How Not to Kill Your Plant

How Not to Kill Your Plant
Co-Authors / Illustrators
  • Hannah Abbo
Publisher Name
Albatros Media
Age Range
Release Date
December 12, 2023
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.
  2. Encyclopedia of houseplants: Identify and learn about common houseplants, including their ideal growing conditions and common issues to look out for.
  3. 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.

Editor review

1 review
Highly detailed and informative
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
How Not to Kill Your Plant is a wonderful resource for children interested in houseplants or gardening, even adults with less than a green thumb!
The author included so much detail! From decisions needing to be made about what daylight and care we can provide the plants, how to chose the right plants for us, house plants throughout the seasons, and much, much more!

The illustrations are delightful. They are brightly colored and detail the plants wonderfully.

I enjoy having this books in our homeschool library; while there is a bit too much information for my younger child to want to read it, my 10 year old found it to be informative and helpful for our plant care.
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