House of Plants Book Review and Botanical Projects

House of Plants is a book for cacti and other succulents, air and tropical plants lovers.

Written by Caro Langton and Rose Ray, it offers a range of styling ideas, easy to follow projects and, most importantly, page upon page of advice to keep your favourite plants alive.

The Basics – Knowing your Plants

From understanding the plants and their species, to maintaining them and creating a nurturing condition at home, House of Plants, goes into depth for each one of these areas:

Buying. Ever wonder how and when you should bring your plants home? It’s very important to check the label before simply picking it up and carrying it away from the store, especially in the winter and if it’s sat outdoors when, if it’s a cacti or other succulent, it could have been damaged.

Conditions at home. Recreating a plants natural habitat can be difficult. Take air plants, for example, which demand a good flow of air between their leaves whilst certain metals can even be toxic to them. Thus, creating the perfect conditions for your succulents, air plants or tropical plants can be very particular and this book shares tips and ideas on how to create your very own botanical haven.


Maintenance. Many of the mentioned plants above are low maintenance but they still need some looking after. Luckily, this plant-bible goes through…

  • light
  • watering
  • humidity
  • flowering
  • pruning and care
  • ailments (pests, wilting, shedding, discolouration)
  • and even dividing and sharing your plants with others

Types! The writers talk about the different species, listing out their names. They also warn of obsessive cacti collections and they’re not wrong. My mother, being a florist and a lover of succulents, has her lounge full of these beautiful succulents.

Botanical Styling Ideas and Photography

The book doesn’t lack inspirational images. Photographed by the very talented Erika Raxworthy and illustrated by Alicia Galer, the pair come together in an intertwined love for these particular plants.

There is a whole sections on vacant corners to help you bring your space to life. One of the suggestions is to bring a rubber plant, which I once had at university myself but it got so big and tall that I had to get rid of it. It’s a shame because if I knew more about pruning or re-potting back then I could have easily saved it.


Other suggestions included the work desk. I liked the nod to plants being a ‘distractor’ and although most recommendations are low maintenance it’s good to see that their appearance alone is mesmerizing, to others and not just myself; for it comforted me to know that I wasn’t the only soul staring at these companions.

Fun Projects with Plants


Homemade compost (page 91) – perfectionists get a hard time but if it means that your favourite plant not only survives but thrives in its environment then it was all worth it. These compost recipes provided will help with just that.

Handmade Terrarium (page 67) – like the one I made myself below, the book has a guide for a tropical glasshouse. With hints and tips you’ll be able to create a very large terrarium which is easier to look after than a potted plant. I can’t wait to make another!


Grow your own avocado, mango or lychee (page 120) – although the project may take a few weeks, what’s more satisfying than growing your own life? I’m certainly inspired and plan to plant an avocado pit imminently.

Forage objects to hang your air plants (page 176) – I found a personal favourite project and that’s to go looking for driftwood to upcycle into an air plant hanger. Quirky and hands-on, that’s definitely up my street 😉


House of Plants is definitely a must-have for starting a plants collection. No matter what your favourite species, it’s sure to grow it as well as share it. Get your hands dirty whilst reaping in the satisfaction of home-grown life.

So, tell me. What do you think of succulents, air plants or tropical plants? Share your collection with me in the comments below if you have one, I’d love to see it.




Alina is the founder and writer of The Fairytale Pretty Picture blog whilst working full time as an SEO specialist at a growing online-only retailer called Amara. She owns a beautiful white Alsatian and lives in Essex with her husband.


  • January 9, 2017

    Deborah Nicholas

    ooh i love those mini terrariums – they are so cute and asy to do too!

  • January 9, 2017


    The only plants I have not been able to kill so far are the orchids because I never take time to learn about plants I keep at home. Looks like a great book

  • January 9, 2017

    Lisa Backsnbumps

    I am known as the plant killer at home try as I might I just can’t keep them alive. I really like the little cactus I reckon that I might try and see if I can manage one of these.

  • January 9, 2017

    five little doves

    Oh I love these!! I’m useless with gardening but I might just be able to cope with an indoor plant like this!

  • January 9, 2017


    What a beautiful book. I love plants you can also eat, herbs, smell, look and taste good.

  • January 10, 2017


    I love plants but have to admit I’m shooting in the dark most of the time with varying degrees of success – I could do with this book!

  • January 10, 2017


    I love the look of this book! I really want to grow my own avocado!!

  • January 10, 2017


    I tend to kill off most house plants so I definitely do need to read up about what is what and how not to over water them x

  • January 10, 2017


    I am terrible with house plants and always manage to kill them. The book looks fabulous

  • January 10, 2017

    Ana De- Jesus

    I used to love going to Kew Gardens and still love going around botanical gardens now. Where my family are from ( Madeira ) there are beautiful botanical gardens with plenty of succulents, flowers and cacti. I like the idea of creating your own potted geranium, that would be super cute!

  • January 11, 2017

    Marie Barber

    I love the look of this book we have no plants in our house they never survive but i would love to grow some herbs.

  • January 11, 2017

    Fashion and Style Police

    I am useless with plants and flowers. Never know what to do with them really. I need to change that this year.

  • January 12, 2017

    Keely's Nails

    I do admire all these photos – I’m terrible with and for plants!

  • January 13, 2017


    I love flowers and plants, my mom used to have a flower shop. This book looks great I think my mom would love it.