5 Apps That Will (Kinda) Guarantee You Won’t Kill Your Houseplants: 2020 update
Ok, so we can’t really guarantee you won’t kill your houseplants. We don’t know you, your plants, or your experience level. But we can guess that these apps will help you compensate for any lack of knowledge you have and in the process of using them, teach you how to become a better grower.
1. Identify your plant.
WHY: This one is very useful for when you see a plant you like, lost a plant’s name card, or you straight up forgot what plant you bought and don’t know how to take care of it (hello, that’s me).
HOW: Simply take a picture, submit it, then look through a list of suggested plant photos to find the one that looks most like yours. I tried it out with a weird cactus-looking thing I have, and while I couldn’t find the name of my exact plant, I did learn the plant family it belonged to and the care instructions for similar plants within that family. If you get really confused (or desperate) you can submit a question in the app to gardening experts for $1.99 per question.
2. Inform yourself.
WHY: This app has it all. From how best to pot, plant and feed your plants to a comprehensive glossary of horticultural terms and definitions, you can take a deep dive into your plants and what best helps them grow.
HOW: Find your plants by common names, scientific names, family groups, sizes, colors, water/food/soil requirements, ease of care and more. This app gives you every tool you could need to find and care for the plant that is best for you.
3. Assess your sunlight.
WHY: Sun, water and soil (sorry, had to do it) are crucial to the life of your plants. Most plants you purchase will suggest one of three different amounts of sunlight. Full sun (6+ hours of sunlight), partial sun (4-5 hours of sunlight), and full shade (No direct sunlight). But how do you determine how much sun your plants are getting? I know I can’t figure out the difference between getting light from a window vs direct sun rays. Are they different? Which counts as sunlight? These apps will help you parse out these confusing questions.
HOW: Both Sun Seeker and Sun Surveyor use your location to track the sun's movement. You can do this with a simple compass or use the augmented reality feature to put your phone right where the plant will sit and get view of the sun's movement throughout the day.
4. Watch your water.
Vera: Plant Care App. (Free)
WHY: Because being a plant parent can be hard and as much as you love them remembering to water your plants can be easy to forget. Vera is here to give you a helping hand by stepping in as your "plant nanny" to help you be the best plant parent you can be, no matter how busy or how many plants you have.
HOW: Set up each of your plants with a plant profile by adding your plant's type location, name, acquisition date and any special instructions. Vera will do the rest, assuring no plant is forgotten by sending watering reminders to your phone for every plant. With their clean and easy to use app you can spend less time on your phone and more time with your plants. Be on the look out, this app may be growing by adding a real life plant nanny feature, for when you need a plant sitter.
5. Get social.
MyGarden for iOS (free)
WHY: This platform is like the Goodreads of gardening. You get to keep track of what you’re growing and show off to other gardeners, which in turn motivates you to take care of your plants. You don’t want to look like some kind of amateur (or worse - plant killer!) in front of your new gardening buds.HOW: You can keep track of your plants and their progress, easily sharing them with your friends to show how things are going. Photos can be exchanged to show off your handy work, plus you can keep track of ongoing tasks. Is it based on appearances just like every other social network? Yup. But will it help you become a better gardener? Most probably.