Your Ultimate Plant Identification & Useful Reference GuideFebruary 20, 2017
Last modified: April 4, 2018Identify plants like a pro with this ultimate plant identification resource. Plus, get expert tips on how to take care of your garden plants. Read on.
One of the greatest challenges for gardening enthusiasts and Botany students is the identification of plants. With more than 375,000 known species of plants in the world and more being discovered every day, people certainly have a lot of materials and resources to look through.
Gardeners may not find all the necessary tips in gardening books, no matter how hard they try. Unless you have a good resource centre, it’s hard to carry out any meaningful research. If you need to quickly identify a plant, you should use a plant identification app.
Here we’ve compiled an ultimate plant identification and reference guide to make your journey into plant identification and finding references that bit easier!
Plants which are annual will have a life cycle of only a year. They grow from seed, bloom, produce seeds and wilt within one growing season. Annual plants can be considered hardy, which means they are equipped for colder temperatures and can be planted outdoors.
Half-hardy annuals are more at risk from frost and need protection. Annuals make great summer plants which add colour to borders, beds and hanging baskets. Replant them every Spring to interest to any garden. Common annual plants include maize, peas, petunias, marigolds and zinnias.
- Annual Flowers: Extensive collection of annual flowers with information such as scientific name, flowering season, picture, and more, arranged in alphabetical order.
- Common Annuals: A list of common annual plants with information about scientific name, common name, height, pictures, etc.
- Introduction to Plant Identification: Provides good descriptions of various annual plants, categorised by woody plants, aquatic plants etc.
- Plant Facts: More than 100 species of annual plants with information and pictures, plus audio pronunciation of scientific names.
- Annual Plants: Annual bedding plants which have been categorised by bedding, container, winter flowering annuals, scented annuals, climbing annuals, cut flower annuals and ground cover annuals.
A biennial plant has a life cycle of two years which enters a period of dormancy over colder months. There are fewer biennial plants than there are perennials or annual plants. Many vegetables are biennial, these include spinach, lettuce, and fennel.
Mostly, biennials which are grown for food will be grown just for one year. Biennial flowers, however, need to be grown for two years. These flowers include foxgloves and Canterbury bells. Check out these useful resources for all you need to know about biennial plants:
- Biennial Plants: Definition of biennial plants with some examples.
- Breeding Biennial Crops: Provides instructions on the methods to breed biennials.
- Biennials: A list of biennial plants with scientific and common names.
The word perennial is used to describe a herbaceous plant which has a long life cycle. Perennial plants will live for two or more years and flower every year. A perennials life cycle can vary widely and can be anything from two to five years.
Common perennial plants include geraniums, phlox, helenium, dianthus, and tomatoes. To find out about when to plant perennials, the right soil conditions and more, take a look at the useful resources below:
- Perennials: Some instructions on how and when to plant perennial plants, with links to perennial gardening, soil amendment, and more.
- Planting Perennials: Discusses the planting of flowering perennials.
- Growing Perennials: Provides information and instructions on growing perennials with list of perennials for different purposes, soil types, etc.
Plant Care Guides
Knowing how to take care of your plants is important if you want them to thrive. As we have already explored, plants vary from annual, perennial and biennial, which means different types of care is necessary for them to do well.
Get expert advice on how to care for houseplants and outdoor plants, with links to information covering topics such as plant selection and environmental factors.
- Plant Care Guides: Superb expert advice on how to care for all types of plants.
- House Plants: Great guide on plant care covering such topics like plant selection, transportation, environmental factors, media, and more.
- Roses: Provides good instructions on caring for roses.
- Plant Care: A collection of various plants, with links to care guides and more information.
Whether you are an experienced gardener or a novice when it comes to planting, these comprehensive resources will help you expand your knowledge of plants and gardening so that you can save money and get the best results from the crops you grow.
Find out information on growing herbs and container gardening, as well as cheap gardening tips.
- Cheap Gardening Tips: Money-saving ways to garden.
- Home and Garden Tips: Some links to gardening tips.
- Growing Herbs: Provides information and a lot of tips on growing and cultivating your own herbs.
- Container Gardens: A lot of great tips for making beautiful container gardens and what you can grow in containers.
Plant Identification Guides
Identifying the plants in your garden isn’t always easy and sometimes you need to look for guides to aid you in the correct identification. But with so many resources available, it can be confusing. Here we collected the most useful resources to help you identify the plants which you want to find out about.
The RHS has a comprehensive online guide which is worth taking a look at for a detailed explanation. You can also find out the latest identification apps which are great for quickly finding out the name of a plant you are looking at.
- Plants Database: A comprehensive identification guide to plants by the Royal Horticultural Society.
- Find Wildflowers: A record of British Wildflowers.
- The Plant Identification Guide: A great guide by the Wetland Health Evaluation Program.
- Plant Identification Guide: A collection of diagrams to help you identify leaf forms, shapes, and margins.
- Plant Identification: Resource centre with good links to great plant identification sites.
- Plant Identification Apps: A list of useful identification apps.
If you’re looking for help on starting a vegetable patch, or need to when to plant the right vegetables in each season, the vegetable planting guide is a useful resource for any time of year. Get advice from the RHS as well as other expert gardeners.
- Vegetable Planting Guide: Planting guide for a beginners guide to starting a vegetable garden.
- Vegetable Garden: A very good vegetable planting guide with the best planting dates.
- Companion Planting Guide: Great guide on different plants such as apple, beans, catnip, mint, and others.
Organic Gardening Tips
Organic gardening requires minimal use chemicals and pesticides. Growing organic crops can be tricky if you don’t know how to get the most out of what you’re growing.
An organic garden relies heavily on good soil health and compost quality. The helpful guides below contain all the organic gardening tips you need to know to grow thriving crops!
- Organic Gardening Tips: Useful tips covering certification, rotation, attractants, repellents, and more.
- Organic Gardener’s Composting: A place to download the online text of the book by Steve Solomon.
- 50 Organic Gardening Tips: Many tips to help you grow your organic garden.
- Pest Control: Explains how to control pests such as rats and mice in your garden.
- The Health Risks & Benefits of the Oleander Plant A great resource from Global Healing Center.
- Nectar Plants for Butterflies and Moths: Encourage butterflies and moths into your garden by growing wildlife friendly plants. Explore which plant varieties are best in the article.
- Sensory Plants for Children: These sensory plants can offer a great way to enhance your children’s imagination and get them interested in the garden world. Most gardens offer a visual appeal, but a sensory garden is designed to stimulate all five senses.