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There's an App for Black Thumb Gardeners

SmartPlant takes that guesswork out of plant care by giving an expert-back voice to your foliage


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You’ve bought the plant, potted it, and found the perfect nook to put it in. But it takes more than a little sunshine and water to make an urban jungle thrive. Enter the SmartPlant app, which sends real-time reminders for your sprout’s care. It’s as simple as taking a photo of your plant (or scanning the SmartPlant barcode, available at local retailers like Orchard Supply Hardware) to add it to your virtual garden. From there, 125 gardening gurus from across the globe calculate your plant’s maintenance needs, like pruning and fertilization, and forecast companion plant and other product recommendations. It’s all logged in a monthly Care Calendar. Pay into the premium plan and experts are available to answer questions, diagnose diseases, and identify pests.

Originally launched in 2013 as simply a photo identification tool, the San Diego–developed app has seen major updates to stay with the millennial and baby boomer times. This spring they removed previous limits on the number of plants users could add to their garden, and the app now connects with Amazon Alexa to give a voice to your plants, so when you find yourself asking, “I wonder if my forget-me-nots are thirsty?” they’ll answer.

And as an offshoot of the app, the company continues to plant seeds of inspiration via the Instagram account PeopleWithPlants_Official. Spotlighting greenery enthusiasts from around the world and their stories, it’s meant to be a riff on the popular Humans of New York photo blog—and just another affirmation that grandmas aren’t the only ones who can make dirty nails chic.

Download it: SmartPlant is available on iOS and Android devices.

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