For houseplant enthusiasts, collecting books about plants can be just as exciting as collecting the plants themselves. From beautifully illustrated guides and coffee table albums to in-depth reference books, there’s something truly special about holding a physical book filled with knowledge and inspiration.
If you’re an avid collector of aroids who is looking to deepen your knowledge about these magnificent plants or simply want to get a dose of inspiration from admiring these wonders of nature, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this blog, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the very best houseplant books out there, with a particular focus on aroids. If you’re into learning more about tropical plants such as anthuriums, philodendrons, monsteras, and alocasias, this blog is for you.
So sit back, grab a cup of tea (or a watering can!), and get ready to discover some truly inspiring and informative reads that will take your houseplant game to the next level. Let’s dive in!
Essential Reads for Aroid Growers
Welcome to the Jungle: Rare Tropical Houseplants to Collect, Grow, and Love
by Enid Offolter
If you know anything about rare tropical plants, you’ve heard about Enid Offolter. She is the owner and founder of NSE Tropicals, a very popular and respected plant nursery. Her nursery boasts one of the largest personal collections of aroids in the US and she is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to growing aroids which she’s been doing for decades. I’ve been waiting for her book for ages!
In this book, you’ll be introduced to a wonderful world of rare tropical plants with notes on each of the 50 most notable plants. Learn what Anthurium wendlingeri care requirements are or whether it is difficult to grow Philodendron melanochrysum. You’ll not only learn about specific gorgeous plants but also how to pollinate anthuriums, how to prepare the right potting mix, or what is the proper fertilizing regimen to get large foliage.
Warning! Once you get this book, you’ll be on a shopping spree trying to source the tropical plants so magnificently presented in her book.
A quote from the book that most aptly summarizes it:
“Graduate from ordinary houseplants to extraordinary ones”
Aroids: Plants of the Arum Family
by Deni Bown
This book is perfect for those who want to expand their knowledge of aroids. While it is not a guide to aroid cultivation, it offers insightful botanical information on the Araceae family. You’ll find here information on the taxonomy, biology, morphology, geography, and habitat of these spectacular plants. Even though it was originally published in 1988, there hasn’t been as comprehensive a book about aroids since then. The only drawback of this book is that you can only buy it second-hand and at a hefty price. Get it if you can.
Green Thumb: A Practical Guide to Winning Over Your Indoor Plants
by Craig Miller-Randle
If you’re on Instagram and into plants, there is no way you haven’t stumbled across Craig Miller-Randle’s profile. His houseplant collection is awe-inspiring. Not only can he grow tropical plants beautifully, but he also styles them artfully. This book features his gorgeous indoor house plants and general plant care tips to help new plant parents care for their green oasis.
While this book is not focused on the aroid group of plants specifically, it features many of them. His variegated monsteras, velvet leaf philodendrons, or jewel alocasias will make you want to run to the closest plant shop. It also offers many tips on the right potting mix for different plant groups, how to create moss poles for climbing plants, and generally how to keep your indoor jungle lush and thriving. His knack for design is apparent in the architectural display of his urban jungle.
Terrain: The Houseplant Book. An Insider’s Guide to Cultivating and Collecting the Most Sought-After Specimens
by Melissa Lowrie and the TERRAIN plant team
This book is beautifully published with amazing photographs. You’ll find some amazing plants including anthuriums, sansevierias, philodendrons, and hoyas; with interesting descriptions, and helpful facts. But what I like most about this book, which I haven’t seen anywhere else, it’s its spotlight on local growers around the US. Whether you’re into aroids or growing ferns, you’ll find here featured nurseries specializing in these plants.
A Botanist’s Vocabulary: 1300 Terms Explained and Illustrated
by Susan K. Pell and Bobbi Angell
Do you know what abaxial or adaxial means? How about acute, ovate, or fenestrate? If you want to understand botanical terminology and finally read that scientific article on aroid sections with understanding or just boost your vocabulary and sound smarter, this book is a great help. It briefly illustrates and explains key terms as they relate to botany. Think of it as a dictionary of plant books. It’s worth adding to your plant bookshelf.
General Houseplant Care Books
The New Plant Parent: Develop Your Green Thumb and Care for Your House-Plant Family
by Darryl Cheng
The author of this book is a well-known Instagrammer (@houseplantjournal) and a blogger. I mostly appreciate his timelapse videos where he records the unfurling of new growth. It’s absolutely spectacular to watch how monstera leaves ‘dance’ as they expand, or how snake plants shoot up in ‘no time’.
What’s unique about Darryl’s approach to houseplant care is his scientific observation of plants balanced with a holistic approach to indoor plants’ enjoyment.
For example, you’ll learn a lot about light – how plants see light, how to properly measure it, and what are some common misunderstandings. Half of the book is on general plant care which principles will apply to any houseplant. The second half is about specific species. It’s one of the more practical guides to making plants thrive.
Root Nurture Grow: The Essential Guide to Propagating and Sharing Houseplants
by Caro Langton and Rose Ray of Ro Co
This book is all about propagation. You’ll learn different rooting methods, the best tools and materials, what natural rooting ingredients to use to promote faster root growth, or how to do air layering. While this book is focused on various popular houseplant types (vining plants or succulents), knowing how to make a rooting chamber will help aroid enthusiasts too. This is a great book for anyone who wants to multiply plants in their indoor jungle.
Interesting Plant Books to Add to Your Botanical Bookshelf
Hortus Curious: Discover the World’s Most Weird and Wonderful Plants and Fungi
by Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek
I absolutely love this book. It has a great wealth of information about some of the most intriguing, odd, or plain freakish plants. It is beautifully illustrated. You won’t put this book down. It covers a diverse range of plants from the creepiest of all fungi (Xylaria polymorpha), to the most kissable plant (Palicourea elata), to the plant that’s a total quack (flying duck orchid). This book is for the curious mind – those that like to learn about some weird but fascinating plants in the world. After reading you’ll be left amazed by the wonder of the natural world.
Urban Botanics: An Indoor Plant Guide for Modern Gardeners
by Maaike Koster and Emma Sibley
I got this book for aesthetic reasons – it is beautifully illustrated with watercolor-painted houseplants and makes a perfect coffee table book. It features many of the tropical plants aroid enthusiasts are after such as Philodendron xanadu, Alocasia zebrina, or Monstera obliqua but it’s not a care guide to any of the plants in particular. Think of it as more of a spotlight book featuring some of the most popular houseplants.
Whether you’re a seasoned aroid collector looking to expand your knowledge or a new plant parent just starting out on your houseplant journey, I hope you found something for you.
I love being surrounded by plants and books and I’m always on the lookout for interesting reads. If you know of any interesting books I should add to my botanical bookshelf, let me know!