There is nothing that brightens up one’s home quite like a houseplant. Whether you have something with fragrant flowers, big showy blooms, or just beautiful greenery, houseplants are a wonderful addition to any home. They purify our air, make the house look prettier, and help lower stress. I have always loved to have plants around. There’s something wonderful about tending to a living thing, helping it grow, and enjoying the beauty that it provides. My favorites tend to be hearty plants that aren’t super flowery, just something beautiful, constantly growing, and green.

If you’re looking for a way to lower your stress and beautify your home, then look no further! I have assembled a collection of titles that will help you to not only choose the perfect plant for your environment, but how to help it thrive. The titles listed here are all smaller books, heavy on illustrations and bite-sized facts to help you find just the right plant friend for you!

Happy Houseplants will walk you through the most difficult part of the houseplant owner’s experience: choosing just the right plant. After all, we all only have limited window space. This book is a beautiful catalog of 30 different varieties, from air plants to zebra cactuses*, and everything in between! Also learn about the proper tools, soil, water levels and amount of light for each entry.

*Before you complain about my grammar, please note that both “cactuses” and “cacti” are acceptable plurals of “cactus” (look it up!)

So, you’ve thought it over, and you realize that what you really want is a good, hearty, Happy Cactus. This book will show you everything you need to care for your prickly new housemate. Succulents are known for being tough to kill, but is yours thriving or just surviving? Learn how to work with 50 varieties of strange and beautiful plants, how to keep them alive, and more importantly, how to make them happy in their new homes. With this guide, you’ll have beautiful, show-stopping succulents in no time!

While we’re on the topic of cacti and succulents, here’s another illustrated guide to plant care. The Little Book of Cacti and Other Succulents will provide readers with a list of 60 different types. Whether you’re a veteran collector or just starting off with your first plant, this guide will teach you all about suggested plant types, tools for dealing with pests, and even how to propagate your beauties to produce even more plants for your collection (or to share with your friends!)

Maybe you’ve decided that hardy succulents and cacti aren’t your idea plant companion. Perhaps you would prefer something more delicate, such as a Happy Orchid? Orchids get something of a bad rap in the plant world. These slender beauties are often viewed as being too temperamental, too sensitive, and too hard to care for. But, this is far from the truth. Learn about 143 beautiful orchids, how to care for them, and how to encourage them to flower again and again!

If you’re feeling really adventurous, you might want to grace your home with a Happy Bonsai. Bonsai is a beautiful (and very old) form of plant art, where small trees are pruned in such a way as to mimic a larger and more natural form. While I doubt that any of us have the space for an actual, full-sized tree in our homes, bonsai allows you to bring a tiny bit of the outdoors inside. Fair warning: if done correctly, bonsai is a life-long commitment. Some of the oldest known bonsai have existed for hundreds of years, passed down from generation to generation. Feeling up to the challenge? Then check out this book to learn about forty different trees, how and where to grow them, and how to prune them to keep them looking their beautiful best!

Some of you have already picked out what type of plant you want. Others are prepared to spend hours pouring over the various books on this list in order to choose their favorite. And still others are thinking I can’t do this. I kill every plant I’ve ever had! If you fall into this final category, don’t worry! I have two more books, especially for you. These titles will help partner you up with a hearty plant and teach you how to keep it alive.

What do spider plants, snake plants, and lucky bamboo have in common? All three are very tough to kill. Now, before you start shouting “Challenge accepted!” it’s important to remember that any houseplant can be killed. Total neglect, a fall from a great height, overly aggressive pruning….you can definitely hurt your plant. But, the plants in this book will generally be more forgiving than others. This book also includes a special feature highlighting the top 5 plants for a variety of locations, including your desk, sunny spots, and even the bathroom. Learn all the basics of How Not to Kill Your Houseplant.

Are you a notorious plant killer? Well, here are 37 Houseplants Even You Can’t Kill. From Dumb Cane to English Ivy, Peace Lily to African Violets, and Christmas Cactus to Kalanchoe, learn all about these beautiful and easy-to-care-for plants. The book even includes a section on common problems in plant care, and how to avoid or fix them, such as bugs, burned leaves, and repotting woes.


I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.