Review of free plant ID apps

I have what can only be called a forest outside, so wanted to find a way to identify plants cheaply.

I bought the Readers Digest Garden Plants and Flowers (on eBay), but it was a bit difficult to use as it groups plants and I don’t know which groups loads of them belong to. Basically, I can tell a holly from a rose, but not a jasmine from a honeysuckle.

So what about getting a gardening expert in? Well this costs and they can’t always be there, so I downloaded 7 plant identifying apps, and would recommend Garden Compass, and here’s why:

Garden Compass gives you 3 free IDs per month or £4.49 per month, or £25.99 for the year for unlimited. They ID your plant and you can ask the expert questions. Once your free access runs out, they give you the option to pay. Oh and if you want to try SmartPlant, that’s fine but it seems to be run by the same people and takes you to Garden Compass. Maybe I got them on a “good” day, but the guys responded within minutes. The responses appeared on SmartPlanet and Garden Compass. The plant images and info are saved as are your conversations with the experts.

GardenTags is quite cool as it’s based on a community of gardeners. You upload your plant image then other gardeners give you feedback. That’s nice as you can speak to likeminded gardeners, and it’s free, but sometimes I want speed.

Garden Answers costs £1.99 per plant and you have to upload 2 – 3 images. However, if you know the name of your plant, just type in its name and there are the answers to questions that other people have asked. There is no free option to ID plants and the answers can take up to 24 hours.

Plantnet is an interactive plant ID tool that analyses images, so make sure they are good quality. There is a cumbersome sign up process, the others you can use Facebook, so once I’d seen that you could only see images of the plants, not info, I didn’t go further.

Leafsnap was quite annoying as you have to have the leaf on a white background, so I had to take it off the plant, place on a sheet of A4 and then take a picture. It used some sort of image ID which basically suggested what the plant was. The leaves it came up with did not look like the leaf I placed on the paper. I think this may be because we’re in the UK and it’s a US app.

ID weeds is something from the Uni of Missouri and you have to put the name of the weed in. I put in dandelion and it shows images and gives a rather scientificramble and it didn’t recognise this word, so I didn’t go further.


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