3 Top Plant-Identifying Apps To Help You Become A Master Gardener

Knowing exactly how much water and sunlight a specific plant needs to thrive can be tricky — particularly when trying to grow plants that are known for being picky about their growing conditions. Fortunately, there are plenty of plant-identifying apps on the market that can help you instantly identify a specific plant and look up its recommended care requirements.

Plant-identifying apps are not just handy for avid gardeners — in fact, they can be just as useful for casual enjoyers of nature who simply want to know the name of a unique flower or plant they happen upon.

Plant identification apps can also help with solutions for an unhealthy plant, whether your finicky house plant starts looking a little less green or your favorite perennial bush in the garden isn't doing as well as it has in past years. The Educational App Store also adds that plant-identifying apps are a great tool for introducing children to nature while helping them understand the world around them through plants. Though there are many useful plant identification apps available for download, these three are among the best according to the experts.

The best AI-generated plant-identifying app

According to a study conducted by Rutgers, among the six most commonly downloaded plant identification apps, PictureThis earned the title of being the most accurate — with 97.3% accuracy in identifying a plant's genus and 83.9% accuracy in identifying its exact species.

Moreover, Houseplant Authority explains that PictureThis has used its AI technology software to successfully identify 27 million different plant species from user-uploaded photos. The app's AI technology can also auto-diagnose issues in sick plants while suggesting possible remedies and offering explanations as to why a specific plant may be having issues.

When analyzing the results of the Rutgers University study on plant identification apps, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign concluded that the level of identification accuracy that PictureThis offers makes it an excellent option for beginner gardeners and nature enthusiasts who are looking for a quick and easy way to identify the genus of a particular plant.

The best expert-backed plant-identifying app

iNaturalist consistently ranks among the best plant-identification apps and is commonly relied upon by nature experts and organizations due to its accuracy. While many other apps utilize AI technology, iNaturalist relies entirely on the expert knowledge of scientists to help identify wildlife in the app's database — making it a popular choice among academics and wildlife agencies. In fact, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources regularly uses the app to gather data from the public about various wildlife throughout the state while also using it to field questions from the public about wildlife identification.

According to National Geographic, iNaturalist serves as a community of naturalists and scientists who work together to help identify wildlife in photos that users submit. From there, other researchers and conservationists can use that biodiversity data in their respective scientific fields. Because the information is given by scientists, it can be considered research-grade — meaning that every photo you submit benefits the scientific community as a whole, as scientists are helping not only you in your identification endeavors but each other in their fields of research.

The app was developed as a joint initiative between the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society explains the app's website, which is why Houseplant Authority says the app being developed and run by experts is why iNaturalist is the most extensive plant identification app that doesn't require a fee to download or a subscription service to enjoy the full benefits.

The best plant-identifying app for social media users

PlantSnap also consistently ranks among the most popular plant-identifying apps, largely due to the mainstream reach it receives from its partnership with Snapchat. According to Eden Tech Labs, the partnership was announced with the launch of PlantSnap's plant identification software being used as a primary Lens feature on Snapchat — meaning that you don't even need to download a new app if you have Snapchat on your phone already (and you more than likely do).

According to the app's official website, the global reach provided by Snapchat allows PlantSnap to be considered the most comprehensive and technologically advanced plant-identifying social media platform and has been translated into 37 languages through its daily use in over 200 countries. The impressive global reach that PlantSnap has also helped bump the total number of plants in the app's database to over 620,000.

The app's official website also states that the app is meant to bring people back to nature through the use of technology, and hopes that the common use of Snapchat among Gen Z'ers will help ignite a renewed interest in the natural world among younger generations.