I'll be the first to admit, I don't know much about plants. Spring usually kicks off with me walking around the yard asking "should I feed it or weed it?"
While certain leaves can leave even the best botanists scratching their heads, a smartphone app claims it'll help identify plants, shrubs, and weeds to help you decide whether you should dig it up or give it a little extra care.
Blossom is a smartphone app for iPhones and Android devices. It uses artificial intelligence along with your smartphone camera to identify over 10,000 different plants. I've used similar apps in the past, but Blossom gets so many great reviews I thought I should give it a try.
Armed with the app on a bright spring day, I took Blossom for a stroll around the yard. First to a fast-growing bush of some kind that seemed to pop out of nowhere. It had plenty of room to grow and at first glance, it appears to be the healthiest plant in that particular flower bed. I had my suspicions that it needs to be dug up but what would the Blossom app think? Framing up the leaves in a leaf-shaped lens in the Blossom app, I snapped a picture. A couple of seconds later my concern was confirmed. A hackberry bush. That isn't something I want in my flower bed and near the house so I'll dig it up. That's one point for Blossom.
Next up is a crepe myrtle bush or tree on the side of our yard. I know for certain it's a crepe myrtle because the darned thing blossoms all summer long. Framing up one of the leaves through the Blossom app misidentified it as a Combretum Indicum, a Rangoon creeper. The app gives you the best possible match and you can swipe left to see other possibilities. A crepe myrtle wasn't one of the choices. The next snapshot did indeed match a crepe myrtle. There are a few other bushes that sprang up last summer and this spring that were confirmed as crepe myrtles too.
Why the misidentification? Blossom didn't suggest this but I'm led to believe the bright sunshine might have interfered with its accuracy. Maybe if there were some blooms it would have matched it accurately. When I took the app inside to use on a couple of houseplants it was more accurate. Someone had given us a couple of small potted plants that would need to be transferred to a larger pot soon. Blossom immediately recognized them as petunias. Armed with that information, Blossom gave me detailed instructions on how to care for it such as how often it needed watering and fertilizing.
You can set up notifications to be reminded when it's time to water. A very important notification since it's easy for anyone to water too much or not enough. Plus, since we're all busy, it's just nice to get a reminder that you even have a plant to care for.
Blossom is filled with lots of good information and it is easy to use. It's free to download but a subscription is required. A monthly subscription is $4 or you can subscribe for a year for $20. There is a free trial that you must cancel in 2 days to avoid being charged for the yearly subscription.