The 8 Best Plant Identification Apps of 2020

The most effective ways to know your garden

Ever looked in a garden, yard, or park and had no idea what the plant is in front of you? Fortunately, there are plenty of great plant identification apps out there that take all the hard work out of the process. Here's a look at eight of the best options for iOS and Android.

01
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Best App To Identify Plants: Plantsnap

PlantSnap iOS app screenshots
What We Like
  • Simple to use interface.

  • Highly accurate.

  • Community features.

What We Don't Like
  • Some of the best features aren't free.

  • Still doesn't beat expert knowledge.

  • Limits placed on how many free snaps you can use.

If there's only room in your life for one 'name that plant' app, PlantSnap is the one. It's very simple to use with a neat tutorial guiding you through the paces. Its accuracy level is pretty good even if it occasionally makes the odd misstep that a professional gardener would avoid. Quick and easy to use, its only true downside is that you'll need to pay to be able to use it frequently and to unlock certain other features such as the ability to view other people's snaps. It's worth it though.

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02
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Simplest Plant ID App: iPlant

iPlant iOS app screenshots
What We Like
  • Highly accurate identification.

  • Offers Wikipedia links to tell you more.

  • Simple and straightforward.

What We Don't Like
  • Not the fastest of apps.

  • iOS only.

  • Few typos within the app.

Skipping past the need for community features or anything too complex, iPlant gets right to the point - snap a photo of a plant and it'll (eventually) tell you what it is. It's very accurate too providing you with a Wikipedia link and more to learn more about it. It's just unfortunate then that it's a little slow on the uptake when uploading photos, and it's only available for iOS.

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03
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Most Accurate Plant Identification App: LeafSnap

LeafSnap iOS app screenshots
What We Like
  • Simple to use.

  • Very accurate.

  • Attractive interface.

What We Don't Like
  • Intrusive ads.

  • Grammatical errors in places.

  • Less information than some apps.

LeafSnap performed admirably in our tests, generally proving to be the most accurate Plant ID app out of all the ones we tried. That comes at a small cost with a lot of very intrusive video ads that encourage you to upgrade to the premium build of the app, but it's worth it for such good results. If it also included extra information on plants besides existing Wikipedia knowledge, it'd be the best of the bunch. As it stands, it's still well worth using. 

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04
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Best App for Plant Care and Identification: PictureThis

PictureThis iOS app screenshots
What We Like
  • Extensive amount of knowledge.

  • High accuracy.

  • Teaches you how to care for plants.

What We Don't Like
  • Overly keen for you to subscribe.

  • Almost too much information for some users.

  • Limited free plant identification on free plan.

PictureThis is a fantastically comprehensive plant identification app. It takes seconds to identify plants before giving you a near overwhelming amount of information on it and how best to care for it. For some users, it'll be excessive but for those keen to cultivate their green space, it's a huge help. It even identifies if a plant is toxic and warns you accordingly. Bear in mind, you'll need to subscribe if you plan on using it for any length of time. Keen gardeners will be happy to do so as its near encyclopedic knowledge is very useful.

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05
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Best Community Focused Plant Identification App: Garden Answers

Garden Answers iOS app screenshots
What We Like
  • Community features allow you to ask experts.

  • Fast identification.

  • Can discover plants near you.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires sign up.

  • Not quite instant setup.

  • Dated interface.

If you don't mind signing up to a new community, Garden Answers is a great way to get in touch with horticultural experts, discover exciting plants near you, as well as identify plants around your garden and surroundings. The interface feels a little dated by modern standards but ads aren't too intrusive and Garden Answers tells you the basics about each plant without overwhelming you with too much detail. Being able to connect to like-minded souls is a nice extra touch too.

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06
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Best Location Aware Plant Identification App: PlantNet

PlantNet iOS app screenshots
What We Like
  • Extensive amount of different plants to look at.

  • Ideally suited for worldwide plant identification.

  • Attractive interface.

What We Don't Like
  • Need to sign up to get the most from it.

  • Submitted entries require users to 'validate' authenticity.

  • Occasionally inaccurate.

Designed with a worldwide appeal to it, PlantNet immediately presents you with images of plants from all the different continents. You can submit your own right down to the location by quickly snapping a photo and waiting for the app to identify the plant. While the app is reasonably accurate, spotting other people's entries can have some issues with the need for the community to validate how authentic the results are. Still, it's a fascinating insight into the green world and not just your local surroundings. 

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07
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Best Plant and Insect Identification App: Seek

Seek iOS app screenshots
What We Like
  • Gamification features.

  • Identifies more than just plants.

  • Extensive community features.

What We Don't Like
  • No plant care information.

  • Pictures need to be quite clear to be identified.

  • Gamification features could be stronger.

Want to turn plant identification into a game? Seek does that almost feeling like a form of Pokemon Go. It even allows you to identify bugs and other insects you might see in your garden. In all cases, you need to take fairly good photos for it to identify accurately, but it's worth taking that extra time when you gain new badges and achievements for doing so. If it had a little more information on plants and leaned into its gaming side more so, it'd be the ultimate plant identification app.

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08
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Fastest Plant Identification App: Plant Identification++

Plant Identification++ iOS app screenshots
What We Like
  • Speedy plant identification.

  • Quick overview of what you need to know.

  • Offers options in results.

What We Don't Like
  • No plant care information.

  • iOS only.

  • Need to pay for unlimited identification.

In a rush and want to immediately know what plant you're looking at? Plant Identification ++ is the fastest of the bunch taking seconds to show up with highly accurate results. Typically, it offers a couple of different results giving you the ability to determine what seems right to you. Other information is a little sparse but if you simply want to know a name quickly, it does the job well. It's just unfortunate that you need to pay to gain unlimited plant identification. 

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