With summer just around the corner, it’s time to put all things floral centre stage. Whether you’re arranging bunches of your favourite seasonal flowers, lovingly tending to a family of houseplants or trying your utmost to make your garden grow, there’s an app to help turn your black thumb green.
From care calendars and soil checkers to identification tools that reveal all you need to know about that mysterious leafy something, these fun and informative smartphone tools act like your own pocket-friendly Monty Don.
Next stop, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show!
This gem of an app is the Holy Grail for gardeners. It’s a like-minded community of plant lovers who follow and support each other’s green-fingered endeavours, but it offers a lot more besides. You can use it to identify plants, ask and answer questions, create a garden wishlist, watch video tutorials, discover local nurseries and tour famous public gardens from the comfort of your deck chair. Phew!
The data-rich British Geological Survey is behind this fabulously nerdy app, so you can trust what it tells you. It analyses the soil where you live, assessing its texture, depth, temperature, acidity level and mineral content before suggesting the plants that will fare best in your garden, saving you time and money.
This accessible app’s tagline is ‘Never kill a plant again’. It delivers on its lofty promise, offering buckets of beginner-friendly advice and easy to follow care schedules, complete with reminders. The Dr Planta function helps you figure out why your plants are looking sorry for themselves, while the light meter gauges the light intensity level and suggests the best suited plants for your space. Time to order some new plant babies, worry-free!
If your dream of owning a garden is yet to be realised, why not enjoy creating one virtually with this colourful app? Full of all the soothing sights and sounds of nature, it lets you plant seeds, water them and watch them blossom in 3D. There are over 50 different species to unlock, all of which exhibit realistic growth behaviours and react to your touch. Best of all, you can cut your most beautiful blooms and arrange a digital bouquet to your loved ones, along with a personalised note. These can’t compare to the real thing, of course, but they’re cute!
Snap a photo of any flower and this clever app, formerly known as PlantSnapp, will tell you what it is with 95% accuracy. Impressive, huh? What’s more, it will automatically create a care calendar built around your garden’s needs, based on the plants you’ve snapped. You’ll never forget to prune that rose bush again!
If you’re psyching yourself up to attempt a spot of DIY landscape design, this avant-garde app will kickstart your project. It works by superimposing concepts over photos of your existing garden using augmented reality - everything from trees and flower beds to decking and paving. You can then virtually explore how your revamped outside space will look in 3D before giving that long-awaited renovation a go.
RHS Grow Your Own
This much-loved app from the Royal Horticultural Society is packed with accessible advice to help beginners grow and harvest over 100 fruits, vegetables and herbs from scratch. It suggests the best species to tackle based on your available space and time, meaning even city dwellers can have a go. You can set up alerts to remind you what to do and when, record notes, and buy seeds and gardening gear from the connected online shop. You’ll be serving up delicious homegrown food before you know it!
Gardening noobs will appreciate this treasure trove of expert info, featuring answers to more than 200,000 commonly asked questions! It can also identify over 20,000 species at the click of your camera, so if it’s knowledge you’re after, look no further. It’ll fill you in on any disease or pest infestation problem too. This isn’t the number one downloaded gardening app for nothing, as its three million users can testify.
Lawns can be divas but this unsung hero of an app will help you get the betterof your patchy, browning grass. Its clear tips are tailored to the size of your lawn and the climate in which it grows. You can customise a maintenance plan and there’s a useful water tracker for making sure your grass stays lush throughout the summer.
If you’re partial to an Instagram scroll, you’ll enjoy uploading your own snaps to this similar app and browsing hundreds of thousands of gardens for botanical inspiration. The themed days are fun (‘upload a photo of purple flowers’, for example) and there’s a helpful care calendar too. Get stuck in building connections and you’ll glean all sorts of top tips from your fellow floral fans.