Cover Image: What Is My Plant Telling Me?

What Is My Plant Telling Me?

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For an "illustrated guide," it is very much lacking illustration. One small image per plant. They are pretty, but not effective identifiers. Information is presented in long prose. Not efficient as a reference. 

Would not recommend.
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What Is My Plant Telling Me? is a useful and graphically appealing illustrated guide to houseplant care by Emily L. Hay Hinsdale. Released 20th Sept 2022 by Simon & Schuster on their Element imprint, it's 208 pages and is available in hardcover and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

The intro pages include a list of general growing tips and actions/reactions explaining the culture needs of plants in general (water, light, potting, etc). The following chapters cover individual specific common houseplants and their needs.  Each chapter heading shows a small illustrated example of the specific plant along with culture needs and a short history for each. The illustrations by Loni Harris are restful and calm. Though not overly detailed, they are certainly easily recognizable.

I appreciated that each of the listings provides both the common and Latin names for the plants to avoid confusion and regional differences.

Four and a half stars, lovely useful book. Mostly slanted to beginners, but there's a lot of interesting info to be gleaned here for more experienced houseplant fans.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.
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read an ARC

conversational, educational, punny approach to houseplants. beautiful illustrations capture the complexity of some conditions without subjecting real plants to poor conditions or pests. 

regret reading this on vacation away from my collection. great for beginners and even a seasoned plant parent might learn a thing or two about why spider plants always seem to wither away despite living in a primo spot on the top cabinet in your sunny bathroom. spoiler alert, overwatered. 

could have had a pest section but i guess most readers will cherry pick chapters instead of reading straight through, they'd be annoyed to flip to the back. 

refreshing to know that some plants will say "it's not me it's you" and that it is ok to find plants more in line with my style of caretaking.
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Troubleshooting houseplants issues while at the same time making a new plant owner feel they might actually keep their new green, leafy friend alive, What is My Plant Telling Me? was whimsical and practical all rolled into one.

I’ve been keeping houseplants of my own since I was a kid, but mostly going on instinct and learned knowledge from trial and error. I love the calming influence as well as aesthetic appearance of having several different plants living in my abode. I confess that I grabbed this up on a whim after reading the title and thought it would be interesting to brush up on more practical knowledge when it came to common house plants.

The book is a quick read and easy reference guide that gets one enthusiastic for and confident in bringing home some houseplants and having them thrive. I liked that the benefits of houseplants was highlighted from how it lowers stress to purifying the air.
I read it cover to cover, but it is structured so a plant owner can quickly go straight to the page about a specific plant. I like how the book covers a variety of houseplant types from air plants to succulents, but this is not encyclopedic since it doesn’t cover every houseplant there is. Each plant is given two or three pages and begins with a quick chart about type of sunlight, soil, feeding, and watering needed along with characteristics like what size pot and when-if to re-pot it. Troubleshooting when a plant has too much/little light and water or has other needs. I was glad to get the sunlight chart because I confess to always being a little unsure about just how much in actual hours is some of the lighting needs.

All in all, it would fall in the newbie reader category and is a quick and light reference read that I found appealing. I would definitely recommend to new houseplant owners particularly if their plant or plants they are interested in are covered in the book.
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Hinsdale has a delightful sense of humor, and she weaves this into her book making it approachable and entertaining.  While laughing, I learned lots of useful information about plant watering, lighting, feeding, potting, and so forth.  This is a great book for beginning plant mothers like me.  My plants have thanked me many times for reading this book.
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A fun and friendly guide to caring for your house plants.
I enjoyed the tone of the book, making light of caring for plants and making it easy for anyone to succeed.
The book starts with some vocabulary and common references and then has house plants separated by their names. Each entry has care instructions and helpful tips. It made me feel confident and knowledgeable about the plants I have and which plant I could add in the future.
The illustrations were a great addition to add color to the pages and help me match my plant, since I didn't know its name.
Can't wait for a follow up with more house plants to care for!
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I was immediately drawn to this adorably eye-catching cover illustrated by Loni Harris. The color palette and design are very appealing! 

As someone who owns 20+ houseplants yet knows almost nothing about them (they are kept alive on sheer willpower at this point!), I was really excited to jump in to this book and learn more about the various types of indoor plants. I knew there is no possible way to put every houseplant in the book, as there is such an enormous variety and it changes based on global location.! 

I enjoyed the overall ~vibe~ of the writing and that it was digestible, easy-to-follow advice. However, it was fairly broad/vague information in the big picture. Each section has a mini-informatic giving the general idea of what environment the plant tends to thrive in. I wish there had been some focus on what the different soil types mean, what type of stores may have them (not even naming the store, just advising what to look for!). I did not feel like there was anything new in the book that you wouldn't find in any number of the hundreds of beginning houseplant books there are out there. The edge this one has is it's playful, engaging cover.  There's only so many ways a reader can see that yellow leaves means overwatering before it starts to sound redundant. 

The major miss for me was just that it wasn't as illustrated as it seemed it would be. There were a few illustrations but mostly just a very small plant at the start of the chapter header and that was all. I was hoping for more fun illustrations and guides.
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I like reading books abotu houseplants. In most cases, they are pretty similar to one another, but I thought this book was more helpful than most and I appreciated the design.
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🌟WHAT IS MY PLANT TELLING ME🌟 by Emily L. Hay Hinsdale, illustrations by Loni Harris ~to be published September 20, 2022


I am a plant mama to four fiddle leaf figs, a zz plant, quite a few succulents, and some herbs. Plants add so much to a home. But they take WORK, and sometimes it’s hard to tell what they want.  Light, water, soil, pot size – why can’t you just TELl me what is wrong, dearest plant baby?!!  Googling can only get you so far – this book is the solution! I will absolutely refer back to this again and again. This would be such a great housewarming gift, college graduation gift, anytime gift!

Thank you so much to @_simonelement and @netgalley – I can’t recommend this resource highly enough. Out tomorrow!

This review will be published on Goodreads and on Instagram — @sanfranliterarygal — the evening of September 19th, 2022. I will update this post with a link at that time.
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Are you looking for a good book to reference about the plants you have in your home or a good book to have if you are just starting out with houseplants?  If either of those things are true, then this is the book that you need to buy.  It has very clear tips on how to take care of plants and this will be a reference book for myself for many years to come.
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What Is My Plant Telling Me? Now I know! This is a fun and helpful book, easy to scroll through and find the specific content you need. It's organized by plant type, so I found a few of my plants and read through what different things mean (yellow leaves vs brown leaves, mushy leaves vs saggiung leaves, etc). Highly recommend to all new plant parents!
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This would be a good book if you only owned the plants that are listed in the book.  But honestly, I think you can find the same information online for free.  It would be nice to have this at your finger tips if you are into plants and have a lot of the ones listed in the book, but the book only covers a small number of plants.  

Overall, the book is nicely done.  The information in it seems pretty thorough.  And I especially like the pictures of what the plants look like when they are having issues.  (The pictures are illustrated and not actual photos).  

I really didn't see anything extra special about this book as opposed to all the other books out there on plants.  But if you are looking for a general book on taking care of houseplants, this may be a book to look into.
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Nice illustrated guide to 50 of what I think are the more common and popular houseplants. Quite a few in here are succulents. Basil is the only herb.
Each plant gets a few pages of a profile, with an illustration and narrative, including whether it is long-lasting or more of an annual. Light, water, soil, food, and potting needs are called out clearly in a heading section. Issues specific to each plant are discussed, including how to tell (some even have illustrations but not all), and what to do to remedy if applicable.
This is a great book for those beginning or who enjoy a variety of houseplants and need a nice, clear guide as to how to take care of them.
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Good information for those of us who love house plants but are not always good a keeping them alive.
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What is my plant telling me by Emily Hinsdale is a great book for any gardening enthusiast who has some finicky house plants that need tending to. This book is full of useful advice for your plants and how to help them. I enjoyed the help it gave me and the useful illustrations.
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This is a great reference book to have on hand when trying to diagnose what is going wrong with a particular household plant. The book is divided by plant type, so you can easily figure out what each particular plant needs. My only wish is that it included a few more common houseplant varieties. Overall it's an easy-to-navigate, concise, helpful guide for beginner plant lovers!

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon Element for the ARC for review.
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This book was fun! I really enjoyed all the information about house plants although the illustrations did leave a little bit to be desired. This would be a great gift!
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Let's face it, my house is an aspiring jungle, and I use "aspiring" very loosely. I have several houseplants, but commit a cardinal plant sin and treat them all the same. They normally look okay, but last winter my seasonal depression came in HARD and I forgot to water them for well... all of winter. Enter What is My Plant Telling Me?, which gives me hope that the few survivors might actually make it through this next winter! 

First off, this book is ADORABLE and would look perfect on a coffee table or in a book stack underneath a plant (easy access, too). This is more of a reference book than a sit-down-with-a-warm-drink read, which fits the purpose beautifully. As Hinsdale walks through 50 of the most common houseplants, illustrator Loni Harris perfectly depicts each of them beautifully, occasionally even through helpful infographics. Each houseplant starts with a quick breakdown of the conditions each plant prefers, including pot size, type, and re-potting needs. I didn't realize this was an important consideration, either. I typically just get the cutest pot I can find that looks like it will give the roots an equal or slightly larger amount of space compared to whatever they're already in. After a quick bio where each plant is given so much personality and insight into its care, Hinsdale chunks out some of the typical struggles that each one faces and quick prevention tips and solutions. 

I can't lie, I'm absolutely obsessed with this book and after flipping through the pages I feel more plants in my future! Thankfully I can say that I might be able to keep them alive this time. Hinsdale and Harris make it so easy to understand what each plant needs. This book helped me identify the plants I already have and figure out how to treat and prevent issues I didn't know they could have. As someone who loves nature, I'm so excited to bring it indoors with a little more success and a lot more adorable illustrations.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon Element for an advanced copy.
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This was a fun book to read.  I learned many new things about taking care of plants that I had overlooked in my many long years as a plant person.  I think this would be a fun book to give your plant-obsessed friend as a gift.
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This book is adorable! The author has a light tone and good sense of humor as they explain plant health. 

I found this really helpful as I've been trying to figure out why my lavender isn't growing. Not enough sun it sounds like! I also learned some great information on my Island Fir, Philodendrons, and garden herbs. 

I really enjoyed the illustrations of the plants throughout. 

Thank you NetGalley and Simon Element for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review!
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