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Smartphone Apps That'll Give You a Green Thumb When Raising Houseplants

Jason R. Rich is a consumer electronics expert who hosts the Featured App of the Week podcast and contributes articles to many publications.

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By adding a few inexpensive houseplants to the various rooms in your home, you can join more than 34.4 million households that already have houseplants, plus give various areas of your home a quick and impressive decorative makeover.

At the same time, by adding houseplants, it's easy to create a more comfortable living space for yourself and your family. You’ll also discover that there are many other benefits to having houseplants in your home that go well beyond them being pleasing to the eye.

For example, some house plants will help to reduce mold, dust, and humidity, plus improve the overall air quality within a room by reducing carbon dioxide and increasing oxygen levels. Research shows that being surrounded by house plants can also improve your mood and help you reduce your overall stress level.

With so many of us spending more and more time at home these days, the popularity of houseplants continues to increase. However, you may be thinking that every time you’ve attempted to keep plants in your home in the past, things have not gone well for them.

Well, there are a wide range of optional smartphone and tablet apps, as well as smart devices that work with your mobile devices and the Internet, that can help you quickly develop a green thumb and maintain healthy houseplants with ease.

One thing you’ll learn from some of these apps and websites is that you need to pay attention to the temperature, amount of light, and humidity levels in your living area, and then choose appropriate houseplants that will thrive in those unique conditions.

You also need to keep in mind that some houseplants are poisonous to pets and toddlers, so your decision about what types of plants you should add to various rooms in your home is important.

Some of the optional mobile apps and websites available will help you choose the ideal plants based on your living situation. For example, you need to ensure your houseplants receive the right amount of light, water, and fertilizer or plant food. This is something an optional mobile app running on your smartphone or tablet can help you with.

When you tell the app what types of houseplants you have in your home, the app will inform you about how much direct or indirect light is needed, as well as how much water and plant food to provide to your plants, at exactly what frequency, to ensure they thrive.

If you already have houseplants, but don’t know what kind they are, there are many different mobile apps, like: Picture This – Plant Identifier, PlantSnap Plant Identification, NatureID, and Blossom – Plant Identification, that utilize your mobile device’s rear-facing camera and the Internet to quickly help you identify plants. These apps then provide easy care instructions for them.

All you need to do is download, install, and launch an app like Blossom onto your smartphone or tablet, launch the app, and then when instructed, point the mobile device’s rear-facing camera at a houseplant to quickly identity it.

Once you do this, the app will identify your plant, allow you to add it to your personal garden database that’s maintained by the app, and then teach you about the plant. Everything you need to know to help it remain healthy will be explained by the app using easy-to-understand text and photos.

With a single on-screen tap, you’re able to set up a Care Reminder, so the Blossom app will remind you when to water and fertilize each of your plants. You can manage any number of houseplants using this app.

While some plant identification and care mobile apps are free, the Blossom app is subscription based. After a free, three-day trial, the subscription fee to unlock all of this app’s features and functions is either $6.99 per month or $29.99 for the entire year.

In addition to helping you care for the plants you already own, the Blossom app includes articles that’ll teach you all about gardening both indoors and outdoors. These articles include ideas for showcasing your houseplants in ways that’ll dramatically and inexpensively improve your home’s décor. With so many features and functions built into this well-designed app, it's highly recommend to all houseplant enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, the Happy Plant – No Water Thirst app also allows you to set up digital reminders about when to water each of your houseplants, based on their unique schedules. The free version of this app allows you to manage up to three of your houseplants. For $1.99, you can purchase the Premium version of the Happy Plant app, which allows you to keep track of any number of houseplants.

When it comes to shopping for houseplants online, so you don’t need to leave your home, there are websites and mobile apps to help with this as well. Websites like Plants.com, Livelyroot.com, and Bloomscape.com each offers a vast selections of houseplants at affordable prices, as well as online-based tools and articles to help you choose the best plants for each room of your home, again based on available light, temperature, and humidity, for example.

More expansive and exotic houseplants of all sizes are available from a website called Leon and George, which also offers all sorts of useful and free articles about successfully growing and decorating a home or office with plants.

You can also use technological tools to help you achieve success growing plants. If you access your favorite Internet search engine, like Yahoo! or Google, and use the search phrase “Smart Plant Sensors,” for example, you’ll discover a collection of Internet and mobile app-controlled sensor devices that you stick into the pots of your favorite houseplants.

These sensors monitor the soil health and moisture within the pot, and in some cases measure the amount of daily sunlight the plant receives. The sensor then sends your smartphone real-time data and plant care reminders via your in-home Wi-Fi and the Internet.

Use the search engine search phrase “Smart Plant Watering Systems,” or “Smart Plant Lights,” to discover a wide range of companies that offer automated plant watering systems and indoor plant lights that you can manage and control from anywhere using your Internet-connected smartphone and tablet.

Since not everyone has the space or ability to manage real-life plants, there are apps that allow you to virtually experience raising houseplants, without actually needing any living plants. The Pocket Bonsai app, for example, allows you to grow and nurture virtual bonsai trees directly on your smartphone or tablet’s screen.

The Pocket Bonsai app starts out free but has in-app purchases associated with it that allow you to expand the types of bonsai trees you can grow. The app allows you to grow and manage your virtual plants over time.

Getting back to actual living plants, if you’re looking for a low-cost way to redecorate your home, try adding an assortment of houseplants to your various rooms, and then turn to one or more optional mobile apps to help you identify and care for them in the easiest way possible.

Growing healthy plants offers people a sense of accomplishment and an activity to enjoy while at home. With the help of optional houseplant-related mobile apps, for many years to come, you can have a green thumb and enjoy the many benefits that houseplants offer to a home.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Jason R Rich