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The New Plant Parent: Develop Your Green Thumb and Care for Your House-Plant Family

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  412 ratings  ·  57 reviews
For indoor gardeners everywhere, Darryl Cheng offers a new way to grow healthy house plants. He teaches the art of understanding a plants needs and giving it a home with the right balance of light, water, and nutrients. After reading Cheng, the indoor gardener will be far less the passive follower of rules for the care of each species and much more the confident, active
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Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Abrams Image
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Average rating 4.47  · 
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 ·  412 ratings  ·  57 reviews


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Kirsten
I find the whole "plant parent" idea overly twee, but beyond the title, the book isn't really twee at all. Instead, Cheng does a great job of reframing how we approach caring for houseplants in a way that's incredibly helpful. Most of the book is dedicated to basic principles that will help the reader care for any plant that comes their way, but there is also a section given over to care of some of the most popular house plants the reader might encounter. I don't really see myself filling my ...more
Jennifer
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
HOW ARE THERE NOT MORE REVIEWS FOR THIS, FELLOW PLANT PARENTS? HOW ARE THERE NOT MORE RAVING POSTS?

This little plant book is the BEE'S KNEES and absolutely one of the better reads I've had this year! I am a huge houseplant fan, and I have so many houseplant babies around my apartment and in my office. I think my grand total now is approximately 14 plants total in my apartment, and 3 at work (which doesn't include our office plant that I've fostered!) I am definitely not a houseplant beginner,
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Allison McCaffrey
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Im perhaps more of an intermediate plant parent but I found all of the information in this book straight-forward and clear. I really enjoyed how Darryl Chang cut through a lot of the folk wisdom and actually helped me feel more at ease caring for my collection of plants. Lets see if I can keep my Boston fern happy with the right water and view of the sky... ...more
Jmpalad
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really loved this book! Ive had plants doing well for a few months now but never really knew what I had to do besides water them consistently. This is a great starter book to really taking care of your plants and im so excited to learn and take care of even more! A must read for budding plant parents :) ...more
Alex
Feb 02, 2020 marked it as to-read
Rec'd by a houseplant guru in my local plant FB group.
Stephanie
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: home, 2019
This book is great. Cheng is very relatable in his writing; hes like a good friend giving you good advice. He manages to be thorough yet clear and somehow succinct at the same time. I love how he doesnt just give light and water requirements in the plant profiles, but documents the progress of his own plants over months and even years. He goes against some conventional wisdom and his plants do great. It made me think, hey, I can do this! ...more
Adam McNamara
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic, no BS introduction to caring for common houseplants written by an engineer. The last part of that sentence is key. The book is full of reusable mental models, not inflexible instructions, about how to care for plants.
Salma Alshabib
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very informative book! I like how this explains how plants "think" and act according to the conditions of the environment they live in.

The unique approach of this book makes you realize that plants are living beings who have their own needs and personalities, just like human children. Which is very important to understand when taking care of them.
Caley Alexandra
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I vow to never starve a plant gracefully again.
Alex
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a delightful book.

Very straightforward, easy to understand instructions about caring for your indoor plants. What I really liked about the book and the authors style is how he advises you not to be caught up in snappy titled articles like Plants that thrive in low light.

I am totally guilty of doing that and have ended up killing a couple of plants because they were just not getting enough light and air and my watering schedule was wrong. However, having beat myself up initially over
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Bong
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really informative and great book for the plant newbie. Youll learn about everything from type of soil, lighting conditions, propagation and more. The plant journal section only covers basic houseplants that youll find in nurseries and big box stores. ...more
Bode  Cauthon
Ruined all other plant books for me it was that good. His approach was down to earth and accessible, changing ones perception of what it is to own a plant. Allowing the New Plant Parent to enjoy the cyclical nature of plants even in our own homes. No longer just about the aesthetic but about enjoying our plants for exactly what they are: living things.
Kate  TerHaar
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
I have been a plant parent for a long, long time. This book is a great resource for all plant parents, beginning and experienced alike.
Constance
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Underwhelming, but with nice pictures. Basically: Plants love light. Pay attention to your plants to see how they're doing in their specific environment in your home and listen to them.
Ali
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After reading this book I realized that I needed to rethink where I had put some of my houseplants. I bought a light meter to see if the areas that I thought had good light really did. Even though it seemed like the light was pretty good, it turns out that the light wasnt as bright as I thought. This book taught me how my plants will do in the different light levels and the optimal light level that I should aim for.
When it comes to watering, Ive always watered when a plant has needed it instead
...more
Phoebe
This is the most unique house plant care book I've ever read. I know folks have feelings about all these internet stardom-to-print books, but I appreciate how the forms are democratizing who gets to write about what, and how. Darryl is an admitted non-expert, an engineer turned plant dad who applies his career skill to figuring out what works best for the plants in his care. I dug how he throws perfection out the window and impresses upon the reader to expect change and death in one's plants, ...more
Jia
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I started getting into indoor gardening about two months ago, and I find this book helpful for new plant "parent" like me - I liked his way of writing which was simple and straight forward, like a friend giving advice :)

There are two parts to this book - the first part featured basic care for indoor plants, and the second part features his journal with some of his plants.

The first part definitely helped me clear some doubts I had about taking care of my plants like watering and light
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ash ng
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Solid, quick read on caring for plants indoors with great layout design and fun, informative illustrations. Cheng mixes in a generous amount of anecdotal experience and technical knowledge while reframing house plants as dynamic, living organisms that share a space with and miraculously adapt to human-centered living conditions rather than as static decoration with added maintenance. While this book focuses mainly on tropical plants, many key concepts presented here can be tweaked and applied ...more
Jenna
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, but I'm not sure if it really helped me be a better plant parent. It was very easy to read and I enjoyed his theories on what your plant can see vs just low light and full sun. Where it lost me a bit was his insistence that you are killing your plants by having them in low light situations. I have a pothos at work that sees 0% natural light and only gets about 30 foot candles of florescent light, yet it is still growing and thriving. It puts out new leaves every week and has ...more
Eeman
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must have book for ALL plant lover to own. The chapter on "Holistic House-Plant Care" was written with such great care and thought on all factors to help and ensure one has the fundamentals to begin the green journey with success. Cheng just doesn't explain things with his clear written instructions or photos but also sketches to further help the reader see clearly and precisely instead of leaving it to one's own visualization. Half of the book is dedicated to an in-depth information of the ...more
Karlyn
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2020
I found this book pretty helpful as someone fairly new to houseplants. I especially liked Cheng's advice regarding the importance of observing your plant and how its access to light will affect watering, re-potting/pruning, etc. He gives much less prescriptive advice on how to care for each specific type of plant and instead advocates for a more holistic, observation-based approach to caring for plants than other books/advice I've read on the subject. The content was great, but sometimes the ...more
Meghan Burke
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very quick and accessible read for this newbie to indoor plant nurturing -though I confess I skipped the chapter on propagation and only read the ones in the plant-specific second half that aligned with my early ownership choices. This is a library loan but Im gonna leave it on my table to revisit until its due, and consider buying a copy after that. The book is also pretty damn stylish, FWIW. 4 stars because as others mentioned the plant-specific section is necessarily limited and I dont yet ...more
Cole
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Why behind the How of gardening

I'm someone who likes to know the why, not just the how. I find applying the how knowledge to be much easier and more intuitive this way. I stumbled across this book advertising just that! It delivered. I feel much more confident about starting to keep houseplants (and keep them alive and well!) I appreciated the inclusion of his journals about plants, so that I can emulate them in my own plant journal.
All in all I'd recommend if you've read other books but
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David
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The New Plant Parent: What to expect when you're expecting.

The stated goal of the book is "to empower you to understand your home's growing conditions, to be observant, and to accept what nature has in store". I think it's pretty effective in doing so. I'd specifically complement the section on light - it's essential reading for anybody just starting out with plants.

The second half is the "plant journal", which is pretty much a full turn from the first half. While neat and enjoyable, I found
...more
Kit Feral
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the friendliest easiest plant book! I feel like a nice friend just sat down and explained things to me slowly and with time for questions. I am not a beginner so it mostly was a refresher for me but I enjoyed every minute of it. I LOVE how often he pointed out his plants aren't statues and there will be leaf damage and yellowing. His pictures were beautiful but also real in a way that I find is often missed with houseplants being so trendy now. Highly recommended!
Kristy Henson
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I felt like I was reading a "House Plants for Dummies," only even more user friendly and with beautiful pictures. This book is a fantastic introduction to anyone new to indoor gardening or has a self proclaimed "brown thumb." It answered questions I definitely had but would have felt silly asking such as, "just how low is low light?" or "Is there a certain way my plants would like to be watered?" Overall, would recommend to anyone new to and interested in the topic of house plants.
Chelsea Booker
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a good read! Pretty sure my plants will love me now. This is probably one of the best houseplant books Ive read, and I think it could be a great resource to any plant lover (specifically a struggling beginner trying to distill all the information from all the sources). I love that it includes topics like soil aeration, pruning and propagation, and measuring light-all which I needed a primer on. Cant wait to put this all to use. ...more
Mark
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
excellent book.

presents the general ideas of house plant care in a clear, logical fashion, the supports those ideas through specific examples.

there are probably better sources for learning about propagation or more detailed aspects of plant life, but including that much Information would detract from the focus of this book.

definitely has given me more knowledge and confidence in taking care of my plants
Alexis Guenther
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is authored by an instagram blogger with a background in engineering. I really appreciated his simple holistic approach to plant care, the beautiful pictures, and helpful diagrams. I now have better confidence in my ability to care for my plants, less mis-placed guilt when they undergo changes, and a more thorough understanding of the importance of light, water, and soil structure.
Colleenish
Helpful, especially the parts about aerating and light. I also appreciated the author talking about how most plants shed leaves especially when they're ajusting to life at your house instead of a nursery. My plants typically go through a period of shrinking when I first get them. His constant referral to putting plants in dark places as "starving them" felt a little harsh though.
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