Recent sunny skies and warmer than normal temperatures might make you think spring has come early to Eastern Iowa, but don’t be fooled. No mater how warm the weather has been lately or how much it feels like spring, it’s still February.
In other words, it’s still winter.
If the weather has made your hands itch to get back in the dirt, you might be able to soothe that itch with a bit of indoor gardening — and the Iowa City Public Library can help. We have a variety of new houseplant books in our collection. Here are a few titles to try.
“Happy Houseplants: 30 Lovely Varieties to Brighten Up Your Home” by Angela Staehling combines her love of houseplants and illustration, creating a great beginners guide to 30 popular and easy-to-grow houseplants. From African Violets to Zebra cactus, Staehling’s book gives beginners a great place to start.
Lisa Eldred’s “Houseplants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants” is a great book for anyone with houseplants. A well-written and easy-to-follow guide, it begins with a section on the basics of houseplant care, followed by more than 150 plant profiles grouped into three categories: Easy to Grow, Moderately Easy, and Challenging. Each category starts with multiple pages of thumbnail images to help you identify your plant. Each plant profile includes the common and botanical Latin name, a description, the plant’s light and water requirements, propagation methods and cultivars.
“How Not to Kill Your Houseplant: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally Challenged” by Veronica Peerless is an excellent guide for those who have had zero luck with houseplants, but aren’t ready for plastic plants just yet. This book begins with close to 200 plant thumbnails, followed by sections on what to look for and avoid when buying a plant. There’s information about the basic necessities, including water, food, light, repotting and pests. Then you get to the wonderful main section of the book — the plant profiles — when Peerless breaks each profile into five words: How Not to Kill It.
It seems a long way off, but warm weather will return to Eastern Iowa, this time to stay. Until that happens, the Iowa City Public Library is a great place to find books that will pass the time as you dream of spring.
l Beth Fisher is program librarian at the Iowa City Public Library.