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17 Smartphone Apps for Plant Lovers

Updated on July 3, 2017
The Dirt Farmer profile image

Jill volunteers at community gardens & learns about gardening through the MD Master Gardening Program & MD Master Naturalist Program.

Not Sure What This Flower Is?

Your smartphone may know. Thanks to the latest apps, identifying flowers, trees, and other plants has gotten easier.
Your smartphone may know. Thanks to the latest apps, identifying flowers, trees, and other plants has gotten easier. | Source

Fun Apps for Gardeners and Other Outdoor Folk

Now you can plan your garden, troubleshoot landscaping problems, and identify plants on the go. No shuffling through field guides, making handwritten lists or simply trying to remember what plants, tools or fertilizers you need. Just use your smartphone!

The 17 apps below, which range from free to just under $10, are fun and useful tools for home gardeners, landscapers, and nature lovers alike. Check them out!

Garden Guide: FREE

Android 2.2

Garden Guide, the app version of the popular book by the same title, is now available from ATZ Software for free.

Garden Guide includes a wide range of information, from the low-down on plant site selection and organic pest control strategies to links to helpful gardening websites.

Botany Buddy $9.99

iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

With Botany Buddy, identifying plants is a snap. You can search by leaf type, seeds, flower color, bloom time, fall color, sun requirements, hardiness zone, shape, growth habits, and size. Professional landscapers and non-pros alike can use this program.

Botany Buddy contains information on more than 2,000 trees, shrubs, succulents, cacti and tropical plants. Entries include original color photos you can pinch and zoom. It also allows you to add and share images and comments with other users at no cost. Updates are free.

This photo of a French marigold is one of mine, but Flower Pedia contains thousands of gorgeous flower pics.
This photo of a French marigold is one of mine, but Flower Pedia contains thousands of gorgeous flower pics. | Source

Flower Pedia (Version 2.0) $4.99

iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

As its name suggests, Flower Pedia is a flower encyclopedia app. It contains thousands of flower photos. They're arranged by family, genus, and user rating. Flower Pedia also provides basic flower information to help users ID flowers using the app's handy "identify" feature. The new 2.0 version has flower-sharing community capabilities as well as improved search functions.

Landscaper's Companion helps you select the best plants for your yard.
Landscaper's Companion helps you select the best plants for your yard. | Source

Landscaper's Companion $4.99

iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android

The Landscaper's Companion app is a handy reference (with photos) for home gardeners and landscapers. It contains general information about more than 7,000 plants, providing both common and scientific names, plant culture and form.

As you plan your landscape, use Landscaper's Companion to find plants that grow well in your USDA Hardiness Zone. You can also search by plant size, color, light requirements and water needs. It allows you to save plant lists, personal notes, and your own photos as well. Periodic photo and information updates are free.

Master Gardeners host a plant sale.
Master Gardeners host a plant sale. | Source

Master Gardener's Buddy $4.99

iPad iOS 3.2 or later

Using Master Gardener's Buddy, gardeners can map out their gardens, creating to-do lists, planning what they will plant, recording what they have already planted and targeting plants for removal.

Master Gardener's Buddy also allows master gardeners to share their garden plans with others. They can access and store lots of data, including photos, as they continually update their plantings.

Some users find MG Buddy complicated. To see how it works, check out the video below.

How to Create a To-Do List Using Master Gardener's Buddy

Gardenate $1.99

Android

Whether you live in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, or the USA, Gardenate gives you the information you need to grow your own vegetable garden. Includes the low-down on the most commonly grown veggies where you live as well as a garden calendar of local planting times. You can take notes with Gardenate and track your plants' progress.

If submitted to Leafsnap, this pic would enter a database of tree locations and populations.
If submitted to Leafsnap, this pic would enter a database of tree locations and populations. | Source

Leafsnap and Leafsnap UK: FREE

iPad, iPhone and (someday) Android

Leafsnap allows users to identify trees by taking a photo or "snap" of its leaves. Created by the Smithsonian in conjunction with the University of Maryland and Columbia University, Leafsnap functions like face-recognition software, but it's leaf recognition software.

Not only does the app supply the tree's name, but it also provides high-quality photos and information about the tree's bark, flowers, fruits and seeds.

And the "snaps" users take are shared too, so that scientists can add to their knowledge of the population growth and decline of trees in the US. Although Leafsnap's current database only includes the trees of the Northeastern United States, it will soon feature trees from the whole continental US.

Download Leafsnap to your iPhone or iPad for free. Leafsnap UK is also available.

Introducing Leafsnap for iPhones

Leafsnap for Android?

If you're like me, you've been waiting three years for the Leafsnap app for Androids. What's taking so long?

According to the official Leafsnap website FAQ web page, work on the project is being conducted (slowly) by unpaid volunteers: "We have one [an Android version] under development, but since the app is free and the work is being done by volunteers, we do not have a release date, nor a firm guess as to when this will be."

Flora Finder $2.99

iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Flora Finder is comparable to Leafsnap, only it's for New Zealanders.

Created by scientists at Otago University in Dunedin, the Flora Finder app acts as an "electric field guide." Through Flora Finder, users can send images of native New Zealand plants to the university's botany department for identification by a specialist there.

Apps About Wildflowers

ID wildflowers like a pro with these wildflower apps.
ID wildflowers like a pro with these wildflower apps. | Source

Audubon Wildflowers $3.99

iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android

Audubon Wildflowers: A Field Guide to North American Wildflowers has up-to-date search features, so it's easy to explore its copious maps, botanical information and color photos. Super user-friendly, Wildflowers also allows you to add your own photo album, store your own lists of wildflower sightings and more.

Wildflower Apps From High Country Apps

Android, iPhone, iPad and Kindle Fire

High Country Apps offers three wildflower recognition apps that are getting rave reviews from users: Glacier Wildflowers for $4.99, Colorado Rocky Wildflowers for $9.99, and Washington Wildflowers for $7.99. Search for flowers by family, color, name (common and botanical), and more. Color photos, drawings, and fun facts included.

Source

Apps for Cactus Growers

Cactus Plant Encyclopedia 1.0 $1.99

iPad, iPhone4, iPhone 3G/3GS, and iPod Touch

Cactus Plant Encyclopedia provides profiles of 300 cacti. Profiles include a photo, the plant's common as well as scientific name, growing requirements, and more.

Cactus Passion $.99

iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

Cactus Passion not only contains information and photos of many cacti, but it also has email and integrated Facebook functions.

Source

Apps About Fungi

Every mushroom app I have seen, including The Audubon Mushrooms Guide, is rated "Guidance Suggested." Because mushrooms may be poisonous, children should not use these apps for collecting or ingesting mushrooms without responsible adult supervision.

The Audubon Mushrooms Guide $3.99

Android

The Audubon Mushrooms Guide, available through Amazon for $3.99, catalogs over 550 species of fungi and slime molds in North America.

Each entry provides color photos, up-to-date taxonomic information, species descriptions, and more. Use it to learn more about fungi or to identify specimens when you're on the go.

The app allows you to search its database in multiple ways, including by scientific name, cap shape, color, and habitat.

Fungitron: FREE

Android 2.1

Fungitron provides information about 70 species of mushrooms. It also provides users with lots of helpful methods (about 150) for identifying mushrooms, including photos and links to mushrooms that look very similar.

On the downside, because Fungitron is free to upload, it isn't free of advertising.

On the upside, after uploading, Fungitron is completely functional offline.

More Fun Apps for Nature Lovers

Trail maps, compasses, weather apps, survival information, nature lore.

Source

© 2011 Jill Spencer

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    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 2 years ago from United States

      Hi Suzanne! I'm glad to be active again on HP. between work, school & projects, we've been really busy. When I have had time to write, it's been fiction. Thanks for missing me! lol Hope you found a good app for your new phone. All the best, Jill

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 2 years ago from United States

      Hi BWD316! Glad you found an app you wanted. Let us know how Leafsnap works for you. I'd love to try it, but we have a Droid. All the best, Jill

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Jill,

      What a great hub as I have only recently got my first smartphone ever! Got an iPhone so this is super for my green fingers, thanks so much great to be back with you Jill, missed your writing and wise words!

    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 2 years ago from Connecticut

      This is a great list! I didn't even think to search for gardening apps. Before I even finished reading your article, I downloaded the leafsnap app. Can't wait to use it!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 2 years ago from United States

      Happy Mother's Day to you, too, Thelma! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Jill

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      That is very interesting to know that there are apps for plant lovers. Thanks for this useful information. Happy Mother´s Day on Sunday!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Good to know! Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      plaroche 4 years ago

      there is probably other iherbarium apps, the one i saw :

      https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/iherbarium/id64636...

      and the web site :

      http://www.iherbarium.org/

      they send back an email four hours after you send your pictures.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi plaroche. I've seen that, but not a free version. It's sort of like a big plant slideshow. Nice to hear from you. Thanks for commenting. --Jill

    • profile image

      plaroche 4 years ago

      i am just discovering this hub, but before i saw a (free) "iHerbarium" iphone App for identifying plant, but only outdoor.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hey Sharkye11! You should download the free ones and play with them! Nice to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      This is pretty cool! I wouldn't mind having some of the identification apps. I can't even recognize most of the flowers I planted myself! This would be so fun for nature walks. Thanks for sharing!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi Penny. Not sure what the problem might be, but you could try updating your apps, deleting any new app you might have recently added and/or adding a new app in order to "resync" your iTunes account. Hope you have access to your pics soon! All the best, Jill

    • profile image

      Penny 4 years ago

      Had a great app. Photo garden. But it just stopped functioning. Won't open. Can't access any of the photos. Any ideas?

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Roberta, there are so many gardening apps out there now, some better than others. Hope you find a few you like. Take care, Jill

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      How handy these will be--thanks! Pinning to my iStuff board.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi Ginger. Glad you like the list. Gardening apps are so handy! Thanks for commenting. Have a good one, Jill

      Hey, iguidenetwork. Some are for droids, like Landscaper's Companion and Gardenate. I'm hoping Leafsnap comes out for Android soon as that's what we have. Ought to check on that! Maybe it's available now. Nice to hear from you! --Jill

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

      Very helpful article. Thanks for posting! I hope they're available for Android phones too. :)

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

      I love this list! Pinned for the future, and planning to install landscaper's companion as soon as I finish commenting :) Thanks! -Ginger

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the suggestion, Al! I'll look into it.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hi all! I've updated this article to include a free app called "Plants" as well as two inexpensive apps for cactus lovers. (:

    • profile image

      Lourdes Balderrama 4 years ago

      Please let me know if there's something like Leafsnap for cacti and succulents... That would be amazing!!!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      That's a great question, Sandee. I have no idea, but I'll look into it!

    • profile image

      sandeecoleman@gmail.com 4 years ago

      Will there be a leaf snap for cacti for droids?

      Sandee

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Sorry, Dutch gardner, it hasn't been released yet. (Every so often I check.) I wish they would hurry up! We have droids and would love to use the app. Thanks for asking! DF

    • profile image

      Dutch gardner 5 years ago

      Is the leafsnap already available for androids?

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks for commenting, melodyandes!

    • melodyandes profile image

      melodyandes 5 years ago

      That;s great news. This is a solid evidence of the technology we have nowadays.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 6 years ago from United States

      You're welcome, Dave! How wonderful that you stopped by to comment. Thanks--and much continued success.

    • profile image

      Dave 6 years ago

      Thanks for including Landscaper's Companion! We're proud that it's the best selling app on iPhone and iPad and that it has the largest plant catalog of over 7000 plants and 8000 images!

      Dave

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 6 years ago from United States

      No kidding! I can't wait till Leafsnap is out for Droids. When it's available, I'll add the link. Thanks for commenting, D-D!

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Amazing! There are now phone aps to help you do almost everything!

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