5 Plant Apps to Help Your Garden Grow

edited August 25 in Acer Corner

As anyone with a green thumb knows, keeping plants alive is no easy feat. We all know the feeling of coming home to a wilted plant. You water it, give it some love, but somehow it just doesn't seem to thrive. But with the help of technology, even the most inexperienced gardener can turn his or her home into a veritable jungle.

These five apps can help you keep your plants alive and well, whether you plan to:

  • Plant windowsill herbs 
  • Start a vegetable garden 
  • Buy indoor potted plants

From watering reminders to care tips, we've got you covered. 

Know your plant 

The first step is: what is your plant really called? Is it a cactus? If so, what kind? All plants are different, and while they need the same resources, they need them in different amounts. To simplify it, plants need seven specific things you should focus on when gardening:

  1. Sunlight: Plants use sunlight to make food for themselves. Some need more, and some need less.  
  2. Water: Overwatering can lead to fungi growth and unhealthy plants. 
  3. Nutrients: Plants need food like we do to grow; nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and others in varying amounts 
  4. Space to grow: Plants can't grow to their optimal size in cramped conditions as they compete for nutrients, water, and light. 
  5. Right temperature: Temperature affects plants' growth cycle and triggers flowering. 
  6. Air circulation: Plants, just like us, need air to breathe and good circulation to grow well. 
  7. Soil: Plants require soil to grow. The soil's pH level can affect growth as some plants prefer acidic or alkaline conditions.  

Gardening can be fun, but to really take great care of your plants, you need to know what you're doing. The apps below will help with optimizing, planning, and tips to grow a perfect garden. 

1) Leafsnap 

Best for identifying what exactly your plants are 

What plant is it? Leafsnap is an app that can identify 90% of all the world's plants. Leafsnap was developed by Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution to help identify plants from photographs. Rather than spend your time searching through Google for something that resembles your plant, Leafsnap can do it in seconds via artificial intelligence. 

Leafsnap helps you: 

  • Identify 90% of plants 
  • Access a database that is constantly updated 
  • Get reminders about caring for your plant, such as when and how much to water 
  • Has a journal for you to keep details and monitor growth 
  • A planner to keep up with tasks 

Leafsnap Pros: 

  • Fast 
  • Up-to-date and accurate 
  • Free (with upgrades) 

Leafsnap Cons: 

  • Free version contains ads 

Price: Free. Premium at $4.99 a month, $24.99 for 6 months 

Platform: Available on iOS and Android 

An excellent alternative would be PictureThis

2) Planta: Best all-around plant app 

Planta is excellent for troubleshooting all your plant issues and learning new gardening skills to keep your plants alive. But, it's really only worth it if you upgrade to the premium version. 

With over 2 million users, you can: 

  • Scan your plant to identify it 
  • Log the plants you have 
  • Keep track of light intensity in the room they are in 
  • Get alerts about when to water them as the weather in your area changes 
  • Get detailed instructions about different watering methods such as water on the soil, bottom watering, and others 

With the premium upgrade, you'll become a better gardener as you get instructions about: 

  • Fertilizing 
  • Misting 
  • Repotting 
  • Pruning and when to do it. 

You'll also get features that use your phone's camera to identify plant species and find the light level in your place. You get even more instructions, guides, articles, and recommendations based on your ability and local environment. Planta is perfect if you're just starting gardening; it sends reminders and gives you solid advice. 

Planta Pros: 

  • Track watering schedules and methods 
  • Good for tracking progress 
  • Great functionality 

Planta Cons: 

  • Free app is limited 
  • Difficult for partially sighted people to read 

Price: Free, premium upgrade is $7.99 a month, $17.99 for three months, and $35.99 for a year 

Platform: Available on iOS and Android 

3) Smart Plant Home: Best for Beginners 

Smart Plant Home is an all-in-one plant care app that helps you take care of your garden. It's for both beginners and the more knowledgeable plant lover alike, but it's perfect for those new. 

With the care calendar feature, you simply add a plant, and the app will automatically set up a care routine reminding you when to water or care for it. With the premium version, you can send images of plants or pests and direct message horticulturist experts through the app to help.

This app features: 

  • Pest and plant identification, so you know exactly what the problem is and how to deal with it 
  • Identify weeds and how to eliminate them 
  • A massive plant library 
  • A 'digital garden' where you can get tips and advice 
  • Expert help and advice from around the globe

Smart Plant Home Pros: 

  • Simple automated care instructions 
  • Easy to use 
  • Friendly expert advice

Smart Plant Home Cons: 

  • Some issues adding tasks 
  • Issues syncing to Facebook 
  • Requires access to photos before creating an account

Price: Free, premium upgrade is $34.99 a year 

Platform: Available on iOS and Android

4) Planter: Best for Vegetable Gardens 

Plan your vegetable garden in minutes, as Planter helps you map your garden from scratch as you choose the size of your plot, then drag and drop in over 80 different plants with over 1000 varieties.  

When you select a plant to add, you can learn about: 

  • Companion and combative plants 
  • Gardening schedule of when to plant and harvest 
  • Growing and watering guide 
  • How deep to plant the seeds 

Planter makes vegetable gardening easier for both novices and green thumbs!  

Planter Pros: 

  • Intuitive 
  • Easy to use 

Planter Cons: 

  • Free Version only provides 1 garden plot 

Price: Free with ads or a lifetime subscription is $24.99 

Platform: Available on iOS and Android 

5) PictureThis: Best Paid Plant App 

PictureThis is an online plant encyclopedia and identifier app. The app can auto-diagnose your plant's problem from a photo of your plant's sick part and suggest treatments. It's like having a botanist on your phone, as you can immediately learn about the plant, its health, and whether it's toxic. With a yearly subscription, you can connect with a professional team of botanists to gain insights and advice.

PictureThis helps you: 

  • Learn about flowers, trees, and other plants 
  • Identify over 10,000 types of plants with 98% accuracy, courtesy of its AI-backed engine 
  • Get regular info and input from plant experts 
  • Watering and care reminders in case you're forgetful

Its interface is streamlined, so anyone can use it. Plus, there's a global community to connect you with plant lovers worldwide.

With the free version, to receive more credits to identify plants, you'll need to watch ads and use social media account login. The premium version has a limited 7-day trial and costs $29.99 for a year which:

  • Removes Ads 
  • Gives you access to professional botanists and horticultural experts 
  • Can quickly and accurately diagnose issues with your plants 
  • Get personalized advice 
  • Unlimited plant identification 

PictureThis Pros: 

  • Easy to use 
  • Huge database

PictureThis Cons: 

  • Free Version has annoying pop-ups 
  • Limited photo credits 

Price: Free or $29.99 annually 

Platform: Available on iOS and Android 

The Bottom Line 

If you're looking for some help keeping your plants alive and healthy, look no further than your smartphone, as these five plant apps might be able to give you a green thumb. From identifying plants to helping you care for them, these apps can make gardening a little easier. Using these apps enables you to save time, and you'll avoid searching around on Google and getting inundated with too much information. So, what are you waiting for? Download one (or all) of these apps and get growing! Happy gardening!

*The opinions reflected in this article are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect any official positions or claims by Acer Inc.

About Malcolm Archibald: Malcolm is an SEO copywriter that helps businesses thrive. He's passionate about languages and helps companies improve traffic, bring in customers, and build a better web presence.


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