by Judy Kautz, OSU Extension Master Gardener
Ever looked in a garden, yard, or park and had no idea what the plant is in front of you? Fortunately, there are plenty of great plant identification apps out there that take all the hard work out of the process. Here's a look at eight of the best options for iOS and Android.
01 Best App To Identify Plants: Plantsnap
If there's only room in your life for one 'name that plant' app, PlantSnap is the one. It's very simple to use with a neat tutorial guiding you through the paces. Its accuracy level is pretty good even if it occasionally makes the odd misstep that a professional gardener would avoid. Quick and easy to use, its only true downside is that you'll need to pay to be able to use it frequently and to unlock certain other features such as the ability to view other people's snaps. It's worth it though. Available for IOS and Android
02 Simplest Plant ID App: iPlant
Skipping past the need for community features or anything too complex, iPlant gets right to the point - snap a photo of a plant and it'll (eventually) tell you what it is. It's very accurate too providing you with a Wikipedia link and more to learn more about it. It's just unfortunate then that it's a little slow on the uptake when uploading photos, and it's only available for iOS.
03 Most Accurate Plant Identification App: LeafSnap
LeafSnap performed admirably in tests, generally proving to be the most accurate Plant ID app out of all the ones tried. That comes at a small cost with a lot of very intrusive video ads that encourage you to upgrade to the premium build of the app, but it's worth it for such good results. If it also included extra information on plants besides existing Wikipedia knowledge, it'd be the best of the bunch. As it stands, it's still well worth using. Available for IOS and Android.
LeafSnap is considered one of the most accurate plant identification programs.
04 Best App for Plant Care and Identification: PictureThis
PictureThis is a fantastically comprehensive plant identification app. It takes seconds to identify plants before giving you a near overwhelming amount of information on it and how best to care for it. For some users, it'll be excessive but for those keen to cultivate their green space, it's a huge help. It even identifies if a plant is toxic and warns you accordingly. Bear in mind, you'll need to subscribe if you plan on using it for any length of time. Keen gardeners will be happy to do so as its near encyclopedic knowledge is very useful. Available for IOS and Android.
05 Best Community Focused Plant Identification App: Garden Answers
If you don't mind signing up to a new community, Garden Answers is a great way to get in touch with horticultural experts, discover exciting plants near you, as well as identify plants around your garden and surroundings. The interface feels a little dated by modern standards but ads aren't too intrusive and Garden Answers tells you the basics about each plant without overwhelming you with too much detail. Being able to connect to like-minded souls is a nice extra touch too. Available for IOS and Android.
Garden Answers is considered one of the best community focused plant identification apps.
06 Best Location Aware Plant Identification App: PlantNet
Designed with a worldwide appeal to it, PlantNet immediately presents you with images of plants from all the different continents. You can submit your own right down to the location by quickly snapping a photo and waiting for the app to identify the plant. While the app is reasonably accurate, spotting other people's entries can have some issues with the need for the community to validate how authentic the results are. Still, it's a fascinating insight into the green world and not just your local surroundings. Available for IOS and Android.
07 Best Plant and Insect Identification App: Seek
Want to turn plant identification into a game? Seek does that almost feeling like a form of Pokemon Go. It even allows you to identify bugs and other insects you might see in your garden. In all cases, you need to take fairly good photos for it to identify accurately, but it's worth taking that extra time when you gain new badges and achievements for doing so. If it had a little more information on plants and leaned into its gaming side more so, it'd be the ultimate plant identification app. Available for IOS and Android.
08 Fastest Plant Identification App: Plant Identification++
In a rush and want to immediately know what plant you're looking at? Plant Identification ++ is the fastest of the bunch taking seconds to show up with highly accurate results. Typically, it offers a couple of different results giving you the ability to determine what seems right to you. Other information is a little sparse but if you simply want to know a name quickly, it does the job well. It's just unfortunate that you need to pay to gain unlimited plant identification. Available for only IOS.
I must offer this disclaimer about these applications. This is not an endorsement of any particular application. There are many opinions about which application is best, and you will need to determine for yourself which one you prefer. The basis for this article came from Lifewire, but there are many other articles on the web that offer other diverse opinions. It is up to you to try and choose the application which works the best for you.
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