Best Plant Identification App And Disease Diagnosis App – 2024

Introduction – Best Plant Identification App And Disease Diagnosis App

[Update 1/10/2024: we identified a companion app to iNaturalist and also updated the PictureThis review]

Seasoned gardener, hiking enthusiast, or a budding naturalist? Small joys lie in understanding the world at our fingertips, in our backyards, and along our neighborhood trails.

Using a plant identification app and a plant disease diagnosis app allow us to connect more deeply with our local green spaces. This article is a guide to take you through the best plant identification and disease diagnosis apps available.

Many apps use modern imaging AI (artificial intelligence) to identify plant species

Best Overall Plant Identification App – Google Lens

Surprisingly, we found when it comes to both Android and iOS platforms, the best plant identification app is arguably Google Lens.

Integrated within the Google Photos app and Google Assistant, Google Lens boasts the power of Google’s search engine. But take a look below at all of the apps we found.

Top Plant Identification Apps For both Android And iOS

1. Google Lens (android or iOS)

Google Lens offers a simple yet powerful interface to explore and comprehend the world around us. In the context of plant identification, the app proves to be a surprisingly effective tool, transforming your phone’s camera into a knowledgeable botany guide.

In our use, it was straightforward as taking a close-up photograph of a plant, especially focusing on unique characteristics like the leaf pattern. The photo is then opened in the Google Photos app, where Google Lens automatically analyzes the image and provides related search results.

We identified a Philodendron perkins, and an Asiatic Jasmine plant (Trachelospermum asiaticum), also known as Star Jasmine. Both examples highlight the app’s robust identification capabilities, confirmed by checking similar images from various sources.

One minor drawback is that the app does not provide information on plant care or disease diagnosis, which may be an area for potential improvement in future updates. However, it effectively serves its primary purpose of plant identification.

Overall, Google Lens is an accessible tool that can assist in learning about different plant species and can enhance our understanding and appreciation of the natural world around us. Whether you’re an avid gardener, a curious hiker, or someone who’s simply intrigued by the array of plants in your local park, Google Lens adds a layer of knowledge and discovery to your experiences.

2. Plant Lens Plant Identifier (android)

Plant Lens is a highly specialized Android app, designed solely for plant identification, capable of identifying over 60,000 species with an impressive 92% accuracy. It promises an easy-to-use interface, asking the user to simply snap a picture of the plant to identify it within seconds.

Compared to Google Lens, Plant Lens is more focused and in-depth in its plant identification functionality. While Google Lens covers a broad range of object identifications, Plant Lens excels in detailed, accurate, and swift plant identification.

Plant Lens goes beyond with the ability to keep track of your personal collection of plants, trees, and flowers, it functions as a digital catalog, a feature not offered by Google Lens. This can be particularly useful for gardeners maintaining diverse species or explorers mapping the flora in different regions.

To conclude, if your primary goal is plant identification and cataloging, Plant Lens appears to be the superior choice. While Google Lens provides a more general identification function, Plant Lens’s specific focus on plants, continuously learning algorithm, and extra features make it an ideal tool for anyone wanting to delve deeper into the world of flora.

3. PlantSnap (android or iOS)

PlantSnap is a versatile plant identification app that goes beyond simple identification to provide care instructions and cultivate a community of nature enthusiasts. Its most notable features are its ability to identify over 600,000 types of plants.

PlantSnap also stands out compared to Plant Lens by offering a feature that teaches users how to grow and care for plants, a feature that could be greatly beneficial for hobbyists and professional gardeners.

Moreover, PlantSnap lets you share and view photos and posts of plants globally adds a social aspect to plant identification that is not present in Google Lens or Plant Lens.

Post-identification, the app provides taxonomic information and a detailed description of the plant, which is a feature shared by Plant Lens but not Google Lens.

Finally, PlantSnap includes a “Search” function to find information about a known plant, a “SnapMap” to discover plants identified worldwide, and an option to create a personal library of plant discoveries. It also provides a web version to view your saved photos on a larger screen, adding to its user-friendly features.

To conclude, PlantSnap brings a comprehensive, community-oriented, and education-focused approach to plant identification. Its extensive database, care instructions, global community, and environmental initiative make it a highly appealing choice for anyone with a keen interest in plants.

Whether for casual nature walks, serious gardening, or academic interest, PlantSnap offers a rich, interactive, and valuable experience.

4. PlantNet Plant Identification (android or iOS)

The app title in the app store is “PlantNet” but the app calls itself “Pl@ntNet” to clarify for everyone. Pl@ntNet is an impressive application that combines plant identification with a strong emphasis on citizen science and biodiversity preservation.

Its capability to identify approximately 20,000 species using smartphone photography places it in the same realm as Google Lens, Plant Lens, PlantSnap, and Leafsnap, in terms of functionality.

The user interface seems to be well thought out. The ability to filter recognized species by genus or family is a unique feature not seen in the other apps. This will be particularly helpful for those studying botany or conducting detailed plant research.

Pl@ntNet also differentiates itself by encouraging the contribution of user-generated data for scientific purposes. Furthermore, the option to have your observations reviewed by the community increases the overall quality of identifications and can contribute to the user’s learning process.

This feature is similar to PlantSnap’s community aspect, which lets you connect with other nature enthusiasts around the world.

Pl@ntNet offers features such as differentiated data revision, re-identification of shared observations, and multi-flora identification, which make it a robust and feature-rich app.

It also provides features such as mapping your observations and linking to extensive factsheets, contributing to its usefulness for both novice plant lovers and experienced botanists alike.

Overall, Pl@ntNet seems to be a robust plant identification app with a commendable emphasis on citizen science.

5. Leafsnap (iOS)

Leafsnap is a comprehensive iOS app designed to identify plants swiftly and boasts of the ability to recognize 90% of all known plant and tree species.

Like Google Lens, Plant Lens, and PlantSnap, Leafsnap uses image recognition technology to identify plants.

One feature that sets Leafsnap apart from Google Lens but aligns it with Plant Lens and PlantSnap is its ability to keep track of users’ plant collections. This feature would appeal to gardeners or plant enthusiasts who want to maintain a digital log of their plants.

Leafsnap is also unique in its inclusion of plant care reminders for various tasks, such as watering, fertilizing, pruning, and misting.

However, unlike the previously reviewed apps, Leafsnap is a subscription-based service, with monthly and annual options. While the cost isn’t specified here, this implies that some features may not be accessible without a subscription.

In conclusion, Leafsnap seems to offer a complete package for any plant enthusiast, offering identification, tracking, and care instructions. The subscription model could be a drawback for some users.

Still, if the subscription provides unique, high-quality features, it could be well worth the cost for gardeners, botanists, or nature enthusiasts looking for a reliable plant companion app.

6. PictureThis – Plant Identifier (android or iOS)

PictureThis sets a new standard in plant identification apps, going beyond mere identification to provide a comprehensive plant care platform. Its features include 98% accurate identification of over 17,000 plant species, auto-diagnosis of plant diseases, one-on-one expert consultations, toxic plant warnings, and even a light meter to track sunlight for your plants.

The user feedback is overwhelmingly positive, lauding the app’s ease of use, informative features, and problem-solving capabilities.

However, the app’s pricing model isn’t clear from the provided information, which could be a deciding factor for some users. Despite this, the multitude of unique features, from disease diagnosis to expert consultations, makes PictureThis a valuable resource.

Whether you’re a plant enthusiast, a home gardener, or a curious explorer, this app provides an extensive range of tools to cater to all your plant-related needs.

PictureThis – Plant Identifier is an innovative app designed for plant lovers, gardeners, and anyone curious about the green world around them. As a sophisticated plant identification tool, it has become a go-to resource for recognizing and caring for a wide variety of plants.

Key Features of PictureThis:

  • Accurate Plant Identification: With the ability to identify over 17,000 plant species with 98% accuracy, PictureThis stands out for its precision. Users simply need to take a photo of a plant, and the app’s advanced identification engine provides instant information.
  • Plant Disease Diagnosis: The app offers an auto-diagnose feature for plant diseases. By snapping a photo of a sick plant, users can get immediate information on the issue and suggested treatments, effectively acting as a digital plant doctor.
  • Plant Care Tips and Reminders: PictureThis provides step-by-step instructions on plant care, including timely reminders for tasks like watering, fertilizing, misting, and repotting. It’s like having a personal plant care assistant.
  • Expert Consultation: For more in-depth questions, the app offers round-the-clock expert consultation, providing users with professional guidance on plant care and treatment.
  • Toxic Plant Warnings: The app identifies potentially toxic plants, which is especially useful for pet owners and families with small children, helping to keep their homes and gardens safe.
  • Personal Plant Collection Management: Users can track and manage their collection of plants, trees, and flowers, making it easier to maintain a record of their greenery.
  • Plant Recommendations: Based on user preferences and conditions, the app suggests suitable plants for purchase, helping users expand their plant collection wisely.

7. iNaturalist (android and iOS)

iNaturalist is a unique social networking platform with a focus on biodiversity. Developed through a collaboration between the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society, the app has garnered significant attention.

On Android, it has received over a million downloads and holds a 3.9-star rating. In contrast, its iOS counterpart enjoys a 4.6-star rating and is ranked 85th in the Education category.

One of the standout features of iNaturalist is its visual identification system. The app offers suggestions for species that resemble the one in your uploaded photo, a feature that is accessible even without an account.

This is complemented by a strong community of scientists and nature enthusiasts who can assist in refining your observations. Your contributions are not just for personal learning; they are converted into research-quality data and shared with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, thereby advancing scientific understanding of biodiversity.

iNaturalist also allows users to participate in a variety of global projects aimed at collecting specific data about particular species or places. Privacy is a key consideration, with options to control how your location data is shared, including obscured and private settings.

What sets iNaturalist apart from many other plant identification apps is its emphasis on community contributions and citizen science. While many apps focus solely on plant identification, iNaturalist broadens its scope to include animals, offering a more comprehensive tool for those interested in all aspects of nature.

Companion App:

Interestingly, iNaturalist has made Seek, an engaging application developed through a collaboration between the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society, mirroring its predecessor iNaturalist but with a more intuitive and interactive design.

Available on both Android and iOS platforms, Seek has gained a solid user base with over a million downloads on Android. This popularity is indicative of its appeal to a wide audience, especially those interested in learning more about the natural world in an engaging way.

Tree Identification

Lastly, to support reforestation and nature conservation, Virginia Tech Tree Identification is a reputable app that allows users to identify thousands of tree species in North America with ease.

Virginia Tech Tree ID (android or iOS)

Virginia Tech Tree Identification is an app primarily designed for a very niche audience – those interested specifically in woody plants and trees of North America.

This app stands out from other plant identification apps due to its focus on trees, the depth of information provided, and its specific functionality designed for on-site, real-time identification.

The app’s content is comprehensive, including fact sheets for over 1000 woody plants from all across North America. The app also offers a simple tree attribute questionnaire that further narrows down the species list.

Another notable feature is the ability to direct tree-related questions to “Dr. Dendro,” a tree expert from Virginia Tech. One potential limitation might be the large database size (650 MB) for downloading tree photographs and text.

Plant Disease Diagnosis Apps

The best plant identification app connects you to the natural world in a deeper way

Plant disease diagnosis apps are essential tools for maintaining a healthy and sustainable garden ecosystem. Two popular apps for diagnosing plant diseases are Agrio and Plantix.

Both apps offer recommendations for eco-friendly treatments, helping you maintain plant health while also promoting responsible agricultural practices.

1. Agrio (android or iOS)

Agrio is a comprehensive precision plant protection app, aimed at assisting farmers, crop advisors, and agronomists. It uses proprietary AI and computer vision algorithms to identify and treat plant diseases, pests, and nutrient deficiencies.

Key features include a collaborative tool for team management and communication, plant disease identification using smartphone images, and detailed integrated pest management protocols.

Unique features include satellite imagery for crop monitoring and field evaluation, hyper-local weather forecasting, pest life-cycle modeling, and the ability to send alerts for potential plant problems.

Agrio provides easy-to-create digital scouting reports, complete with voice-based, geotagged entries. In summary, Agrio combines modern technologies to provide a comprehensive and efficient solution for managing crop health and productivity.

While Agrio has advanced features designed to cater to professional farmers, agronomists, and crop advisors, hobbyists and non-farmers can also benefit greatly from this app. The plant disease identification feature, for instance, would be incredibly handy for home gardeners.

2. Plantix (android)

Plantix is an AI-driven mobile app serving as a crop doctor. It detects 400+ types of plant damages across 30 major crops by analyzing a photo taken by the user.

Key features include real-time disease alerts, a farmer community for knowledge exchange, cultivation tips, agri-weather forecasts, and a fertilizer calculator.

Available in 18 languages, it has over 10 million users globally. Despite some potential accuracy limitations due to photo quality or rare diseases, it’s a valuable tool for hobbyists to professional farmers for effective crop management and yield improvement.

3. Plant Disease Identifier (iOS)

The “Plant Disease Identification” app is a machine learning and computer vision-based tool designed to identify over 30 types of plant diseases from photos of damaged leaves.

In addition to identification, the app provides information on possible treatment options, although it urges users to be cautious with fertilizers and follow instructions properly.

A key consideration for potential users is the app’s subscription model, priced at $2.99 per week. While it could be a handy tool for hobby gardeners and professional growers, the app explicitly states that it cannot guarantee 100% accuracy.

The terms of use and privacy policy are available on the developer’s website. Given its simplicity and focus on plant diseases only, it’s a decent tool for quick diagnoses, but the cost and accuracy limitations might make it less appealing for more serious or professional use.

Conclusion – Best Plant Identification App And Disease Diagnosis App

Plant identification and disease diagnosis apps play a crucial role in promoting sustainable living, eco-friendly practices, and carbon reduction. By selecting the right app according to your needs and devices, you can elevate your awareness and knowledge of plant life while contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.

Staff Writer
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