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Indoor Plants: The Essential Guide to Choosing and Caring for Houseplants Hardcover – March 10, 1997


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This well-designed introduction to houseplants by garden writer Courtier and horticulturist Clarke begins with a brief section on decorating with plants followed by the book's strength?a plant directory of 170 common houseplants plus a secondary list of 130 more unusual plants. Arranged by scientific name, entries list common name, plant requirements, growing techniques, propagation methods, and recommended related plants. Most entries contain a beautiful color photograph of the plant. The final section offers clear explanations, with illustrations, of light, humidity, temperature, watering, feeding, repotting, training, propagation, and pests and diseases. A few errors such as conflicting information on watering bromeliads and reversed identification of thrip and vine weevil pictures are minor problems. While similar in style and content to other available houseplants books, this is an attractive, informative choice for libraries needing an additional book about houseplants and their care.?Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., Ill.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

* Everything you need to know about choosing and caring for houseplants * Extensive plant directories featuring more than 300 indoor plants * Tips from the experts on what to look for when buying indoor plants * Alphabetical charts featuring at-a-glance information on each plant's needs and preferred conditions * How to cope with plant pests and diseases * Choosing the right plants for specific places in the home * Ways to group plants to create striking effects in all rooms of the house * Fully illustrated throughout with color drawings and photographs
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Reader's Digest; 1ST edition (March 10, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895779218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895779212
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,491,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
This book has a ton of information and pictures.
Duri
That book gives info on each plant from the direct knowledge of the authors and as a result has proved to be the best tropical houseplant book bar none, thus far.
Breck Breckenridge
The book is condensed into just what you want to know in a hurry about any house plant.
Kenneth Mize

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 104 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The photography and text of this beautiful book are well-done and easy to follow. The authors cover most aspects of plant care, from basic watering and lighting to reproduction and pest control to extensive entries on houseplant varieties. Every plant entry seems unique, breaking from the dull template of information that the more encyclopedia-like plant books have. This engaging style is a strength of the book, but it is also a weakness because the style lends itself to inconsistency. For example, the entry on Saintpaulias (African Violets) specifies the height at which artificial lights should be placed above the plants, but many of the other entries do not give such information. Another complaint is that the secondary plant list in the back does not feature a photograph of every plant. For the price I paid, I would have willingly give up a few of the extra photos in the front if it would result in a more comprehensive photo collection in the back. Identifying p! lants without pictures is very difficult. Nonetheless, no plant book is perfect, and this one comes very close. It combines two types of books -- the coffee-table book and the reference text. All too often plant books do one at the expense of the other.
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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As a novice houseplant keeper, I rely heavily on the books I read for information I need to keep my plants healthy. This book helped me identify ALL the plants I own, which was no small feat in that most were given to me by others who didn't know the variety. It has easy to read information on caring for plants, and I am able to understand the language used. Some other encyclopedia type books make it difficult to get the info needed, and are geared toward professional horticulturists, rather than laymen like myself. I found this book to be very useful, and would highly recommend it to others who have "hobby" plants. The pictures are great, too! They provide a good explanation for the written description of problems common to houseplants, and are a great guide to diagnosing ailments.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This has been a joy to go through. I am a novice at this. Its hard finding a good first book to start with. This is it. It has great pictures for you to match your plants to and enough detail on how to take care of them without loosing you in a bunch of detail. I would recommend this book to anyone starting out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Breck Breckenridge on August 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've been trying to find a good comprehensive book on indoor plants that is at least the equal of my old standby, Foliage Plants for Decorating Indoors by Mr. and Mrs. Elberts (1989, Timber Press)[q.v.]. That book gives info on each plant from the direct knowledge of the authors and as a result has proved to be the best tropical houseplant book bar none, thus far. They give personal observations, recommendations, etc. Whereas 19 out of 20 such books have the usual set of short paragraphs with pedestrian info (i.e. dimensions, temperatures, light requirements, etc.). The Elberts also cover a goodly number of varieties and cultivars one is likely to encounter.

This present volume, dated 1997, is far better than the Readers' Digest edition of 2006, in that the photos are illustrative of the plant, and not illustrative of the artistic prowess of the photographer. It is also better in the text with at least some inkling that real people are writing about the species from their own experience.

There is alot of extra stuff on indoor plants that I didn't need, but that occurs in all of these kinds of books. The question is how sophisticated it is. Here it is not sophisticated. I do like the use of double-page treatments of some of the more popular types; tons of info and good illustrations of everything: flowers, leaves, unhealthy leaves, varieties, and so forth.

I have given this book 4 stars for these reasons. In fact I might even buy a copy given how cheap they are. As I go about deciding upon what plant I want to use in a given situation (I am currently working on several vivaria) this book is easy to use quickly to give a quick idea. I am still looking for something more like my old standby however.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Terry Nickel on May 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good photos of plants and great information on care with pest and health issues of plants included.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alison MS on May 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book, and just what I needed to learn about the various houseplants that I presently have. I like the page numbers found near the top of each page, the lovely colored pictures of the plants together with clear explanations of how to care for the plants. Also how to cope with pests and diseases; tips on buying new indoor plants and their containers, and how to plant your new acquisitions. I love this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By noname on February 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am a professional gardener and I use this book a lot. I love that it has the common and scientific names. There is also a lot of good information about propagation, planting practices, etc.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Loink on November 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is by far my favorite houseplant book. Fantastic pictures, comprehensive plant descriptions, helpful tips and thorough care information make this book the first one I reach for in my collection. Perfect for beginners or the seasoned houseplant lover. I highly recommend this book!!
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