I’m not gonna lie. I’ve seen my share of problem plants in my lifetime. You’ve got your drama queens that miss one day on the water schedule and look like they have fainted in their pot, and then you’ve got the mysterious brown spot that showed up on your favorite perfect leaf – right out of nowhere!

I get it. Plants can be a pain to maintain. So it’s best to work slowly into the whole “plantlover” lifestyle and find a few that are easy to care for based on the amount of time you want to put into them. Master the basics of a few hardy plants first, before you go hog wild and buy those string of turtle succulents you saw on ebay. And read up… on each and every plant… because they, like us, all want to be treated as unique individuals.

I keep several books in the shop for reference – often turning to them when I get asked about a plant I’ve never had the pleasure of spending time with. I for one am not an plant-opedia, and quite honestly my memory is not what it used to be, so it’s best to check with my support system – books. One of my absolute favorite go-to books is a little nugget called “How NOT to Kill Your Plants.” (totally appropriate, right?) In fact, I have literally opened the book to the particular plant page and asked my clients to take a photo of it so they can refer to it later should something happen. It’s that useful and a heck of a lot faster than scrolling through the internet and down the rabbit hole. That inevitably ends with me on some Etsy page buying another problem child plant I don’t need and wondering what I was looking for in the first place (see… the memory again.)

What I love about this book is that it doesn’t just give you the run-down on water, light, etc. This book is like a troubleshooting handbook for plants. If you’ve got brown spots, it means this. If you have black spots, it means that. Looks healthy but not growing? Here’s a few tips. Changing colors? Here’s why. Don’t even know the name of it? Check the quick photo reference at the front of the book. And it gives you specific tips for just about every single houseplant you can think of – minus those rare unicorns that most people would say “what the heck is that?”

It’s small enough to keep handy, informative enough to be the only one you buy, and cute enough to keep out in public view. Every plant lover needs one, even if you think you are an expert. And if you are, well I applaud you – and your patience. Then you can have it around for when your friends ask for advice. Send ’em a screenshot of a page!

Below is my link to where you can buy “How Not to Kill Your Plants” on Amazon. It’s currently under 12 bucks. I wanted to stock it in the store, but I would have to buy like 100 of them and well, that would mean less space for more plants.

(affiliate link)