When you are passionate about plants, a gardener, or a wildlife explorer, having a plant identification app installed on your phone can become very handy. Fortunately, nowadays, there are many mobile apps for this purpose and not all of them require a cost.

Besides the general plant recognition apps, many others concentrate especially on identifying flowers, trees, vegetables, weeds, aquarium & pond plants, mushrooms, wildflowers, indoor plants, edible and medicinal plants, and more. Moreover, there are also various apps related to plant care, watering reminders, journals, garden management, etc., that you can find very helpful.

As a gardening enthusiast or someone who just loves plants and wants to know more about them, you will encounter many situations when you’ll need to find out the name of a specific herb, weed, tree, or flower. Yes, you can always try to find it online, but if that plant doesn’t have enough distinctive features, finding out its species can be pretty challenging. For that reason, we came to the conclusion that a plant identification app can be the answer to our problems regarding plants of all kinds.

By knowing what we are looking at, we’ll be able to identify the needs of particular plants and successfully care for them. However, there are so many species to identify and too many apps to choose from. So how do you choose the best plant identification app from so many plant identifiers?

How Did We Choose the Best Plant Identification Apps?

Considering all the plant lovers out there, we did our research and created this list of the best plant identification app choices for both Android and IOS devices.

So, this list contains three of the best free plant identification apps, three of the best plant identification apps coming with a price, and a few more we consider worthy to be mentioned. After all, you can never have too many tools and accessories to help you care for your beloved houseplants or indoor garden!

At the end of this guide, you will also find a couple of best gardening app examples we think might interest you. At least one of them acts as a plant identifier, but all three we picked will help you plan your gardening activities better and offer your plants the maintenance they need.

The Best 9 Plant Identification Apps of the Year:

First of all, we want to assure you that, since the first three apps are free for use, we decided to put them to the test. For the other application that required expanses, we decided to try the free trials or to ask around. The comment sections of the consumers or the potential users were definitely our playground during all this process. We are sure that you are curious enough to find out what we found there so, let’s get started!

Top free plant identification apps

  1. PlantNet
  2. iNaturalist
  3. PlantSnap

Paid plant identification apps

  1. PictureThis
  2. FlowerChecker
  3. Garden Compass

Other plant identification app options

1. Agrobase

2. Plantix

3. What’s That Flower

I. The 3 best free plant identification app picks of the year

1. PlantNet Plant Identification


This application is free for use. Moreover, there are no card details required.

Plantnet - Plant Identification App Review


Pl@ntnet is a plant identification app that describes itself as a “citizen science project on biodiversity.”

This app groups its over one million images into “projects”:

  • geographical, which covers plants from around the globe;
  • thematic, which would include ornamental and cultivated plants;
  • and micro-projects such as specific flora of a particular, and perhaps very local region.

How does this plant identifier work?

This plant identification app can only identify a plant whose image has already been shared by a user and thus, added to its database. It claims to have over 20,000 species in its database which grows every time a new identification is made.

However, try to keep in mind that, like all plant identification apps, the position and quality of the photo are critical. There is a tutorial on the Pl@ntnet website to help with this.

Choosing the correct ‘project’ is essential!  When photographing and adding a common houseplant under the “geographical” category, the identification result was unknown. However, when I added the same plant under “useful plants,” the identification by leaf was immediate and accurate.

Once the app identifies a plant, it shows other similar plants so the user can confirm their choice, thus adding to the database. Furthermore, Pl@ntnet allows the user to browse its extensive directory of plants through family, genus, or species.

Finally, another benefit is that users can share their photos to be verified by other users.

Where can I get this plant identifier?

Pl@ntnet can be downloaded on either IOS or Android devices for free.

Although, it is necessary to register to take full advantage of the app and to share your own contributions, no credit card information is necessary.

Another good aspect of this app is that even if there is a small bar of advertisements at the bottom of the screen when a plant photo has been taken, it is unobtrusive. So it does not detract from the experience of using the app.

Android iOS Website

2. iNaturalist


This application is also free for use. So no card details are required.iNaturalist App


iNaturalist is another citizen-based venture and is a joint initiative of the California Academy of Science and the National Geographic Society.

With the introduction of its plant identification mobile apps, iNaturalist provides gardeners, plant lovers, and other nature enthusiasts the opportunity to share observations of the natural world through its social network.

How does this plant identifier work?

Contributors observe and record sightings or encounter into the database. Identification is confirmed by other users as well as by image recognition technology. If the photo is unclear, iNaturalist will suggest possible options which can then be verified.

So, by sharing or confirming observations, users are creating research data. As of June 2019, iNaturalist users had contributed more than 25.6 million observations.

Moreover, the iNaturalist website has a comprehensive list of FAQs and tutorials as well as a Help function on the mobile app. The app allows you to explore an extensive database of observations and species which include plants of course but also insects, animals, butterflies, etc. This amazing feature allows you to browse sightings in your area plus nature projects which may be underway at institutions near you.

I found the app easy to figure out and use. I was also able to identify an unknown garden plant which has grown in my garden for years!

Where can I get this plant identifier?

iNaturalist is available for free on both Android and IOS. Registration is required through either Google, Facebook, or email, but no credit card information is requested. Last but not least, iNaturalist has an app called Seek, which is designed for children and families where no registration is needed.

During our research, we did not notice any advertisements.

Android iOS Website

3. PlantSnap


Free for use, no card details required

PlantSnap App Review


The goal of this plant identification app is to provide a “digital interface” between people and nature.

It has a database of over 500,000 species of cacti, flowers, other ornamental plants, succulents, and mushrooms and over 150 million images, all available with a click. Equally important, PlantSnap is available in 30 languages and uses artificial intelligence technology to identify plants.

If you have ever wondered how to identify a plant, or a mushroom, or a tree, an app like PlantSnap can be a real help.

As someone who is not entirely at ease with technology, I appreciated PlantSnap’s tutorials, which describe how to maximize the use of the app and how best to take a photo of the plant you are curious about.

How does this plant identifier work?

This plant identification app relies on a picture of a leaf or part of a plant. Correct photo placement allows the app’s recognition ability to be used correctly and results in very accurate responses.

The software lets you crop your photo and once saved, identifies the plant within a second or two. Then, the app asks if its identification seems correct to you and, if so, you may save it to the database. If the plant is not already in the database or answers incorrectly, you can add it by saving it, thus increasing the plant identification app’s continued “learning.”

In addition to the plant identification, the app gives you information about the plant, its genus, origin, size at maturity, flowers, and fruit.

We pointed PlantSnap at ten different plants, a combination of houseplants and garden plants, and identification was correct each time.

Where can I get this plant identifier?

The PlantSnap app can be downloaded on both android and IOS devices for free. However, there is a premium version of this app, and switching to premium is constantly encouraged. One of the advantages of the premium version is the reduction of ads; on the basic version, the ads are annoying, frequent, and can be as long as 30 seconds.

The free, basic application allows the user ten identifications per day after which only the gallery can be explored.

Android iOS Website

II. The best payable plant identification app picks of the year

1. PictureThis – Flower & Plant Identification


As you can imagine, as we entered this payable plant identification apps section, the only free feature you can hope for is the several days trial. Regarding the PictureThis app, you can enjoy this 7-day free trial before start paying.


PictureThis calls itself “a botanist in your pocket.” Its advanced artificial intelligence has identified over 27 million plants through user’s photo submissions and claims 99% accuracy. In addition to plant identification, PictureThis offers plant care tips on watering, and pest control, among others. It provides a social network for plant lovers and is highly rated on Apple and Google.

How do I use this plant identifier?

PictureThis offers a 7-day free trial after which the user is automatically entered into a one-year subscription. Many online comments suggest difficulty in canceling the subscription or being subscribed long term when they thought they were signing up for the free trial.

While this app offers the plant lover many options, it is wise to decide beforehand if the subscription is of interest.

Android iOS Website

2. FlowerChecker, Plant identify


Here, a whole new pricing process; the app will charge you 1 USD for every correct identification.


FlowerChecker is a different type of plant identifier app. Rather than being computer-based, Flower Checker has a team of experts who receive a user’s photo, analyze it, and post an identification on the app.

How do I use this plant identifier?

This can take time, although FlowerChecker claims that 50% of its responses are posted within one hour.

Because of the human involvement, there is a small fee for each correct answer (no fee is charged if the team is unable to identify). However, the first three identifications are free.

From what we’ve read in the comments section, users are usually satisfied with this app and recommend it.

Android iOS Website

3. Garden Compass – SmartPlant™


The same pricing process as the previous application: 1 USD/correct identification.


GardenCompass also uses a team of experts to identify plants and/or plant diseases. Users can place their plant photos in a “digital care calendar” where the app will provide the user with advice and recommendations.

How do I use this plant identifier?

The app will give the user reminders about the needed tasks in the garden. It allows two free photo submission credit and then, a free credit each month. Also, becoming a premium member at a monthly cost allows you to access several additional features.

This app is well-rated on the App Store for accuracy and speed.

Android iOS Website

What Other Plant Identification App Varieties Do We Recommend?

While we haven’t tested them yet, we look forward to giving the following plant identification apps a run for their money. Or not, since most of them are free! Here are some contenders you should consider this year!

1. Agrobase

This is a free app you can download from Google Play.

It is a serious gardening tool and even a farming tool for people in this business. While it may be a bit too much for the casual gardener and indoor plant carer, farmers will have a blast with it. The app identifies a wide range of plants, weeds, plant diseases, and even pests. Moreover, the database is massive and it receives constant updates. The level of details is impressive, just as the quality of the photos.

2. Plantix

A hybrid between a social media platform and a forum for gardeners and farmers, Plantix is one of the newer free plant identification apps for Android. One of its best features is that it helps users not only identify plants but also plant diseases and various plant problems. What’s new and interesting is that it comes with a global reach and allows people to connect and offer regional and even local plant information.

Keep in mind the app is a work-in-progress, so you may encounter some bugs or some missing details from the database. On the other hand, the riveting reviews may be enough of a reason for you to consider it on your shortlist of plant identifiers.


3. What’s That Flower

This is a very popular plant identification app for Android that helps you identify flowers that you couldn’t picture or forgot to capture on camera. Consider it a very good memory game. Instead of uploading the picture of a certain flower, you don’t know whether it is deadly or not, you answer a questionnaire regarding the plant.

The app collects information about the flower’s color, the number of petals, the environment you saw it in, other features and characteristics, etc. Based on your description, the app guestimates what type of flower it could be. It can help you identify over 600 varieties of flowers. You can have the app for free or for a small price if you want the ad-free premium version.

Now that you know more about our best plant identification app choices for this year, it is time to present you with some of the best gardening apps available for Android and iOS.

3 Best Gardening Apps to Try This Year

Plant identification is a must for every nature lover, but for a gardener, there are more to keep in mind. Let’s briefly go through three of the most popular apps for gardening and find out which one is for you!

This is more than just a plant identification app, it is a gardening tool, available for both Android and iPhone. Put in the plants, flowers, and ornamentals you have in your garden and the app will generate a Digital Care Calendar that will notify you about what your plants need and when, so you can offer them the best possible care.


Smart Plant - Grdening App


A free app for iPhones, Gardening Companion acts more like a garden planning tool. It allows you to track your garden’s progress, set garden care & maintenance alerts and reminders, and access a massive database containing articles, tutorials, videos, and crucial resources for seasoned and beginner gardeners alike.


Gardening Companion - Gardening App


Available on Android, iOS, and Amazon Apps, this is one of the best gardening apps one can wish for and use. As its name suggests, this app helps you identify and understand the soil type in your garden, its depth & pH, the soil temperature, and, most importantly, its organic matter content. Developed by the British Geological Survey, the app can help you select the exact flowers, ornamental plants, and trees that will grow best on your property.


Mysoil - Best Gardening App


These are some of the best gardening apps we chose to accompany the best plant identification apps we reviewed. Before we leave you to tend to your garden, let’s see some more information on plant identifiers and how to pick the best one for your needs.

Choosing the Best Plant Identification App: FAQs

Let’s answer here some of the frequently asked questions regarding the best apps to identify unknown plants and flowers! If you have other questions for us, use the comment section below!

What are the best apps to identify plants and flowers?

Our favorite is Pl@ntNet because of its global themes and its research-based information and approach. iNaturalist appeals to some of us for its association with National Geographic and its vast database of the natural world. Both are informative and accurate. PlantSnap is also precise, very comprehensive, and highly rated, but its advertisements can be really annoying.

Are plant identifiers and apps worth it?

You can certainly give them a try! If you do not think that they will help you with the identification of unknown plants and flowers, try the free ones for a while and see how good they actually are. If you are serious about starting an indoor garden or revamping your landscape, these apps are a great tool for botanists, hobbyists, and plant growers of all skill levels.

How reliable are the plant identifiers?

Check out our plant identifiers reviews and guide and select the ones that you consider to work best for your needs. Most plant identifiers, like PlantSnap, iNaturalist, Pl@ntNet, or Agrobase are quite reliable and received praise from their users. It all depends on what you want from your plant identification app. Do you want to distinguish between different types of Echeveria plants or do you want to recognize a flower or plant you have never seen before in your life?

Final Thoughts

Plant identification apps are a great tool for any gardener! While there are many apps to choose out there, your final choice will always depend on personal preference. Artificial intelligence or a team of experts? Willing to pay or not? Can’t stand advertisements? Indoor casual gardening or serious farming and landscaping activities?

Tell us what is your favorite plant identification app if you ever used one! Have you had experiences with plant identification apps before? How was that? How about gardening apps? How have they impacted your gardening practice?

We would love to hear from you!

Gail Edwards
About the Author - Gail Edwards

I have been a fan of indoor plants for over 40 yearsand have over 60 plants in my home. I bought my first plant, a Schefflera, when I was a teenager and slowly began collecting and propagating different varieties of plants. Now that I am retired, I also devote time to an outdoor flower garden and a vegetable garden in the summer months. I live in Canada where the


17 thoughts on “9 Best Plant Identification Apps – Pro and Cons Review

  • Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However I am experiencing troubles with your RSS.

    I don’t know why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody
    else having identical RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond?

  • Thanks for reviewing these apps. For a specific area, the apps by High Country Apps are heads and shoulders above the rest (because of their close ties with each herbarium in the region).

    • Hi Katherine! Thank you for your suggestion, this sounds very helpful. We will test them and maybe include them in a future update!

  • I tried plantsnap first and it was a total bust. I tried it in my yard so I knew the plants. It was wrong 8 out of ten times. It worked for you but not for me. My wife and I walk different neighborhoods and see plants we know not. I would love to have a plant identifier I could rely on. I do not trust Plantsnap. I did try it more than once with the same bad results each time.

    • Hi Bob! Thank you for your feedback! We hope the other apps in this guide work better for you. If you find another one that we didn’t talk about and you are happy with, let us know. Maybe other gardners will find it useful and we can test it as well!

  • My web link to your review must be faulty because I don’t see the many expressions of thanks for your excellent and valuable work! And I expected many folk to weigh in with their experiences. In any case I am a very new to caring to know more about what I’m planting,,,besides it caught my eye at the big-box garden center. Or knowing what all that other stuff that chooses to pop up and grow on my property…except that if I didn’t plant it, it must be a weed to pull. I’ve had soooo much fun since I started using a plant id app to name and learn. I happened to start with Picture This. It is awfully good, but does depend a lot on the photo you provide. It was good enough to go with it’s 2019 1yr cost of $20us. But is about to reset at $30 in my second year. Inaturalist seems an appealing free alternative to try in the 10days I have left before the auto renew.

    • Hi Ed, thank you for your comment! It’s good to hear you found your favorite app, keep us posted on how that works and let us know if you find another app you like that we could test and add in with our next update.

  • I purchased the app and it won’t work!! I took a pic of my plant and it’s saying an error occurred and to try again in a few mins but still won’t work!!!!!!! 😒😡

    • Hi Mary, thank you for your feedback! Please contact the app creators via their customer support and let them know about this issue, I’m sure they will be able to help you!

  • Thank you for the great article, as i needed to have choices of both free and apps that cost. I had heard of one that could give you the name of the plant and things it was good for–eating, tea infusions, a salve, etc.

    • Hi Leslie! I’m curious about that app now, so if you remember its name, maybe we will review it and include it in the list with our next update!

  • thanks for the article! i tested most of these. but actually found a new one that actually identifies properly and does the whole plant care for you. i get notifications about watering, cutting and other stuff for my plants. they even diagnose deseases by camera

  • Hey, I don’t know what planet you’re living on, but PictureThis is 100% free!

    You can sign up for premium if you want to but the benefits aren’t really that useful unless you need to troubleshoot issues with your plants. I’ve been using it for months and aside from closing the premium ad every time I open the app, it’s still an absolutely amazing app for super detailed identification of plants and insects.

    Just don’t click ‘try the 7 day premium’ when you install the app and you’ll be fine, it also tells you very clearly that you’ll be signed up for the yearly subscription at the end of the trial right on the ad. Please fix this article to clarify that it is free but has a premium version where the first 7 days are free. I really like the app, and I hate the idea of people missing out on it because someone is claiming it’s not free when it is, especially since this is the first article that comes up when you search ‘plant identification app’ on Google.

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