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How to Identify Plants... With Apps!

Apps for Identifying Plants

A couple of few weeks ago this plant (photoed above) popped out of no-where. Literally no-where. It's growing in a small gap in the brick wall. My first assumption was that it was a pesky bugger of a weed - but with a second look, I realised it looked awfully familiar to a plant Grant's mum has in her garden. So I began to research. But how do you research a plant to find out what it is? I tried typing all sorts into google... "pointy purple flower plant" "plants with purple flowers" "triangular purple pointy flowers" - honestly, it was ridiculous. My search came to disappointing and failing end. Just how do you identify plants? So I typed that in 'how to identify plants' and what came up was two apps created for that exact purpose.

I'd heard of apple's slogan; 'there's an app for that' but never quite took it so literally. The thought never even crossed my mind to check the app store! I guess it goes to show I'm really not up-to-date with this modern-day approach! But non-the-less, I downloaded two apps that claimed they would solve my identification problems.

And did they? Oh yes they did!

LikeThat Garden

100% Free to use (and download), it's slogan "a garden expert, in your pocket" probably sums it up pretty well. To use, you basically take a close-up photo of the flower or plant you want to identify. It then scans the photo and pairs it up against possible matches. For each photo, it shows around 10 different possibilities. It's then up to you to identify which plant is the closest and final match from that line-up. You can then "confirm" identification, which goes on to help match this plant correctly in the future.

As long as the photo you've taken is clear with no other obstructions, it's usually pretty easy to match-up. Although, that being said, plants without flowers are much harder to identify. Each possible match also links up to its wiki, allowing you to read-up and identify from the info too.

All in all, it certainly works. And the fact that it's free really puts this as my favourite app for the job!

LikeThat Garden App

LikeThat Garden App

LikeThat Garden App

PlantSnapp

This app is much more in-depth and seems to be created to multi-purpose uses. The identification process is similar by taking a close-up photograph - however, it is then sent off to an expert who identifies it for you in one perfect match. You can add notes to help him/her with the identification, and once sent off, the app tells you at what position you are in the queue. It claims identification takes 24-48 hours although mine was sent back within just a couple of hours.

Once identified, you can add it to the "your garden" section which features a "care calendar" updating you month-by-month with a care plan for each plant identified. It's pretty awesome actually! Especially if you have no-clue about flowers, or like myself a learn-as-you-go (and hope they don't die!) kind of gardener. It also features identification for pests and disease as well as gardener articles to read!

The only slightly negative thing about this app is that whilst the download is free, the identification process does cost. Having said that, the cost is pretty minimal. 2 credits cost £1.49 and this will get you two plants identified. The initial download comes with 3 free credits to try out, so it's certainly worth checking out! I think this will be my second go-to app if the one above fails to find me an identification.. Or if I can't work out which is the correct match from the line-up!

PlantSnapp App

PlantSnapp App

PlantSnapp App

I'm pretty glad I discovered these apps - I often see plants I like the look of, but with no actual way of discovering what they are, I've never been able to hunt them down. So now when I'm out and about and I can get my gardener plant knowledge up with these awesome apps! Win win. There are a few other apps that also do the same thing, but these two were my favourites!

Oh and if you were wondering, the plant I needed identifying (top photo) is a Buddleja Davidii, otherwise known as a butterfly bush. I'm not quite sure what we're going to do it about it yet. Suggestions welcome. :)

Do you ever wish you could identify a plant?

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