cover image Houseplant Hookups: All the Dirt You Need to Find the Perfect Match

Houseplant Hookups: All the Dirt You Need to Find the Perfect Match

Agatha Isabel, illus. by Mai Ly Degnan. Gibbs Smith, $17.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-4236-6346-1

“There’s a perfect plant partner out there for everyone,” contends Isabel, owner of the Hunting Beach, Calif.–based Plant Ma shop, in her diverting debut. Mimicking the format of dating apps, she presents profiles that detail the preferred growing conditions of poinsettia, the fishbone cactus, maranta lemon lime, and 32 other plants. The introduction offers tips on placing, watering, and potting flora, noting that north-facing windows are ideal spots for low-light plants and that positioning plants near each other “automatically creates a humid microclimate” for those that need lots of moisture. The cheeky profiles amuse, imparting facts styled as responses to dating app prompts. For example, the low-maintenance snake plant boasts “You can ghost me for weeks at a time, and my leaves will still look sharp, bright, and fresh,” while the more needy fiddle-leaf fig, which requires daily misting, lists “Netflix and chill” as the “trend I can’t get behind”: “I cannot stand the cold, and I will betray you if you expose me to lower temps.” The playful profiles provide a helpful overview of common houseplants, and Degnan’s colorful illustrations accentuate the distinguishing characteristics of each (the relatively rare pink princess philodendron is depicted in a regal sitting room to reflect its hefty price tag). Readers curious about what houseplant is right for them will want to consult this. (Oct.)