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PictureThis – how to identify and nurture plants

If home horticulture is something of an Achilles’ heel for you, consider downloading PictureThis – a smart app that lets you identify plants and learn how to nurture them using nothing but your iPhone.


Using PictureThis is simple – first, download the free app and sign-up to its seven-day free trial. Let the app know how many plants you’ve got in and around your home before arriving at PictureThis’s main screen – then the fun can begin.

Get scanning!

To identify a plant, tap the camera button in the center of the interface and point your camera at a plant. Let your handset scan the image and identify a match. After a few seconds, a result should be returned, identifying the name of the plant – including common and botanical titles – popular cultivars, and the genus. You’ll also be able to see a few pictures of similar plants to check you’ve got the right one!

Plant: identified!

Usefully, PictureThis offers more than just plant-scanning. If you tap Add to My Garden, you’ll then be able to access care information for your plant – including watering and fertilizing frequencies. Reminders for both can be set, meaning you’ll never forget to care for your plant.

Scrolling down on this interface reveals even more information, including a care guide (which offers information on soil and pruning), what to do if your plant picks up a disease, and top tips from garden coaches.

Swiping left lets users add notes about their plant in the form of a “plant diary” – it’s possible to photo-journal your plant’s development, too!

Plant diaries.

Alongside the plant-scanning features in PictureThis, users can also seek diagnoses for possible botanical problems in the app’s Diagnose tab. Tap Auto Diagnose and add up to three pictures of the “sick part” of your plant to learn of what may be ailing it. It’s also possible to explore by plant type or to search if it’s hard to properly photograph your plant’s wilted leaves or rotten roots.

Care notes.

An integrated chat feature with botanists is also available if the app struggles to identify what may be wrong with your plant.

PictureThis is your perfect plant-care companion – but it does come with a fee. After the app’s free seven-day trial, a yearly subscription of $24/£25 is required to use PictureThis’s impressive feature set.