The Woman’s Day Book of Houseplants —SCB

I do not have a green thumb. In fact, on close inspection, you might find it to be almost black. As much as I love plants and the natural world, I have never really learned to care for and tend them as one should. I figure, however, that if Julia Child could only begin to cook in her forties, I can learn to garden and care for plants in my forties, right?

I found this book, published in the mid-sixties, in the discards at our school library the other day. I originally brought it home because I was charmed by the cover and illustrations, but soon found it was a wealth of information that just might save my crumbly-brown indoor garden.

Along with general instructions on indoor plant care, there is an illustrated guide to specific houseplants, with information on their optimal light and water conditions, along with tips on transplanting and propagating.

A few things I learned while browsing:

—I am most likely way over-watering my aloe and succulents.

—Most house plants benefit from a summer outdoors (in the shade). I am going to give my plants a little summer vacation!

—If you don’t have an outdoor space, move your plants to a shadier spot and give them fresh air through an open window for the summer months.

—Loosen the soil of your plants with a fork every few weeks.

—Prune the dead or wilted leaves of house plants regularly and dispose of them (the book suggests burning them). This keeps pests and disease away as well as keeping them shapely.

At the back are some suggestions for indoor gardens. This one is called Garden of Cool, Quiet Greens. I love that.

If you want to visit some women who do have lovely green thumbs, head over to Tend Collective.