House of Plants book review


Today marks the release of a fantastic book for all you plant lovers out there. House of Plants by Caro Langton & Rose Ray has just landed on bookshelves all around the country and you can be one of the first people to get your hands on a copy – yes, I’m hosting a giveaway to WIN a brand new copy of this fantastic book for yourself, read on to find out how you can enter below!

As someone who is constantly pinning photos of lovely loft apartments with glorious displays of tropical plants and succulents, I can’t help but adore this book. The photography by Erika Raxworthy is gorgeous – totally Pinworthy, I’m sure you’ll agree. And the practical advice and plantcare tips make even me (who has killed every plant she’s ever owned!) believe that I could have a botanical paradise in my own home. Today I’m sharing an extract from the book about pruning plants and caring for cacti – I hope it helps!

PRUNING & CARE (Cacti & Other Succulents)

It’s always wise to handle a cacti or succulent with care, no matter how harmless or hardy they may look. You may do damage to them, and equally the most innocent-looking species can cause skin irritation and pricks. Waxy-leaved succulents, including certain species of echevaria, can be bruised if their leaves are handled. Cacti with very fine bristles such as the Opuntia or ‘Prickly Pear’ easily shed their spines and penetrate skin. When removing a spiky cactus from its pot, you may need a pair of thick gloves to protect your hands. Alternatively, scrunch up a few sheets of newspaper until thick enough to wrap around the spines without piercing your skin.


Cacti generally need little in the way of pruning, except after they have finished blooming. At this time, the dried flowers can be gently removed. Leafy succulents tend to shed their leaves quite regularly, and any older, withered leaves or flowers can simply be plucked off to improve the look of the plant. When pruning a leafy succulent, remember that any healthy stems or leaf cuttings removed by accident can be easily propagated rather than thrown away.


Inevitably, your indoor plants will gradually pick up dust on their surface, which can inhibit their growth. In the case of a particularly prickly cactus, you may see little bits of loose soil caught up in its spines when you get it home. There are two ways to best clean different succulents. For prickly desert cacti, the best method is to use a soft paintbrush to stroke away any dirt or dust. For forest cacti or other spineless succulents, you can gently clean them with a damp cloth or sponge, taking particular care with more delicate leaves and stems.


When grown indoors, succulents are likely to mature slowly, and therefore require little fertilisation to survive. However, if you would like to encourage a succulent to thrive and flower, we recommend using a diluted house plant fertiliser regularly from early spring to late summer, and never during winter months when it is in its rest period. Specific instructions for how often to feed different species can be found on each plant focus page in our ‘House of Plants’ chapter.

This advice section was extracted from House of Plants by Caro Langton & Rose Ray, photography by Erika Raxworthy, published by Frances Lincoln (£20). You can find the book online here. But here’s the great news – you can WIN a copy of this lovely book for yourself. You’ll be sent a brand new copy of this newly published book direct from the publishers so what are you waiting for? Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below to be in with a chance of winning this gorgeous book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to UK residents only and runs from 5th November – 16th November 2016. Winner will be contacted via email and will need to provide a delivery address to receive the prize. Best of luck!

Author: Cassiefairy

Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.


  1. Peace lillies

  2. I love carnations

  3. I love roses. My daughter is called rosie

  4. I love sunflower as they are bright and beautiful xx

  5. I absolutely adore Snowdrops and I love the beautiful delicate and beautifully scented Sweet Peas. We grow them in our garden and there is nothing more cheerier!

  6. so many lovely plants

  7. I love orchids, they are exotic and beautiful. Thanks for the chance to PLANT my home with LOVE xxx

  8. love lillys <3 thankyou for the chance

  9. I love roses, they are so beautiful

  10. Peace Lilies!

  11. I love Sunflowers and love the smells of Hyacinth

  12. I like cacti and succulents as indoor plants. there are so many different shapes and they are quite sculptural.

  13. For house plants it has to be cacti or other succulents for me, as I seem to kill everything else!

  14. A sunflower – big, bright, happy!

  15. My favourite outdoor flower? The humble buttercup. Indoor flower? Anything that can resist my attempts at tender loving care (usual time to expire is about 5 days). Cacti and air plants, now they’re a challenge. Less care is probably more 🙂

    I had already Liked your Facebook page. You drove me to devious stratagems to get another 5 entries 😉

  16. It has to be roses! They are simply stunning and beautiful and make any room look elegant

  17. I love daffodils, and orchids too

  18. Any type of Crassula I love their variety and they are easy to keep.

  19. Rose for me, reminds met of my grandad! <3

  20. I love succulents, they have such unusual shapes and textures and are beautiful even without flowrers

  21. I’ve always loved Roses…not just the traditional kind but climbers, minatures and other more diverse members of the Rose Royal Family. x

  22. I love roses.

  23. Begonia flowers all summer still flowering now november

  24. I love Peace Lilies – even I seem to be able to care for these beauties.

  25. It has to be a lovely Rose

  26. Fave flower is the White Lily, grand and dainty x

  27. Too many to choose from! But current favourites are sea holly, achillea, hollyhocks and ferns.

  28. My favourite (outdoor) flower is the beautifully scented sweet pea ,which I grow from seed each year for a lovely trellis display. Indoors,I have a lot of succulents and cacti,which,so far,I havent managed to kill off! This looks like a super informative book and I would be very pleased to win this great giveaway!

  29. I love cactus plants, especially if I can get them to flower!

  30. I love roses they are so beautiful 🙂

  31. I love bluebells and I also love a Bird of Paradise plant!

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