrific instructor and her book is a complete access to all she knows. Her projects are wonderful and I actually bought a galvanized wall hanging to plant ferns in just like hers!

Inspiration at its best is mimicry.

By Mobee Weinstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Book of Ferns as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Complete Book of Ferns is filled with botanical information, indoor and outdoor growing and care information, details on propagation, display ideas, and even craft projects. This gorgeous book is authored by Mobee Weinstein, the Foreman of Gardeners at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and a veteran guest on the Martha Stewart Living TV show and other media outlets.

*2021 American Horticultural Society Book Award Winner*
*As featured in The New York Times*

Houseplants in general are in ascendance, but no category is hotter than ferns. From the otherworldly Staghorns—mounted like antler trophies in homes throughout the…


Book cover of The Indestructible Houseplant: 200 Beautiful Plants that Everyone Can Grow

Maria Colletti Author Of Terrariums - Gardens Under Glass: Designing, Creating, and Planting Modern Indoor Gardens

From my list on indoor gardening houseplant.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent 25 years working at the New York Botanical Garden! My life’s pursuit of the green has been my greatest achievement. I'm a self-made terrarium designer. I developed my style and skills at NYBG and knew that I had to share this with the world. My books have sold over 14,000 copies worldwide. This is amazing to me and has taught me that my though-ness and step-by-step lessons were worth every word! Horticulture is a subject that comes naturally to me. I happily know the names of dozens and dozens of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, tropical, desert, you name plants from all over the world and I’m learning new ones every season. 

Maria's book list on indoor gardening houseplant

Maria Colletti Why did Maria love this book?

Tovah Martin is my houseplant hero! Tovah is a rare bird! Her love of houseplants rings through her writing. She has made gardening and indoor plants her life’s pursuit and it shows. This book is one of several Tovah has written. Her work often appears in Better Homes & Gardens magazine. I have followed her career from day one. Her vision of the plant is joyful and information only someone with this great love of the houseplant can share with you. If you buy one book on how to care for and incorporate the beauty of green plants in your home you must read Tovah's book!

By Tovah Martin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Indestructible Houseplant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Houseplants are the bane of many homeowners. How can you keep them alive and stop them looking leggy, anaemic and unattractive. In this practical and beautifully photographed book, author, Tovah Martin, author of the Unexpected Houseplant recommends which plants to choose and how to put them together into attractive low-maintenance displays.


Book cover of The Regenerative Garden: 80 Practical Projects for Creating a Self-Sustaining Garden Ecosystem

Maria Colletti Author Of Terrariums - Gardens Under Glass: Designing, Creating, and Planting Modern Indoor Gardens

From my list on indoor gardening houseplant.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent 25 years working at the New York Botanical Garden! My life’s pursuit of the green has been my greatest achievement. I'm a self-made terrarium designer. I developed my style and skills at NYBG and knew that I had to share this with the world. My books have sold over 14,000 copies worldwide. This is amazing to me and has taught me that my though-ness and step-by-step lessons were worth every word! Horticulture is a subject that comes naturally to me. I happily know the names of dozens and dozens of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, tropical, desert, you name plants from all over the world and I’m learning new ones every season. 

Maria's book list on indoor gardening houseplant

Maria Colletti Why did Maria love this book?

Stephanie has taught me so much about gardening that I didn't even know I needed to know. Her beautiful lessons about permaculture, a word that I didn't understand what it meant until Stephanie took the time to teach me! This is a must-need book in your gardening library.

She has created a beautiful garden of her own where she time-tests all her teachings. The climate in Vancouver Canada makes this a great environment. Stephanie and I became friends years ago when she started her blog and she has promoted my work on several occasions.

I trust her judgment and know she knows her subject and then some!

By Stephanie Rose,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Regenerative Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover how to work with nature, instead of against it, by employing permaculture techniques to create a garden that is not just more beautiful and productive, but also more resilient.

While the word permaculture might sound intimidating, the principals behind it are not. The main goal of permaculture is to turn your space into a functioning ecosystem that’s less reliant on external resources and better able to sustain itself through many seasons of growth and change as it resists pests, diseases, and climate extremes. Whatever the size of your space, from a tiny patio garden to a big backyard, and…


Book cover of Orchid Modern: Living and Designing with the World's Most Elegant Houseplants

Maria Colletti Author Of Terrariums - Gardens Under Glass: Designing, Creating, and Planting Modern Indoor Gardens

From my list on indoor gardening houseplant.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent 25 years working at the New York Botanical Garden! My life’s pursuit of the green has been my greatest achievement. I'm a self-made terrarium designer. I developed my style and skills at NYBG and knew that I had to share this with the world. My books have sold over 14,000 copies worldwide. This is amazing to me and has taught me that my though-ness and step-by-step lessons were worth every word! Horticulture is a subject that comes naturally to me. I happily know the names of dozens and dozens of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, tropical, desert, you name plants from all over the world and I’m learning new ones every season. 

Maria's book list on indoor gardening houseplant

Maria Colletti Why did Maria love this book?

Marc is brilliant! His extensive knowledge of all things orchids and tropical plants is unending. He has dedicated his career to the horticultural expertise of Orchids.

His professional career and rise to curator of Glasshouses and Orchids at New York Botanical Garden is legendary.

In this book, he shares all care tips, creative projects, and visuals of beauty.

He has these gorgeous terrarium projects that I just had to try to copy.

By Marc Hachadourian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Orchid Modern as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Orchids have always inspired passion. Their exotic flowers and vibrant colours draw people in, but their reputation as fussy and difficult to grow keep many houseplant fans from adding them to their home decor. But orchids can be easy to grow and Marc Hachadourian, the curator of the orchid collection at the New York Botanical Garden, details exactly how in his new book. Orchid Modern includes basic information on potting, watering, and care. Hachadourian profiles the top 100 plant picks, focusing on varieties that are readily available and easy to grow. Step-by-step projects, including a jewel orchid terrarium, an orchid…