Best apps to keep your houseplants healthy

Compacted soil, yellowing leaves, fungus gnats or worse. Whenever I see a plant showing signs of trouble, I start to wonder what I may have done wrong. Did I buy a sick plant from the store? Has my overwatering resulted in giving my favourite plant root rot? Am I the world’s worst plant parent better suited to owning an ant farm?

Maintaining houseplants doesn’t have to be hard work. But when you’ve got multiple plants that seem to have different watering schedules, lighting needs and soil requirements it can get overwhelming. Here are five apps designed to give you the confidence and help you need to best nurture your plants.

Planta is often dubbed the best overall one-stop-shop app for all your plant problems. Photo: Planta

Planta: Planta is often dubbed the best overall one-stop-shop app for all your plant problems. Without the premium upgrade, the app still offers a lot for free. You can track the different species of plants you have, manually monitor the intensity of light in each room your plants are in and also receive a notification when you should water them based on where you are located. The premium version offers instruction on fertilizing, misting, repotting and pruning and also allows you to use your phone camera to automatically identify plant species and help you learn the light levels in your rooms. Free on iOS and Android. In-app purchases available.

Blossom: says Blossom has a database of more than 10,000 indoor and garden plants, each of which comes with a page about its preferences for light, soil, water, temperature, humidity, potting, and propagation. The app doesn’t come with premium features like light metres and personalized recommendations, but it makes up for it with its depth of knowledge and easy-to-navigate UI (user interface). Free trial on iOS and Android. In-app purchases available.

PictureThis: PictureThis-Plant Identifier allows users to take pictures of real plants and flowers and submit them for identification. The app is a plant encyclopedia that recognizes more than 10,000 different types of plants. With the app, users can learn how to care for their plants, flowers, trees and shrubs. “Our revolutionary plant identification engine is constantly learning from experts and specialists — and now it’s all at your fingertips. Simply discover plants around you, take a quick photo, complete the plant identification, and discover a new appreciation for nature,” states the app’s Apple Store description. Free on iOS and Android. In-app purchases available.

Vera: I’ve never tried Vera by Bloomscape but I’ve seen it praised amongst the community over the years and it dubs itself “the app that helps you and your plants thrive.” Vera can create a schedule for you to follow, easily setting up watering reminders and fertilizing follow-ups for all of your plants. You can also track the progress of your plants and create profiles for each friend with their name, adoption date and photos you take. Vera can also teach you new skills with its library of plant care and tips and tricks. Free on iOS and Android.

With Florish you can use your phone’s camera to scan the light in your room. Photo: Florish

Florish: According to the App Store, Florish is the complete indoor plant companion app, designed for those new to indoor gardening who may need help picking new plants for a space, or caring for the ones they already own. With Florish you can use your phone’s camera to scan the light in your room and understand what plants can thrive in your home before wasting money on ones that are not suitable for your space. Florish’s database includes many of the most common houseplants and is growing every day. All plant descriptions are written by experts who have actually grown the plants themselves and can offer their actual pro tips. Free on iOS.

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