Houseplants can be found in abundance but buy from a quality garden center.

Houseplants…what would we do without them? No matter the season, whether it’s to clean the air or add a pop of green, houseplants are the gift that keeps on giving. Houseplants – The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing and Caring for Indoor Plants by Lisa Eldred Steinkopf provides a wealth of information. User-friendly, easy to read, and offering tips on tools to plant selections it is truly a great book to have on hand.

Now that the winter holiday season is over, the tree is down and we are settling into nesting, a houseplant is the instant pick-me-up. What kind, how do we care for it, can I report my current houseplant? Lise Eldred Steinkopf covers these topics and more in her new book. If you visit a garden center right now, this is usually what you see…

or tons of these…

Did you know that there are so many more options? First things first. How are your existing houseplants doing? Are the roots protruding out of the bottom? are the leaves yellowing? How is the lighting? Did you consider how lighting changes from season to season? Are you over or underwatering? Is this the right time to transplant or re-pot? Does the bigger is always better rule useful when repotting? If any of these questions have stumped you, this is the book for you.

Lisa explains how to know when to root prune existing plants as well as how t do so effectively. This is one of the first things to consider when reviving existing houseplants. Pot size to enhance and not interfere with the health of existing houseplants is key after root pruning.

Beautiful photos share what to look for when root pruning. Watering can be the life or death of a houseplant, so knowing the how to’s are very important as well.  One of the tips mentioned was the act of immersion as a form of hydrating houseplants.  I tend to do this once a month during the winter due to the dry indoor air of household heat. My houseplants thank me with beautiful leaves all winter long.

Lisa even shares a great tip on how to keep your plants hydrated and alive while on vacation – and it is so easy! Here’s a tip – save those clear plastic bags.

Fertilize or not to fertilize – that is always a big question when it comes to houseplant health. One of the BEST houseplant tips offered in this book is in this chapter. I will not divulge the secret but knowing your plant is crucial. Lighting is also key to keeping your houseplants alive and well. I have lost many begonias in my life, all because I loved the leaf in the store. Had I paid attention to the lighting needs required for them to thrive, my collection would be quite large!

I keep trying my hand at Begonia’s because I LOVE the diversity of the leaf!

The author even delves into propagation, grooming and creating awesome environments for houseplant success. This is a great chapter as I for one cannot stand brown tipped leaves – especially in the winter. Knowing what to do about this issue and many others like yellowing leaves are environmental and easily solved.

Know where you are purchasing your houseplants from. It is easy to bring tainted, bug or disease-ridden houseplants into your home. Purchasing from reputable resources is your best bet. Lisa shares what best practices are that help keep your existing plants healthy just in case a pest wandered in on that new houseplant unnoticed.  Once again, great pictures that are up close and personal sharing the little things we might otherwise miss. Hint – purchase a pretty magnifying glass…you will want to use it. (I did!)

The best part of this book?

Philodendron selloum  -Definitely on the “Easy To Grow List”…choose wisely!

The sections labeled “Easy To Grow “, “Moderately Easy To Grow” and “Challenging to Grow”.

Fittonia -Moderately Easy To Grow are easy to find and relatively easy to care for. However, they do not like to be ignored.

I love a good challenge, so I am trying a plant from the “Challenging to Grow” list. Wish me luck!

Lithops….they look easy right?

If you need a pick me up, have a gift card burning a hole in your pocket. a break from the seed catalogs, or just need confidence in growing as we nest over the winter, you need this book. I highly recommend Houseplants – The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing and Caring for Indoor Plants by Lis Eldred Steinkopf . A great resource we can use as we nest over the winter months and prepare for our next season.

So many to choose from. Remember lighting, environmental needs, and no unwanted chemicals or pests!

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