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Best Selling Houseplants and Indoor Gardening Books

Updated on December 3, 2012

If you're anything like me you'll want to have a stack of reference books with pictures and growing guides for a whole host of houseplants. The very best of the best selling books for indoor gardening show us what we need to know when we garner new houseplants to add to our collections.

Indoor gardening is a never ending and fascinating hobby for many of us, and there is always something new and interesting to learn about the houseplants we lovingly care for.

The reference books we keep should show us not only types of plants with their common and botanical names, but all about illnesses and insects that can damage our precious plants and what we can do about them.

From childhood onwards, an interest in houseplants and indoor gardening in general is something to be positively encouraged and nurtured, just like the house plants themselves.

Indoor gardening books are fun to leaf through, but they come into a realm of their own when we actually have in our possession a houseplant that they detail. We can learn how best to care for our plants which can become house companions for many years. I myself have some individual pot plants that are now well over 30 years old.

house plants and  indoor gardening
house plants and indoor gardening

The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual: Essential Gardening Know-How for Keeping (Not Killing) More Than 160 Indoor Plants

The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual: Essential Gardening Know-How for Keeping (Not Killing) More Than 160 Indoor Plants by Barbara Pleasant

This is my kind of indoor gardening book. Divided into three main section - Flowering Houseplants, Foliage Houseplants and Houseplant Care, each section is color coded at the top to make finding a section really easy.

Covering over 160 houseplants, each page features a full color photograph of the plant. This helps you easily identify your houseplant even if you don't know it's name. Also given is details of its preferred growing position (sun/shade etc), its watering needs, fertilizer needs, preferred types of compost, propagation methods as well as growing hints and tips.

The plants are listed by their botanical names but there is a handy cross reference chart at the end so that you are left in no doubt of their common names as well. I think it is really important that children especially learn the botanical names first. Those names will stay with them throughout their lives, and the great thing about botanical names is that they stay the same no matter the language spoken in the country you visit or choose to live in.

The final section of The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual is dedicated to keeping your plants happy and healthy. Learn how to spot sickness early and what steps to take to remedy the problem. Learn how to recognize when a plant becomes pot-bound and needs moved into a larger container, and the types of soil to use.

Bound in a flexible cover, this book makes an excellent quick reference guide as well as being worth a thorough browse through.

How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office

How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office by B.C. Wolverton

We all know that green plants photosynthesize and freshen the air (they draw in carbon dioxide through the day, and emit oxygen at night), but how many of us know that they also clean the air of many poisonous compounds that arrive in our home and offices daily, through the cartons and containers in which we bring products home? NASA have done some incredible studies to show that even everyday objects like paint or blankets, or kids toys or computers as well as the containers they arrive in can be detrimental to our health. Many green plants actually clean the air of these contaminants and this book lists the top 50.

The first part of the book explains the composition of the chemical vapors that are in our homes and offices, while the rest of the book goes on to give double page details on each of the 50 plants. Along with beautiful photographs, we will learn how easy or difficult each plant is to grow and as well as detailed care for each plant. Detailed too is how well the individual plant is at air pollution cleaning.

This would make a super gift, perhaps for newlyweds or people just starting out together with a new home, as well as for anybody interested in environmental issues and growing plants.

Indoor Gardening the Organic Way: How to Create a Natural and Sustaining Environment for Your Houseplants

Indoor Gardening the Organic Way: How to Create a Natural and Sustaining Environment for Your Houseplants by Julie Bawden Davies

All 208 pages are dedicated to growing houseplants entirely organically without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Full of useful hints and tips, your houseplants will thank you for it and the air in your house or office will improve.

This book is described the the definitive guide to organic indoor gardening and not one anyone who cares about their environment should be without.

With attention to detail, Indoor Gardening The Organic way is easy to read and understand.

Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps

windowsill plants
windowsill plants
papaya seedling
papaya seedling

Don't Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps by Deborah Peterson

I wish I'd thought to have written this book, but it certainly sounds to be right up my street! In this book, there are detailed instructions on how to grow all sorts of plants from left over kitchen foodstuffs and fruits.

With over 50 plants that can be grown from scraps and pips described in detail, the book is divided into 4 subcategories - vegetables, fruits and nuts, herbs and spices and exotic fruits. Each plant can be be grown in a pot on the windowsill, so there is no need for a garden.

A wrinkled sweet potato? Plant it, it'll grow into a beautiful vine. Left over ginger? Plant it to make an exotic looking ginger plant.

Shows how to get the seeds of apples, oranges and other fruit to sprout as well as nuts and legumes.

This book will be of interest to environmentalists as well as school children, housewives and just people like me who love growing.

If you can't wait for the book to arrive, have a read at some of the articles I have written along these lines. Each link will open in a new window so you can still stay on this page.

I thoroughly recommend Don't Throw It, Grow It! Sure to give you hours and hours of fun, not to mention some very beautiful and unusual plants.


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    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great suggestions! I particularly like the last one - that sounds like a great way to grow some new indoor plants. Thanks for sharing!

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UK

      You're welcome Dim :)

      I love houseplants, so houseplants books are right up my street to write about :)

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      7 years ago from Great Britain

      wonderful hub. Lots and lots I didn´t know. So glad you put it here for us.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UK

      Hey thanks Veronica :) I see you are new, so welcome to Hubpages:)

    • veronicanotes profile image


      7 years ago from California

      Love, love, love this hub! Lots of great information and pics. I'm a big plant lover myself. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this!

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UK

      absolutely Pamela! I've always had a collection of gardening or houseplant books to hand :)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love plants indoors and outside. It is always good to have a good reference book because plant care can certainly vary from one to another.


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