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Publisher's Summary

Summer Rayne Oakes, an urban houseplant expert and environmental scientist, is the icon of wellness-minded millennials who want to bring nature indoors, according to a New York Times profile. 

Summer has managed to grow 1,000 houseplants in her Brooklyn apartment (and they're thriving!) Her secret? She approaches her relationships with plants as intentionally as if they were people.

Everyone deserves to feel the inner peace that comes from taking care of greenery. Beyond the obvious benefits - beauty and cleaner air - there's a strong psychological benefit to nurturing plants as a path to mindfulness. They can reduce our stress level, lower our blood pressure, and improve our overall outlook. And they offer a rare opportunity to find joy by caring for another living being. 

When Summer Rayne Oakes moved to Brooklyn from the Pennsylvania countryside, she knew that bringing nature indoors was her only chance to stay sane. She found them by the side of the road, in long-forgotten window boxes, at farmers' markets, and in local garden shops. She found ways to shelve, hang, tuck, anchor, secure, and suspend them. She even installed a 150-foot expandable hose that connects to pipes under her kitchen sink, so she only has to spend about a half-hour a day tending to her plants - an activity that she describes as a "moving meditation". This is Summer's guidebook for cultivating an entirely new relationship with your plant children. 

Inside, you'll learn to: 

  • Pause for the flowers and greenery all around you, even the ones sprouting bravely between cracked pavement   
  • Trust that your apartment jungle offers you far more than pretty décor  
  • See the world from a plant's perspective, trading modern consumerism for sustainability  
  • Serve your chlorophyllic friends by learning to identify the right species for your home and to recreate their natural habitat (Bonus: your indoor garden won't die!)

When we become plant parents, we also become better caretakers of ourselves, the people around us, and our planet. So, let's step inside the world of plants and discover how we can begin cultivating our own personal green space - in our homes, in our minds, and in our hearts. 

©2019 Summer Rayne Oakes (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"In her book, Summer Rayne will upend so much more than your approach to plant care. You’ll learn how to better care for and treat people - starting with yourself. Highly recommended for anyone who struggles with the emptiness of modern living." (Hannah Bronfman, author of Do What Feels Good)

"I don’t care what color your thumbs are - Summer Rayne Oakes will not only inspire you to connect with nature by taking care of plants but open your eyes to how even the humblest of them takes care of us." (Michael Brune, executive director, Sierra Club) 

“A beautiful, deeply researched celebration of the power that plants have to change our lives. In this compelling book, Summer Rayne Oakes invites us into a greener, more connected world, and gives us the tools to cultivate an unbreakable bond with nature, wherever we are.” (Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of Joyful and founder of The Aesthetics of Joy)

Featured Article: The Best Audiobooks to Feed Your Ever Growing Plant Obsession


Plant ownership has experienced a huge spike over the past two years, and it’s easy to understand why. Plants are one of the best ways to experience nature from the comfort of your own home. With such a wide variety of plants appropriate for all skill levels, almost anyone can jump in. Rather than write ourselves off as hopelessly black-thumbed, many more of us are becoming confident in our ability to keep our green friends alive and thriving.

What listeners say about How to Make a Plant Love You

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  • CB
  • 07-21-19

Lots of hype

Did not learn much new. Not a plant book, more just a bunch of essays on stuff she knows. Patronizing tone, I kept waiting and hoping for some plant substance, but it never came. Will try to get my credit back.
Title has no relation to book content.

6 people found this helpful

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I learned so much!

I loved this book. It has transformed my house because II now have plants and I feel confident that I can care for them. Taking care of my plants is my favourite time of the day, it brings me so much joy! This book made my life better. Thank you!

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An egotisitcal rambling of self indulgence.

The entirety of the lesson of this book could be summed up in one sentence: recreate the plant's enviroment. No duh. It takes the author the marjority of the book to get to that point. The rest is just ramblings and bragging of personal life. in addition, the book is ridiculously padded with quotes from her comments section. Skip this book if you value your time, or actually want to learn botany us the title implies.

2 people found this helpful

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More like “How plants made me love them”

Overall I really enjoyed this book! Summer Rayne is an amazing human and I really look up to her. However if you’re buying this book because you need a guide to houseplants, You will probably be disappointed.

Though there was some plant care info towards the end, it was very vague and basic. For example: make sure your plant has enough light, water and air; try to replicate its original surroundings.

The more appropriate title of this book should have been “How plants made me love them!”. It really is a beautiful description of why Summer loves plants, and why all people should have them. The book helps you appreciate that plants are more than just decor, they are very much alive and can influence us and our moods more than we realize. Overall a beautiful read!

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not what I expected

I really enjoyed this narration. It was a great combo of history, botany, self help and inspiration. I really got sucked in with the forward by Simon Sinkek.
I myself have always loved plants, have cultivated and shared them and with this book I was able to see how that love spilled over into my everyday living.

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such a LOVELY listen about plants and people

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I'm eager to buy a hard copy to have on hard, read again, write in the margins, and refer back to the exercises/advice. How to Make a Plant Love you is not only for plant lovers or aspiring gardeners, but all people who wish to have greater awareness and appreciation of the world, nature and people around them. It is fuel for a conversationist figurative fire, and awakening for skeptics of conservationism. I believe it will be a book a read again and again over the years. Thank you Summer Rayne for your sharing your knowledge and experiences with the masses. And well done!

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Wow what a great book.

I loved this book. Summer's narration is wonderful definitely worth a listen...you wont be disappointed. ❤👍👍

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A book for the soul

Great perspective from a fresh new voice who shows is how Millenials are focusing on truly loving a “whole” life. Wonderful!

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It’s a good book

It’s a good book, but I was expecting to learn more about plants. As I’m already familiar with plants I didn’t learn too much.
The good point is that it teaches you to see plants as living beings not decoration objects.

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Good but Short

I enjoyed the book. But, I had awaited it's release for so long that I am now disappointed at how short the book is. Other than that, it's good.

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  • jen
  • 04-21-20

self care

beautiful book. lovely to listen to.
definitely a self care book and learning to understand plants and how we interact with them. how people and plants need each other. understanding how to choose the right plant for your environment.
listened through twice since buying.

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  • Moko Gawanas
  • 01-12-20

Good one

This book was surprising to be honest. Totally out of my comfort but a lovely surprise. The narration was good and the story well written and delivered. I did have moments where I struggled a bit because the technical terms and some history etc that I found a little challenging to focus on but for plant enthusiasts that will probably be fascinating. I could relate to a lot of the story and so much was applicable to me. I definately believe it is worth it and summer does well in the execution.

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  • Natalie Matson
  • 04-08-20

An Beautiful, Inspiring and Heart Lifting Book

A book that I can listen to again and again. A lot of good gardening ideas, speckled with deep spiritual inspight and refreshing honesty. Thank you so much for putting this book together, it has changed how I view my plants and gardens.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-23-19

Plantastic!!!

As a qualified horticulturalist & massage therapist this book is so inspiring on so many level. Just like food and water are essential for sustenance and survival, so is the need for humans to be connected with nature. Humans have lost their way in the fast, evolving modern world with increased rates of anxiety, depression and physical illness. This book offers people from all levels of experience with plants to connect back to nature and harness the healing power of plants. Its this connection through daily and weekly rituals with plants that not only improve our aesthetics of our homes but improve our health and wellbeing, but also facilitates and instils a sense of peace and serenity in the home. Well Done Summer Rayne Oakes!!! You are truly inspirational!!! Thank you for sharing your personal journey so that others can enjoy this beautiful connection. This book is so relevant and needed in these present times.