cover image Bloom: The Secrets of Growing Flowering Houseplants Year-Round

Bloom: The Secrets of Growing Flowering Houseplants Year-Round

Lisa Eldred Steinkopf. Cool Springs, $25 (176p) ISBN 978-0-7603-7415-3

The Houseplant Guru blogger Steinkopf (Houseplants) offers clever tips on caring for flowering plants. Starting with the basics of light, potting medium, containers, and watering, Steinkopf advises on how to keep a plant healthy before, during, and after it blooms. The difference, she notes, between caring for a flowering plant and a foliage one is that flowering varieties require more light, as “blooming takes a large expenditure of energy.” She urges emulating the native habitat of a plant in order to give it the best chance for success, and offers no shortage of solutions to common issues: if a lipstick plant is uneven, for example, hang it from “an east or west window... or 1 or 2 feet from a south window” and give it “a one-quarter turn every time it is watered.” Detailed “Flower Portraits” introduce readers to a variety of blooms, including African violets (which are “easy to bring into bloom”), tropical zebra plants, and begonias, which “send their flowers out during the short days of winter when not much else is in bloom.” New and experienced growers alike will relish these strategies for adding a little flower power. (Aug.)