One of the hardest tasks for gardeners is identifying the plants and/or weeds growing in their landscape. Or for that matter, identifying them anywhere you might happen to be!
We have all been there at some point with one of the following questions: Is that a weed? Is it a flower? Could it be poisonous? Or, of course, the old standby Mary and I use quite often : What in the world is that?!
When it comes to identifying plants and weeds, even the most seasoned gardener can be stumped from time to time. And who can blame them? Unless you have spent a lifetime studying plants, it’s nearly impossible to identify every flower and weed that comes your way.
But now, there is a way. And best of all, it’s completely free!
An Easy Way To Identify Plants And Weeds, For Free
Whether discovering a new flower or perennial while touring other gardens, or trying to determine what new weed might have found its way into our own garden or flowerbeds, there have been many times we are simply stumped at what we might be looking at.
For years, when faced with an unknown, we did the only thing we could. Snap a picture, and start researching the internet to see if we could find a match. Not only was it difficult, but extremely time consuming as well.
Sometimes we might get lucky with an answer. But quite often, we simply couldn’t find out. That is, until we discovered the world of plant identifying apps – and wow what a difference!
The World Of Plant Apps
If you’ve never tried a plant identifying app, you might be amazed at just how “smart” they are. Installed on a smart phone or tablet, you simply take a photo of whatever plant you are looking at, and the app responds back with its identity.
There are actually several great apps on the market, and almost all have a free version. Mary and I actually use two different ones. I use one called Leafsnap for my android phone, and Mary uses Picture This for her Iphone and tablet.
Both work great, as do many of the others on the market as well. Within a few seconds of snapping a photo, the app searches its plant database, and supplies a match with related info.
And not only can it identify flowers and weeds, but bushes, trees, and shrubs as well. In fact, it is now said that plant identification technology can recognize nearly 90% of all known species in the world!
The Real Scoop On Plant Apps
I will admit that we were both a little skeptical the first time we used a plant app. Is it 100% perfect? Well, the short answer is no. The apps do from time to time confuse identifying a few plants and weeds.
But honestly, from our experience (and we use it a lot), they have been pretty amazingly accurate. If you want the free versions, there are of course a few advertisements, but the helps it provides is well worth it.
As an added benefit, on rare occurrences where an app has an issue finding a plant, most have help boards where you can have fellow gardeners help identify too.
One thing is for sure, it’s an excellent tool to have in your garden tool belt. So much so that many of our friends and family now use the apps as well.
For more helpful garden tips and info check out our Garden Advice section on the blog. Here is to identifying plants and weeds with ease, and knowing what you are growing! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary
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