The Indestructible Houseplant – 200 beautiful plants that everyone can grow
by Tovah Martin, photographs by Kindra Clineff
Published by Timber Press
Tovah Martin describes her house as alternating between chilly and stuffy, not sufficiently bright, and cramped. While this might not be a feel you’d be rushing to try to recreate in your own home, it provides Tovah with the necessary challenging conditions required to grow and thoroughly test out houseplants for their resilience and staying power; this together with Tovah’s knowledge and experience equip her perfectly to write this comprehensive and informative book about the varieties of houseplants that are (almost) indestructible.
Tovah Martin has written The Indestructible Houseplant in such a warm and inviting manner, that I am certain even the newest of indoor gardeners would be inspired to go out and confidently purchase a number of new houseplants after reading this lovely book. Tovah Martin shares her own personal experiences of growing each of the plants detailed in The Indestructible Houseplant, explaining the characteristics of the plant, what makes it easy to grow and describing the conditions in which the plant can thrive. Usefully, as well as recommending the so called indestructible varieties of houseplants, Tovah highlights any similar cultivars from the genus that aren’t as robust or resilient, explaining why or how they aren’t as easy to care for, and when and if to avoid growing them.
With a detailed guide to 200 houseplants from around 50 different genera that Tovah has found from her own experience to be robust and enduring, the suggested plants include plants suitable for low light levels, that grow well in a dry atmosphere, as well as beautiful, tiny plants, ideal for when space is at a premium. The plants recommended aren’t prone to insect infestations; they don’t require hot temperatures, or a difficult to maintain environments, or even window sills bathed in perfect light. Indeed Tovah provides comprehensive information as to which direction or aspect each of the plants will grow well facing and what locations they can best occupy in your room.
For each recommended plant, Tovah provides a table, designed to be easy to read at a glance, with information about the eventual size of the plant, its preferred exposure, water requirements, optimum night-time temperature range, the speed of its rate of growth, soil type, fertiliser, any issues or potential problems to be aware of, suitable plant companions, the plant’s positive attributes, a description of its foliage, and more, depending on the plant described.
The Indestructible Houseplant features information on caring for your houseplants throughout the year; there’s a houseplant calendar with information and reminders of important, but easy to forget tasks, there’s information on selecting containers for your houseplants, detailed information on how to re-pot your plants and how and when to prune them.
In The Indestructible Houseplant, Tovah Martin writes about her own experiences of growing each of the suggested indestructible houseplants and gives information of how they have survived and thrived in less than ideal conditions in such a clear and warm manner, it’s like having a lovely chat with a dear friend. The Indestructible Houseplant is a very useful book, which is perfect for both new and experienced gardeners alike, I highly recommend this book and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have done.
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