How Not to Kill Your Plant

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Pub Date 12 Dec 2023 | Archive Date 27 Sep 2023

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A comprehensive guidebook for kids on proper houseplant care, featuring bold illustrations and engaging infographics. 

Houseplants can add a touch of green to any living space, and caring for them can be a relaxing and rewarding hobby. For kids interested in learning more about plant care, this comprehensive guidebook covers all the basics and more, teaching kids all about the different types of houseplants, their growth habits, and the best practices to care for them. Divided into three sections, How Not to Kill Your Plant provides all the information kids need to ensure their houseplants thrive: 

  1. The Basics of Care: Learn about the essential elements of plant care, including watering, lighting, and soil.
  1. Encyclopedia of houseplants: Identify and learn about common houseplants, including their ideal growing conditions and common issues to look out for.
  1. Cultivation practice: Discover tips and tricks for repotting, propagation, and other plant care techniques.

Highlights include:

  • A glossary of basic plant terminology (e.g., substrate, fertilizer, humidity, etc.)
  • Step-by-step instructions for taking care of houseplants
  • Advice on choosing the right plant
  • Various problems you can expect to encounter – and ways to solve them

Images accompany the text in a fun yet logical and orderly fashion, such as this numbered list for repotting:

  1. Water the plant well the day before repotting. This will make it easier to remove it from its pot.
  2. Remove the plant from its pot.
  3. As you carefully release the roots, remove old, excess soil from the plant.
  4. Remove old, rotting roots.
  5. Having selected a pot with a drainage hole and of appropriate size, wash this pot in soapy water.
  6. Put a drain (e.g., a layer of expanding clay balls or pebbles) in the bottom of the pot. (Plants watered in a tray do not need a drain.)
  7. Add a small layer of the new substrate.
  8. Place the plant in the new pot.
  9. Fill any remaining space in the pot with the new substrate.
  10. Tamp the soil down gently with your fingers, ensuring that the plant is well anchored. Don’t fill the pot with soil right to the top, but to 1 cm below it – you must leave space for watering.
  11. Water the plant well (unless it is a cactus or succulent – in which case wait 2 weeks before watering).
  12. Your plant has been potted. Hurray!

Plant care instructions are likewise fun yet clear and actionable, such as this one for the Cactus:

  • Fertilize max. 1x per month with special fertilizer for cacti.
  • In spring or summer, transplant to a terracotta pot. Do not water for 2 weeks after repotting.
  • Propagate by offsets.
  • It needs an airy, permeable substrate, like one with sand.

Filled with clear and concise advice, this book is much more than just a practical guide. It features fresh, modern illustrations that bring the information to life, as well as engaging infographics that make the information easy to understand and remember. 

How Not to Kill Your Plant is suitable for children aged 6–9 interested in growing houseplants. Geared toward kids who love plants and want to develop a lifelong hobby of plant care, this guidebook is ideal for any young ones looking to green up their home, as well as adult readers and flower shop patrons.

A comprehensive guidebook for kids on proper houseplant care, featuring bold illustrations and engaging infographics. 

Houseplants can add a touch of green to any living space, and caring for them...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9788000069968
PRICE $15.95 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 10 members

Featured Reviews

Everything I needed for the lack of green thumb I have! Straight forward and to the point! I took notes, heres to not killing my plants!!!

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This book is a wonderfully detailed introduction to the basics of plant care. It uses straightforward, easy-to-understand language and detailed illustrations to inform the reader about everything from plant identification to watering guides to pest identification. A section details some of the most common and popular houseplants and their care guides, as well as general plant care information such as season care instructions. I think the book would be appropriate for children and adults interested in owning and maintaining plants. One detail I found to be especially helpful while reading was the use of numbered guides that referenced you to other pages for more reading information. All in all, I think this would be an excellent choice of book for anyone that owns or is interested in plants.

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Pros: This was a delightful read about caring for and celebrating houseplants. Although it is categorized as a children's book, I can see myself gifting this book to an adult (along with a new plant that is featured in the book). I thought this book had great information, and the illustrations were so charming. I learned a few things about caring for my houseplants, including that some are not pet-friendly!

Cons: This is not a con but more a note to readers--this isn't a picture book for small children. It has a lot of text/information in it, which isn't a bad thing! It might just require an adult to help some younger readers.

Thank you to NetGalley and Albatros Media for the opportunity to read this book.

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How Not to Kill Your Plant by Magda Gargulakova; Lenka Chytilova - 5/5
Children's Fiction

This is a fantastic plant book. I would not classify this as only a children's book, but just a how to book for anyone learning the basics of taking care of plants. This book is broken down into three main parts: The Basics of Care, Encyclopedia of houseplants, and Cultivation practice. The added tips and illustrations are a nice touch. Lots of us and children are visual learners and seeing an illustration of different pots or tools rather than just reading the name is beyond beneficial. I love this book and it is not only a must for my home library but a recommendation for many others.

Thank you Netgalley and Albatros Media for the eARC.

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I mean I know this is intended for kids, but as someone who kills just about every plant possible and knows nothing about gardening or caring for plants this was helpful for me.

I also have two tweens who are interested in growing their own little plant and this seems like a decent guide for them to begin learning.

The illustrations make it very easy to understand, there's a whole glossery of definitions and simple explanations about how to care for plants.

On top of the good information, the illustrations are bright, cheerful and fun to look at. Overall a win.

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This was a cute nonfiction guide to growing and keeping plants. I liked the illustrations. This would be a great resource for kids interested in keeping plants.

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This was actually really cute and really educational at the same time. I found a lot of really good houseplant care information while finding the illustrations adorable!

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I'm definitely one of those people....the ones who already know how to kill a plant in just a few easy steps. This book has shown me so many of the reasons why I've inflicted those death sentences on my plants and how to keep from killing more in the future. What I felt had to be hard or above my skill set, has been easily shown and proven to help even those of us like me happy and green. Definitely buy this for someone you know who does not have green thumbs.

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