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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

6 Best Plant-Care Apps to Download for All Your Plant Needs

Never mourn a dead, dried-out plant again when you use these plant-care apps

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

Best Plant Care AppsRD.com, via merchant (4)

Whether it’s brightening your home office with indoor plants or growing herbs outside to cook with, having plants can dramatically increase your quality of life. However, there’s almost nothing worse than accidentally killing a beloved potted companion, from overwatering your snake plant to under-sunning your succulent.

Different plants have different water, soil and sun needs. Providing the wrong growing conditions puts you on the fast track to a dead plant, but it can be difficult to remember the different care needs between, say, low-light indoor plants (like your hardy pothos) and indoor hanging plants (like your favorite spider plant).

Plant-care apps are a great solution to keep track of your leafy friends and what they need to thrive. Many plant apps offer unique features like plant identification, watering reminders, even a light measurement tool. They make it easy to keep your plants alive, especially if you can’t quite nail your plant watering schedule on your own. Whether you have a proven green thumb or this is your very first plant, we’ve rounded up the best plant-care apps to help your plants thrive.

How we chose the best plant-care apps

We selected the best plant-care apps by looking at a combination of popularity, customer reviews and unique features. We’ve also considered both free and subscription-based apps to include something for every price point. Though many deluxe features will only be available via a paid subscription, several apps in this roundup offer helpful utility even on their free tiers. With one exception, every app is available on both Apple and Android.

Our picks for the best plant-care apps for 2023

  • Best reviewed: Planta
  • Best for journaling: Plantnote: Plant Diary
  • Most versatile: Blossom
  • Best picture ID: PictureThis
  • Best free app: Vera
  • Best companion app: Plant Light Meter

Best reviewed

Plantavia merchant

Planta

The people have spoken, and they love Planta! This is probably the most popular plant-health app. It has been recognized with an Editor’s Choice Award on the Apple Store, where it has an average 4.8-star rating, with more than 68,000 reviews. Those numbers are hard to beat! The app deserves its accolades, with a beautiful user interface and deluxe features. These include a light meter to measure sunlight and access to Dr. Planta, a plant-care expert who will help troubleshoot common plant problems.

However, these cool features are available only to premium subscribers (expensive at $8/month, but discounted at $36/year). Without these features, the free version has less capability, but it still has tons of information about water, soil and sunlight needs. At the free level, the Planta app can still send watering reminders and recommend plants based on your environment and your level of experience and commitment. The app recommends low-maintenance indoor plants for beginners, working up to more delicate plants for established plant parents.

Planta Featuresvia merchant (3)

Pros:

  • Beautiful design and interface
  • One of the most popular plant-care apps
  • Discount on annual subscription
  • Can recommend plants to beginners

Cons:

  • Most features (light meter, Dr. Planta and more) are available only to premium members
  • Monthly subscription plans are pricey

Download for iOS

Download for Android

Best for journaling

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Plantnote: Plant Diary

If you’re extra sentimental about your plants—or you love to journal—Plantnote is the app for you. It’s sort of like if a plant app met a baby scrapbook. You can take pictures of your plants as they grow and look back at their progress over time. The app also gives you a blank space where you can write any notes on your plants or their care. Unlike some apps, Plantnote doesn’t tell you how much water or light each plant needs: You set the schedule, and the app sends you reminders. This can be an upside for those who prefer to do their own research, or a downside for those who prefer an all-in-one app.

The free version has great functionality and is supported by a full-screen ad only once per day. If you want to upgrade, premium costs just $4 to remove ads and allow reminder grouping. The app also integrates with Google Lens to identify plants and with your phone’s map app (Apple Maps on iOS or Google Maps on Android) to identify local plant shops. Another bonus is the data backup option, which means you never lose your plant tracking progress. After all, plants are the new pets, and you want to watch them grow!

Plantnote Featuresvia merchant (3)

Pros:

  • Lets you customize the notes you keep with a journaling section
  • A fun way to track plant growth with pictures and notes
  • Allows you to back up data, so you never lose your plant info
  • Excellent free version, with low-cost premium upgrade ($4)

Con:

  • Doesn’t automatically tell you how much water or light each plant needs

Download for iOS

Download for Android

Most versatile

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Blossom

Blossom wins our award for most versatile because it also has functionality for outdoor gardens. Although it doesn’t dive into hydroponic gardening, the Blossom app provides information on how and when to start seeds for outdoor gardens, including seed spacing, planting dates and harvest dates. Another unique feature the app offers is integrated shopping, with links to suggested tools and plants on Amazon.

Blossom also has customizable weather alerts, a blog about plant care, watering reminders and plant picture ID. One cool feature of the picture ID? Disease identification; you snap a picture of your plant, and the app can tell you if you have powdery mildew or a spider mite infestation. However, some reviews do mention disappointment with the picture ID feature, so it may be a work in progress. Additionally, this feature is for subscribers only, at $4/month or $30/year.

Blossom Featuresvia merchant (3)

Pros:

  • Includes information for outdoor gardens
  • Integrated shopping
  • Disease identification

Cons:

  • Plant ID feature gets mixed reviews
  • Best features are subscription only

Download for iOS

Download for Android

Best picture ID

Picturethisvia merchant

PictureThis

If picture ID is the main feature you’re looking for, PictureThis is the best plant-care app for you. On the App store, it boasts that it identifies more than a million plants every day, with 98% accuracy! And it’s great for more than just identifying your living room plants—it’s fun to use for identifying local flora on walks and trails, and it even gives warnings about plants that are poisonous. On top of that, the PictureThis app visually identifies diseases and gives steps to fix them and save your plant.

You can subscribe for $30/year, but if you look closely, you can also use the ID feature for free without subscribing. Once you identify a plant, the app will give you care instructions, and it can also send watering reminders like the other apps on this list.

Picturethis Featuresvia merchant (3)

Pros:

  • Super accurate identification of all kinds of plants
  • Disease photo identification
  • Free to use

Con:

  • Prompt to subscribe can be misleading, as it is possible to use the app for free

Download for iOS

Download for Android

Best free app

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Vera

The Vera app was made by the gardening experts at Bloomscape, and it’s a completely free plant-care app. Although you have to create an account to use the app, it’s the best plant-care app if you don’t want to break the bank. It’s good for plant parents with a little more experience, because you set your own schedule rather than follow pre-set care advice. You can log activity, like the last time you watered, misted, fertilized or repotted a plant, and it will send reminders when it’s time to do it again. There’s also an in-app blog with helpful articles on plant care, great for those still developing their green thumb.

Vera Featuresvia merchant (3)

Pros:

  • Free
  • Good in-app blog

Cons:

  • Must create an account and sign in
  • Best for those with a little bit of experience

Download for iOS

Download for Android

Best companion app

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Plant Light Meter

A completely free app that’s only available on iOS, Plant Light Meter is our pick for the best companion app. Unlike the other picks on this list, Plant Light doesn’t offer watering reminders, a blog of plant-care advice or any kind of plant ID. The app’s main function, which it does well, is to use your camera to measure how much light your plant receives. Choose from a small library of plants, take a picture of that plant in your home, and Plant Light will tell you how the available light matches up with the plant’s needs. If you don’t see your plant listed, there’s an “all plants” option that will tell you the amount of light present, and you can do your own research into how that matches the needs of your specific plant. The app also has a cute quiz built in, where you can test yourself on your plant recognition prowess.

The library of plants isn’t huge, and the app is lesser known as a result, with fewer than 1,000 reviews on the Apple store. It isn’t the best plant-care app on its own, but it works great as a companion to another app with more information on water and soil. Light measuring is often a premium feature locked behind subscription paywalls on other apps, so having this functionality for free is a game changer. With this app, never let your under-sunned succulents become tall and leggy again!

Plant Light Meter Featuresvia merchant (3)

Pros:

  • Completely free
  • Measures available light, usually a premium feature
  • Fun built-in game

Cons:

  • Small plant library may mean doing your own research
  • Only available on iOS
  • Doesn’t offer watering or other care advice

Download for iOS

Sarah Vincent
Sarah Vincent is an assistant editor for Reader’s Digest, covering digital lifestyle stories. She has also worked as a culture journalist, and you can find her published in America, National Catholic Reporter and Sojourners. In her free time, she loves crafting, cooking, traveling and learning (or forgetting!) Japanese.