[App Friday] Simplifying gardening, Blossom helps new plant parents take care of their greens
Amateurs gardeners, who are either interested in gardening or are just beginning to take care of plants, will find that horticulture and floriculture can be daunting tasks.
Taking care of a plant is not as easy as it looks. A plant’s survival is determined by a myriad of factors, including water, light, soil, and climate. With each plant having different requirements, growing a plant can sometimes become quite complex and confusing.
- Plant Identification, an app that guides users about plant parenthood and care, takes on this challenge.
It was one of the many picks of Google Play Store’s Best of 2021 list of apps. Selected in the category of everyday essential apps, Blossom’s popularity reflects the growing interest of users in gardening during the pandemic.
With more than a million downloads, the app has an average user rating of 4.2 on the Play Store and 4.7 on Apple’s App Store.
The app gives a three-day free trial to all users, post which a yearly subscription would cost Rs 1,700 a year (which comes down to Rs 141.67 per month), or a monthly subscription at Rs 350 a month.
When you download and open the app, it takes you to a page featuring animation of leaves and flowers, and a button that reads “Start Exploring”.
When you click on it, you are taken through a four-step guide on how to use the app. Once you are through, you’re asked to sign up. The user interface has a shade of soothing light green. You also get the option to log in through your Google or Facebook account.
On the top right corner, there’s also the option to skip the login process and directly head to the app. However, selecting this option might make you lose access to data, in case you uninstall it in the future.
After a user logs in, all their plants and care schedules will sync to the account you have chosen to log in with.
The search tab – a search bar in the middle of the screen – allows users to look for plants with either their common name or botanical name. You can also identify a plant by taking a snap of the plant.
The search tab also gives you the option to contact support through email, and check if the light a plant is receiving is adequate.
One can add these plants to their garden too, which will show up in the Garden tab.
Once the user adds a plant to their garden, they can add care reminders about water, fertilisers, or others. All these reminders can be viewed separately in the Reminder tab. This is another way for the user to set reminders for more plants. All they have to do is choose a plant, and set a reminder to water/fertilise/repot/other for particular days, or repeat them.
Getting to know more about plants
Once you have looked up a plant, you are directed to a page that gives you fundamental details on taking care of the plant, and how much water and sunlight it needs in three rounded boxes.
Right under it, in the form of a list, you can get more information about the plant type, its size on maturing, soil type, soil pH, bloom time, colours, hardiness zone (reflecting temperature), and details about the plant’s native area.
The search result will also show a photo. For example, if you search up Bougainvillea, this is the screen you will see.
Below this, you can see dropdown buttons where you can get detailed, case by case information about watering the plant, plant overview, how to grow, light, soil, temperature, humidity, fertiliser, pests and diseases, toxicity, potting, and repotting, among other things.
In the Diagnose tab, you can also diagnose whether plants have pests or diseases by taking photos. You can add up to three pictures of a sick plant
In the carousel at the bottom, you can click on cards to know more about some of the common plant diseases such as fungi, water-related issues, and spider mites. The information contains details about what the disease is all about, what may cause it and photos of it.
In the Explore tab, you get to see videos and information about different types of plants, useful tips, as well as basics of plant care and plant collection.
For those who are just starting out, the app is a game-changer. It walks you through the essentials of plant care and gardening, one thing at a time.
The app’s simple and efficient design makes it easy to use for all users. The design is modern, clean, and the developers have tried their best to not overwhelm the user with a lot of information at once.
You can control what you want to see with the drop-down menu when you are learning about a plant, which makes it not overwhelming.
It operates in a niche and does its best to give all it can about that particular niche. The information about more than 10,000 types of plants, what diseases to protect them from, and how to plant seeds indoors among other things are aimed at educating users and simplifying the plant parenting process.
With interesting tidbits on plant collection, the app keeps the user engaged.
However, identifying unlimited plants is a part of the subscription. You can still get care reminders for the plants you’ve added without the subscription too. For users who want to identify a lot of plants, they can pay for the subscription too.
There’s hardly anything to not like about the app. It delivers on its promise of identifying plants and empowers users with a detailed guide on how to take care of them.