Last updated: January 9, 2023

Google Lens

Google has come out with a completely free to use, ad-free experience with the Google Lens. Although it’s not necessarily a plant-orientated app, it’s an extremely easy and versatile user interface to use. With its access to the huge database Google has garnered through Google Images, it’s quickly able to identify most plant types, though you’ll have to dig in order to find the specifics of what it’s called in terms of genus.The best part is that you can access this service in browser through image search, and also on phone, as an app.

Pros:

  • Easily accessible
  • Huge database of google images
  • Able to use on phone and web

Cons:

  • Need to dig to find specifics

PlantNet

PlantNet is a completely free, community driven app that has been voted many times to be one of the best apps out there to use. It utilises a large number of sources, from local sites to globally contributed photos from users, and the data- and therefore the results you get- will almost always be peer-verified! However, it can be critical to have the position and angle correctly, different photos of the same plant can produce vastly different results. And, as with all user-driven databases, the plants you identify can only be identified if they’ve been added by a user.

Pros:

  • Completely free
  • Large number of sources from local to global
  • Peer-verified data

Cons:

  • Can only identify plant already added by user
  • Position and angle critical

iNaturalist

iNaturalist is an app that is citizen-based and also in collaboration with the California Academy of Science and the National Geographic Society, making it an incredibly credible source to use. It’s completely free and contains detailed FAQs and a directory that goes beyond plant identifying into identifying insects, fish, mammals as well. It’s great if you’re generally curious about the world around you and often go out on trips into nature-rich locations. It’s reliant on user-based observations however, and can be limited especially if people in your area aren’t really using the app.

Pros:

  • Completely free
  • Comprehensive FAQs
  • Extensive directory

Cons:

  • User-based observations

PlantSnap

PlantSnap is a plant identifying app driven by a combination of user-fed data and artificial intelligence, making it more accurate and reliable than other apps. It aims to provide a “digital interface” between people and nature, connecting them. Beyond plants, it also offers the ability to identify mushrooms, cacti, and so on. The tutorials on using the app are amazingly comprehensive and allow even the novice of technology to get all they need from it. It’s available in a large number of languages, but there are limited daily identifications and can be extreme about reminding the user to upgrade from its free tier.

Pros:

  • Encourages user-fed data
  • Available in 30 languages
  • Uses Artificial Intelligence

Cons:

  • Constant encouragement of upgrade
  • Limited identifications per day

PictureThis

PictureThis enables you to connect to a community of plant lovers by using the app, with both user contributions and a social network accessible when you use it. With claims of a 99% accuracy on its AI you’ll be able to identify most plants you come across. It also offers plant care tips once you confirm the plant, giving various types of advice: habitat, sunlight access, watering habits, pests, and so on. However, the experience you get when you use it on a free basis is only a free trial.

Pros:

  • Claims 99% accuracy on AI
  • Offers plant care tips
  • Social network accessible

Cons:

  • Experience is only a free trial

LeafSnap

LeafSnap, as the name suggests, only requires a photo of a specific part of the plant before it can identify the right plant for you. This can be leaves, flowers, fruits, even bark. As well as offering plant care tips, LeafSnap can set reminders for you regarding watering and general upkeep. It has an easily accessible and nicely laid out user interface, and you won’t need to register an account in order to use the app. Sadly, some features will be behind a paywall, such as more advanced advice on taking care of plants.

Pros:

  • Offers plant care tips
  • Easily accessible
  • No account needed to use app

Cons:

  • Some features behind a paywall

NatureID

NatureID enables you to identify plants and mushrooms, so if you forage or often go on hikes, you’ll be able to enjoy this multipurpose app. There’s also fun tidbits of trivia when you’re able to successfully identify a plant, and additional information including plant care tips. These plant care tips will helpfully include a disease diagnosis, the ability to set reminders, and so on. Some of these aforementioned features can only be used if you pay a subscription though so if you want an app that is a fully free experience you may want to look elsewhere.

Pros:

  • Can identify plants and mushrooms
  • Additional information provided
  • Offers plant care tips

Cons:

  • Some features behind paywall

PlantIn

PlantIn is an app that identifies plants, weeds, flowers, herbs, and trees, so if you like gardening it may be a useful tool in maintaining the garden or deciding which things stay or go when it comes to weeding season! It offers detailed plant care tips which go beyond the usual advice, listing the poison level, the lighting level, the temperature it requires, on top of humidity, and so on. If you want to check the health of your plant, PlantIn also has the ability to diagnose any diseases the plant you take a photo of might have. The free experience is only a 3 day trial, and you’ll need to pay to continue using it afterwards.

Pros:

  • Can identify plants, weeds, flowers, herbs, trees
  • Offers detailed plant care tips
  • Built-in health diagnosis feature

Cons:

  • Experience is a 3 day trial

Blossom

When you use Blossom, it’ll give you information about how to take care of each plant you identify, and also give you access to articles which are personalised to your experience. It has a unique selling point in that it’ll also allow you to access a catered planting schedule appropriate to the plant you’ve identified. With each plant you identify and choose to save, you can add it to “my garden”, meaning you can access any plant you’ve identified and plan on taking care of later on. Although it has a unique and wide range of features, you’ll need to pay in order to experience it fully. The free version will still have a significantly positive experience, however.

Pros:

  • Offers plant care tips
  • Access to articles
  • Personalised planting schedule

Cons:

  • Some features behind significant paywall

What’s That Flower

The benefit to using What’s That Flower as your plant identifying app is that you can use photos from the gallery on top of taking a photo in the moment. This means you can take photos and know that you’re able to identify it later if you don’t have access to an internet connection. With its large database and the app being available in 37 different languages, it is accessible to nearly anyone who wishes to use its services. A downside is the fact that it has limited identifications per day.

Pros:

  • Can use photos from gallery as well as taken directly
  • Large database
  • Available in 37 languages

Cons:

  • Limited identifications per day

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