Apps for the Curious Gardener

Tue. Nov. 10, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Apps for the Curious Gardener

I have a plant app, Pl@ntNet on my phone that I’ve used for a couple of years and I love it. There are plenty of plants I don’t know about! I’ll be honest, it doesn’t always get the plant exactly right but it points you in the right direction. Take a photo of the plant in question and then choose from your gallery, you then pick whether to have the search for the flower, leaf, bark, fruit, habit or other. And it’s FREE. It’s a crowdsourced international app, for that reason you may not get an answer for a plant from the Midwest. But it’s been more right than wrong. Sometimes I’ve had to use both a flower and a leaf identifier to get an answer.

Another gardener suggests Picture This. Mary Kay Hass is with the University of Minnesota and has used it for some time. It uses artificial intelligence and boasts 95 percent accuracy. She said the diagnostic tool isn’t that helpful.

Another app she suggests is called PlantSnap. It’s a hybrid. The developers are working with the owners of SnapChat to include the PlantSnap app along with SnapChat if you have that. I don’t. It’s also uses artificial intelligence and boasts a 96 percent accuracy rate. It “learns” as it receives images from users. It’s tutorial feature and online help services make this a good app for beginners.

  • Be sure to take a clear picture. I’ve taken photos of photos, sometimes that works but not as often.
  • Practice using the app or apps with plants you know to get the hang of it.
  • If you use a couple of apps, compare them and do an internet search as well.
  • Be sure you make not in your internet search that you are looking for plants in the state you live in. Unless you’re trying to identify a houseplant!