Best plant identification app

Best Plant Identification Apps in 2021

I have encountered a stunning herb, flower, or tree numerous times but wasn’t always able to correctly identify it, as the plant didn’t have enough unique features I could put into Google search. Afterward, I would feel disappointed that my plant collection lacked such a unique plant species.

Plant identification apps aren’t only helpful in identifying unknown plants, but for learning about proper care and plant diseases and keeping a watering journal, thus they can be beneficial to plant enthusiasts in many ways. Besides plant lovers, they are also great tools for researchers, biologists, scientists, students, and explorers who have maybe stumbled upon a stunning wildflower on their journey and are curious about its origin. There are too many apps on the market, thus I wanted to create a list of the best ones so you don’t waste your time with a bad plant identification app.

I have separated them into three categories: free plant identification apps, paid plant identification apps, and alternatives, in case the mentioned aren’t your cup of tea, and you need other plant identification apps. Without further ado, let’s begin!

Best plant identification app

Best plant identification apps

Below, you will find the list of the best plant identification apps, as well as information about where you can find them and which features they offer.

Considering that identifying plants isn’t always an easy task and apps can make mistakes, too, for full transparency, I have also mentioned a few things I didn’t like about each app.

Best Plant Identification App

Top free apps to identify plants

  • PlantSnap
  • LeafSnap
  • iNaturalist
  • Flora Incognita
  • Agrobase
  • Plantix
  • PlantNet
  • What’s that flower

identifying plants

1. PlantSnap

Compatible with: iOS and Android devices

How does it work:

Among the most popular free plant identification app choices is PlantSnap, with image recognition technology.

It is super easy to use – once you download the app, upload a picture of the plant into the plant identifier. PlantSnap will tell you the plant’s name, short description, kingdom, and class in just a few seconds.

PlantSnap uses artificial intelligence to identify unknown plants. Thanks to a vast database of 625 thousand plants, it can identify flowers, succulents, trees, indoor plants, mushrooms, and herbs in just a few seconds.

Furthermore, 2 thousand new species are added each month to improve the technology of plant identification.

PlantSnap has numerous partnerships, and thanks to these collaborations, you can also use the app to track the health of your indoor garden. Experts can tell you how you can improve the health of any plant.

Besides taking care of your indoor garden, you can also take care of the Earth through their partnership with trees.org – PlantSnap can plant a tree on your behalf anywhere in the world. Currently, they have planted over ten thousand trees globally, and you can see where each tree is planted.

PlantSnap has a free and premium version. With the free version, you have up to 25 daily snaps, which is in most cases more than enough for occasional identification or keeping track of the health of plants in your home. Keep in mind that you will be interrupted by ads when you are using the app.

The premium version has an unlimited number of daily snaps, it is add-free and unlocks premium support.

Features:

  • Identify an unknown plant with just one snap
  • Create your library of plants
  • Keep track of plants’ health
  • Discover plants from all over the world
  • Library of over 600 thousand plants with 2 thousand new pl
Pros:
  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with both Android and iOS
  • Large database
Cons:
  • The free version has limited features
  • Registration via e-mail address is necessary

2. LeafSnap

Compatible with: Android and iOS

How does it work:

LeafSnap is among the top five search results in Google for plant identification apps, and it is the most popular plant identification app for iOS devices.

As its features are similar to PlantSnap, I would recommend downloading both and using them simultaneously.

LeafSnap features a user-friendly interface and gives you the possible results in a matter of seconds.

You can use any part of the plant for identification – flower, tree, leaf, or fruit.

It has an extensive database, and creators claim it can successfully identify over 90% of common plants, making it one of the best gardening app examples for florists and gardeners.

So, how does it work?

LeafSnap isn’t so precise as PlantSnap, which is why I suggest using both apps simultaneously. Once you upload a picture, it will display a list of suggestions along with pictures – you can compare your picture with suggested plants and determine on your own which one is it.

As it may be a bit harder to identify wildlife, you can always run the same picture in another app, compare the results of plant identifiers, and determine which plant is it.

Features:

  • Huge database and advanced artificial intelligence that provides instant identification
  • Simple to use
  • You can use any part of the plant for identification
Pros:
  • Great for discovering plant’s name by plant lens
  • Results in just a few seconds
  • Features so many species
Cons:
  • Ads
  • Not precise, as it gives all possible results

3. iNaturalist

Compatible with: Android and iOS devices

How does it work:

iNaturalist is a result of collaboration between the National Geographic Society and the California Academy of Sciences, used to identify plants and wildlife in general, which makes it unique compared to other apps on this list.

There is also a simplified, free version called Seek, in case you don’t need too many tools.

iNaturalist is user-friendly: you can use an existing photo or create a new one through the app to identify a plant.

The app will give you the plant’s name and allow you to write down your observations.

It is most commonly used by scientists interested in plants and wildlife.

Features:

  • Allows you to write observations about an identified plant and share them with other users
  • Explore wildlife
  • Review results of others, provide the correct answer, and assist them in their tasks
  • You can track some public projects regarding wildlife
Pros:
  • Huge database
  • Great for scientists
  • Easy to use
Cons:
  • Each time you want to identify the unknown plant, you have to create a new observation

4. Flora Incognita

Compatible with: iOS, Android

How does it work:

Among all plant identifiers, Flora Incognita is a rare one that cannot be used for indoor or outdoor plants from your garden.

The app was created for educational purposes by scientists of one of the technical universities in Germany and an institute in Jena.

It is entirely free and serves primarily students and researchers that wish to explore plants from Central Europe.

Here is how it works: when you open the app, select the type you wish to discover, then take a picture. It should be either a photo of a flower or one of the leaves. The app identifies the plant by comparing the characteristic of the plant’s picture with the traits of plants in its database.

As said, its usage is limited, as it is not helpful for indoor plant identification, but it may help you discover some new plant species.

Features:

  • Besides displaying the plant’s name, you can learn more about its toxicity, whether it is protected species, and where it can be found
  • Great search filters for discovering particular plants
  • Allows you to make observation lists
Pros:
  • Extensive database of Central European plants
  • Entirely free app
  • No ads
Cons:
  • Not suitable for everyday use, as it won’t identify common indoor plants

5. Agrobase

Compatible with: both Android and iOS

How it works:

What makes Agrobase stand out from other plant identification apps is its unique, professional-looking interface and design.

This is a great app not only for nature lovers and gardeners but also for farmers, as it has other features that so many plant identifiers lack.

Suppose you are interested in growing different herbs, vegetables, and fruits. In that case, most plant identifiers won’t work as their visual recognition software identifies common houseplants and certain rare species. Still, Agrobase will have all the garden answers you need.

You can learn about proper plant care, common diseases, and pests in herbs and weeds.

Features:

  • A detailed description of each identified species, along with multiple photos, and care tips
  • Suitable for farmers and gardeners
Pros
  • User-friendly, yet professional-looking
  • Great app with frequent updates that improve its design
  • Rich database
Cons:
  • Too many ads

5. Plantix

Compatible with: Android devices

How it works:

Plantix is one of the newer plant identification apps but has become one of the top plant identification app choices for farmers.

It serves not only as a plant identifier app and social network for farmers, gardeners, and plant lovers that want to share interesting facts and care tips.

Unfortunately, the mobile app is currently available only for Android.

Now, let’s check out how it can help you in everyday life.

Like most plant identification apps from this list, all you need is a picture to determine plant species.

It is a free plant identification app, so you can use a plant identifier as much as you want without any limitations.

Besides the name and general information, the app will inform you about any possible diseases your plant is susceptible too, and provide you with essential tips to grow plants.

On the forum and chat, you can share care tips and interesting information about your favorite plants and connect with gardeners from all over the world.

Features:

  • Plant identification with just one snap
  • Informs you about the diseases plants are susceptible too
  • Has a forum for exchanging important information and connecting with other plant lovers
Pros:
  • Easy to use
  • Has other features besides plant identification
  • Free app
  • User-fr
Cons:
  • New app and crashes often
  • Only available to Android users

6. PlantNet

Compatible with: both Android and iOS

How it works:

PlantNet enables plant identification but also allows you to participate in expanding their database.

Currently, it features over twenty thousand different species and is growing every day thanks to contributions from its users.

Among free plant identification apps, it is one of the most used ones, as it features common plants and some wild types and collection pieces.

All you need for plant identification is a picture of one plant’s part – it can be either flower, leaf, or fruit.

Remember that it won’t give you a precise result – the app will compare your photo with the ones present in its database and list a few options.

Then you can scroll through results and choose which one resembles your plant the most.

Other users can help you identify plants as well.

Besides plant identification, you can use the identification app to explore species in your location.

Features:

  • Identify plants and learn more about their origin, family, class, and genus
  • Variety of factsheets that are useful to gardeners and scientists
  • Option to reidentify the plant
  • Mapping of plants
Pros:
  • No ads that will interrupt you while using the plant identification app
  • Simple design
  • Option to sync mobile app and web version
Cons:
  • Smaller database compared to other best plant identification apps

7. What’s that Flower

Compatible with: only with Android

How it works:

Most of the apps listed on this best plant identification apps list are based on plant lens – once you take a picture and the plant identifier compares it with others in the database.

However, What’s that Flower uses a different strategy.

Often you won’t be able to take a photo of the plant, so most of the plant identification apps will be useless.

Creators of What’s that Flower wanted to make a plant identification app that will serve you well when you don’t have a picture to upload – all you need to identify plants is your memory.

The identification app features a short questionnaire about the flower you saw. For example, color, the location where it grows, and other features of a plant such as the number of petals.

Then it creates a list of all flowers that match your description.

Features:

  • Database of 600 flowers
  • No pictures are needed, just complete a questionnaire
  • Identify plants and learn about deadly species
Pros:
  • Free to use
  • Great for identifying flowers
Cons
  • Small database
  • You have to pay to get rid of ads

Top paid apps to identify plants

  • PictureThis
  • FlowerChecker
  • Garden Compass
apps to identify plants

1. PictureThis

Compatible with: Android, iOS

How it works:

PictureThis states that it has a 98% success rate thanks to its powerful AI, so it isn’t surprising that it is the most downloaded plant identifier, and it had to be featured on the list of best plant identification apps.

So, how did it become the most mentioned app in plant identifiers reviews?

It currently counts thousands of different species and millions of identified plants thanks to users’ contributions and picture submissions, which makes it so trustworthy.

Gardeners and biology students use it, researchers, explorers, and wildlife enthusiasts, even though it is a paid app.

PictureThis is more than an identification app because it has numerous tips on proper care, fertilization, and you can even set reminders. It can even identify weeds and give you clear instructions on how to get rid of them.

Each time you use the plant identification app, your collection grows so that you can keep track of your entire garden.

The only downside is that it is a paid app – there is a free trial and, you can use the app for free if you don’t mind the ads, but many features will remain locked.

Features:

  • Identification of plants, flowers, trees, as well as weeds, and tips on eradicating them
  • Water reminders and many guides on proper plant care
  • Connect with other gardeners and share snaps
  • Create an online collection of wild plants
Pros:
  • User-friendly
  • More than just a plant identification app
  • Features helpful guides
Cons:
  • Problems with unsubscribing
  • Too many ads

2. FlowerChecker

Compatible with: Android and iOS

How it works:

AI is a powerful tool, yet not perfect, so many gardeners hesitate to use any plant identification app, as most of them are based on this new technology.

If you are among them but still want to learn more about some wild plants or even some common species, FlowerChecker could be a great choice!

It is the best plant identification app, not based on AI!

FlowerChecker has hired a group of experts that are reviewing each snap and identifying the plants.

Experts are pretty skilled, so you will receive an answer within an hour or so in most cases.

For identification, you can provide one or more photos, upload them, and wait for notification that identification is completed.

Then you will have to pay a small fee to check the results.

Features:

  • Experts are analyzing each picture
  • Identification in an hour or within 24 hours
Pros:
  • Pay only if identification is successful
  • No ads
Cons:
  • The process is sometimes slow

3. Garden Compass

Compatible with: iOS

How it works:

Another non-computer-based app is Garden Compass – this best plant identification app is featured only on App Store and has a high number of positive reviews. It is among the top plant identification app choices for iOS users.

However, Garden Compass provides an additional feature compared to FlowerChecker.

Once the identification process is over, experts will provide you with essential care tips and guidelines, and you have access to a digital care calendar with all reminders.

Whenever you aren’t sure whether you should fertilize or water the plant, check the app and advices in the digital care calendar.

This app’s price is also based on correct identification, so you are only paying if you get your answer.

Features:

  • Guidelines for proper care written by experts
  • Two free identifications
  • Reminders in the digital calendar
Pros:
  • Easy to use
  • 100% accuracy
  • Free monthly credits
Cons:
  • Slower compared to computer-based plant identification app choices

Alternatives

I have two more recommendations on my best plant identification apps list for those looking for a more versatile app, so let’s check them out.

identifty the plnt, apps

1. Google Lens

Google Lens is a quite universal tool – it can be the best plant identification app, but it has other purposes.

It is entirely free, and all you have to do is connect it with your Google e-mail address.

Keep in mind that its possibilities are limited – it can easily recognize the plant, but for learning more about each species, you will have to research on your own.

Google Lens is also useful for identifying animals, wild species and scanning barcodes.

2. Pinterest

Last but not least best plant identification app is Pinterest.

You are probably familiar with it, as it is excellent for discovering new recipes, styling ideas, decor, and similar, but it can also be great for plant identification.

It features its image search, so if somebody has already uploaded the picture of the plant you are interested in, you can quickly identify it. Later you can create the board and store all of your favorite pins.

Conclusion

Plant identification apps are valuable tools for students, biologists, scientists, researchers, and plant enthusiasts.

Some of them are computer-based, some not, and some are universal apps that can help you in many other ways.

Furthermore, many offer not only identification but guides for care that can improve the health of your plants.

I hope that you find this guide helpful and that you are satisfied with your pick!