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The LuEsther T. Mertz Library 
The New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd.
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Noteworthy Books on Houseplants

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The Unexpected Houseplant - Tovah Martin; Kindra Clineff (Photographer)
Call Number: SB419 .M323 2012
ISBN: 9781604692433
Publication Date: 2012-08-28

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Tempting Tropicals - Ellen Zachos
Call Number: SB419 .Z33 2005
ISBN: 0881927325
Publication Date: 2005-10-06

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Potted History - Catherine Horwood
Call Number: SB419 .H67 2007
ISBN: 9780711228009
Publication Date: 2007-10-09

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Houseplants and Indoor Gardening - Julie Bawden-Davis
Call Number: SB419 .B3355 2001
ISBN: 1589230035
Publication Date: 2001-11-01

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Houseplant Basics - David Squire; Margret Crowther
Call Number: SB419 .S69 2002
ISBN: 0806988495
Publication Date: 2002-03-01

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The Houseplant Survival Guide - Pat Regel
Call Number: SB419 .R43 1997
ISBN: 1561581860
Publication Date: 1997-04-01

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What Houseplant Where - Roy Lancaster; Matthew Biggs
Call Number: SB419.25 .L35 1998
ISBN: 0789435225
Publication Date: 1998-09-15

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How to Grow Fresh Air - B. C. Wolverton
Call Number: SB419 .W58 1997
ISBN: 0140262431
Publication Date: 1997-04-01

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Success with House Plants - Reader's Digest Editors
Call Number: SB419 .S75
ISBN: 0895770520
Publication Date: 1981-07-01


Popular Houseplant Profiles


Anthurium, sometimes called flamingo flower, has distinctive, exotic blooms consisting of a colorful, waxy bract (the spathe) with a tail-like inflorescence (the spadix) at the center. The blooms last for many weeks. 

Cultural Requirements

Light: Anthurium prefer medium light, but keep your plant close to a window to prevent elongated leaves. A slightly shaded window is best. 

Watering: Water plentifully and keep moist during active growth; water moderately during rest period, allowing the top ½ inch of soil to dry between waterings. When watering, do so thoroughly until water drains through the bottom of the pot. Water plants in the morning.

Temperature: Grows best between 65º and 72º F during the day, with a little drop in temperature at night. 

Humidity: A relatively high humidity, above 60%, is preferred to successfully grow Anthuriums. Provide additional humidity by daily misting, standing plants on shallow trays filled with moistened pebbles or using a humidifier. 

Feeding: Apply a dilute, liquid fertilizer only during the growing season, March through September. 

Transplanting: Move Anthuriums every spring into one size larger pot. If desired, divide overcrowded clumps carefully, include some fleshy roots and a growing point. Pot these up in an appropriately small pot and keep them at 70 degrees F. Use a potting mixture with equal parts houseplant potting soil, peat moss and sand or perlite. 

Maintenance: Regular spraying of leaves to remove dust is recommended.

Special Note: If inflorescence start to flop over, attach them to thin stakes with soft twine or covered wire for support.


Araucaria heterophylla - Norfolk Island pine

This tropical evergreen tree is well loved for its dark green needles and completely symmetrical form. It can easily be grown indoors as a houseplant, growing up to 20' tall with appropriate cultural care.

Cultural Requirements

Light: Araucaria needs bright light, preferably eastern or western exposure, and will retain it's best foliage color with one to two hours of sunlight per day.

Watering: When soil feels slightly dry to the touch, water your Norfolk Island pine thoroughly, being sure that the water drains into a saucer. After 15 minutes, discard all excess water that the tree has not taken back up.

Temperature: The Norfolk Island pine grows best in temperatures between 60º and 72º F during the day and 50º to 65º F at night.

Humidity: A relative humidity above 50% is preferred to successfully grow Norfolk Island pine indoors. Provide additional humidity by misting twice daily. An excellent, alternative method of providing extra moisture is to stand plants on shallow trays filled with moistened pebbles, and/or use a humidifier.

Feeding: Feed only during the growing season (March through September) with a dilute, standard, liquid fertilizer once every two weeks.

Transplanting: When roots begin to grow out of the bottom of the pot, transplant into the next largest size pot; always use the deepest pot with this tree. Use a soil mixture of equal parts sterilized, houseplant potting soil, peat moss and sand/or perlite, with a tablespoon of bone meal.

Propagation: Only a tip cutting from the very top of old plants will develop into a completely symmetrical specimen so the easiest method to grow Araucaria is from seed.

Maintenance: To keep its growth most symmetrical, turn it slightly every week. Supply extra humidity to avoid the common problem of needles turning brown and drying up.

Special Note: Give the Norfolk Island pine as much natural light as possible in the winter months to assure good symmetrical development.


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    Use this resource to explore the NYBG grounds, including information about specific plants, bloom times, and garden features.
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    Guides from the Plant Information Office related to specific NYBG gardens, including their history, design, and current plantings.

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