Plant Identification Apps: Top 8

A revolutionary idea which has transformed the way in which we can now recognise the plants around us. Plant identification apps are a popular trend for gardeners who have questions about unknown plants in their gardens. These are plants which can be grown in your garden – either in garden beds or in a greenhouse if you wish for them to be provided with heat regulation and weather protection.

1. GardenAnswers

This plant identification app can instantly identify over 20,000 plants! Plus, it will give you accurate and detailed information about them. All you need to do is snap a photo of the plant you are interested in finding out about, tap ‘submit’, and Garden Answers will work its magic.

Since the app’s launch in 2013, it has become the #1 downloaded gardening mobile app. With a simple interface that is point-and-click, GardenAnswers is a straightforward and easy to use app for any gardener.

2. SmartPlant

As well as plant identification, this app also offers a “Digital Care Calendar” which will remind you what your plant needs and when they need it.

There’s a “My Garden” section where you can add plants from your garden and the app will notify you of their needs. SmartPlant also offers a premium membership which includes pest identifications.

3. Leafsnap

Available on Apple devices, Leafsnap contains beautiful high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruits, petioles, seeds, and bark to aid identification. First developed by the University of Maryland, Smithsonian Institute and Columbia University, Leafsnap recognises the plant species by their leaves.

The UK app has partnered with the Natural History Museum in order to create this bank of images to help with identifying tricky trees.

4. iPflanzen

Rather than using photographs to recognise plants and flowers, iPflanzen requires you to enter criteria such as leaf shape or fruit colour in order to figure out their species.

In conjunction with their other apps, iGarten and iForest, this app offers extremely detailed and interesting information which can easily be found.

5. NatureGate

This app is which is available for Android, allows you to identify your plant with a database of 700 species. In addition to this, it also helps you to identify birds, fish and even butterflies.

NatureGate includes a free identification tool for flowering plants. With in-app purchases, it is possible to identify about 1,200 species!

6. PlantNet

Among other features, this free app helps identify plant species from photos, through a visual recognition software. The number of species and the number of images used by the app, evolve with contributions from users.

If you correctly identify a species, you can participate by submitting your observation with the “contribution” button. The contributions are then subject to a moderation process which is validated collaboratively.

7. Flower Checker

The FlowerChecker app provides a paid plant identification service. However, by using real botanists to identify unknown plants, moss fungus and even lichen, it is perhaps the most accurate of the plant identification apps.

The team of plant experts can take several minutes or hours to respond to a request. The developers claim they can identify more than 90% of plant species. The app is ad-free and available on Android and iOS platforms.  

8. Plantifier

Plantifier is a free crowdsourced plant recognition too which allows you to upload a photo of an unknown plant. The users of this free tool will try to recognise the plant photo as soon as possible and give you an answer to your question. There’s also a web-based version on their site.