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The Unexpected Houseplant: 220 Extraordinary Choices for Every Spot in Your Home

By Tovah Martin

This isn't just another book on houseplants; it's an invitation to adventure.


Indoor plants have gotten a bad rap and are often associated with dusty and dowdy African violets, languishing philodendrons, and bloom-free orchids. No longer! It's time for plant lovers to dust off their houseplants, update their image, and discover just how exciting, trendy, and crucial plants can be in the home.

The Unexpected Houseplant, by renowned plant authority Tovah Martin, isn't your typical, old-fashioned, dowdy houseplant book. Martin's approach is revolutionary—picture brilliant spring bulbs by the bed, lush perennials brought in from the garden, quirky succulents in the kitchen, even flowering vines and small trees growing beside an easy chair. Along with loads of visual inspiration, readers will learn how to make unusual selections, where to best position plants in the home, and valuable tips on watering, feeding, grooming, pruning, and troubleshooting, season by season.

Martin also brings an evangelist's zeal to the task of convincing homeowners that indoor plants aren't just a luxury—they're a necessity. In addition to the design flair they add to a home, houseplants clean indoor air, which can be up to ten times more polluted than outdoor air.

Comprehensive, up-to-the-minute, and illustrated with gorgeous photography by Kindra Clineff, The Unexpected Houseplant is for beginners, green thumbs, decorators, and anyone who wants to infuse a bit of surprising green into their décor.

Media reviews

"Martin writes in a captivatingly personal way. ... It's Martin's exuberance and deep knowledge that'll keep you reading."

Seattle Times

"An imaginative guide to bringing the delights of the garden indoors."

Publishers Weekly

"Engaging and personable. ... All indoor plant hobbyists in every geographic area will enjoy and learn from this book. Its fresh approach deserves a thumbs-up."

Library Journal

"A smart, stylish book on indoor gardening."

Pacific Horticulture

"Good choice for plant geeks and anyone tired of the same old peace lilies, ivies, and Boston ferns."

Harrisburg Patriot-News

"Provides an incredible array of unusual plants for growing indoors."

Amherst Bulletin

"This book engenders so much enthusiasm for indoor flora that you can find yourself outdoors with a shovel in your hand robbing your own garden of plants to bring inside."


"[Martin] has a witty, creative voice that warms her new book."

Traditional Home

"As the air gets crisper outside, it's time to rethink what plants can do to enliven our interior spaces. Tips on how to care for ordinary and not-so-ordinary species are revealed, so non-green-thumbers need not fear."

Design New England

"This isn't just another book on houseplants; it's an invitation to adventure."


"Will boost the confidence of even the most black-thumbed houseplant owner. Martin's can-do enthusiasm is infectious, her creativity inspiring."


"Tovah Martin's newest book is no dry encyclopedic volume: Her personal, engaging writing style is as entertaining as it is informative."

Country Gardens

"Informative, entertaining, and really beautiful."

Winston-Salem Journal

"Martin's book makes one look very differently at the whole houseplant phenomenon. It isn't so much a practical guide ... as a challenge to think outside the box when trying to bring the outside inside."

Daily Hampshire Gazette

"Proves there is a plant for pretty much every spot in a house."

Halifax Chronicle Herald

"A good book for plant geeks and anyone tired of the same old peace lilies."

Harrisburg Patriot-News

"Refreshing in the world of garden books."

Philadelphia Inquirer

About the author

Tovah Martin

Tovah Martin is a fanatical and passionate organic gardener and the author of The Indestructible Houseplant, The Unexpected Houseplant, The New Terrarium, and Tasha Tudor’s Garden, as well as many other gardening books. Visit her tovahmartin.com.

Read more about Tovah Martin

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