Grow in the Dark - a book review

Grow in the Dark: How to Choose and Care for Low-Light Houseplants by Lisa Eldred Steinkopf
Cool Springs Press, 2019. 

For someone who loves plants as much as I do, you would think that I would be just as enthusiastic about houseplants. However, that is not the case although I do love indoor plants and find any setting, whether it be someone's home or a restaurant, greatly enhanced by the presence of plants. We have one houseplant, a variegated Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) that I tend to in my study. It is now residing on the deck during the summer months. Part of the reason for this absence is my other half, who doesn't want to clean around them, and my own self-professed lack of knowledge on how to care for them. But, as this book shows, houseplants are not as problematic as you might think.

Profiling 50 common (and a few I've never heard of) houseplants, focusing on those that flourish under low-light situations. Each profile gives their preferred lighting needs, water requirements, size, propagation and whether or not the plant is toxic to pets. Each plant had a color photo and a quick key guide indicating light and water levels as well as pet safety.

Prior to that, the author discusses each type of exposure your home will have as well as tips to enhance your sunlight. She also provides handy tips on watering plants (how to tell when they need it and how to do it properly), fertilizing, maintenance, grooming, and problem solving.

This is a really helpful book for selecting a plant to meet your needs or help you care for the ones you may already have. 

Disclosure - The Quarto Group sent me a free copy of this book for a review. The review reflects my sole and personal opinions.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Interesting. I have only a couple of indoor plants. I don't like having to water them all the time. I make such messes doing so. Either that or I forget to water them. I bought all of these tropical plants to make the patio look jungley this summer. They are doing the job well. Now the question is do I bring them in this winter or leave them to the elements? We will see.

  2. Looks like a helpful book. Many houseplants grow fine and dandy outside here--easier outdoors in the ground than indoors in a pot--so my "house" plants are almost all outdoors.


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