A helpful directory of online plant databases, primarily in the United States and Canada, for information on plant names, growing zones, research, and images to help ID plants.
- All Plants | National Gardening Association Plants Database (US)
Search by characteristics, genus, and images
- All Plants | USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (US)
Includes common & scientific names, photos, growing zones
- Identify Plants | Garden.org
Enter characteristics to identify your plant
- Invasive Species | invasivespeciesinfo.gov (US)
Includes land and aquatic plants
- Native Plants | North American Native Plant Society Database (North America)
Search by type, habitat, light, soil conditions
- Native Plants Database| Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (North America)
- New England | Go Botany | Identify plants
- Trees | What tree is it? | (Based in Ohio, US)
Search by leaf, fruit, name
- Vascan | Database of Vascular Plants of Canada (VASCAN)
- Weeds | New Jersey Weed Gallery and Is This Plant a Weed?
- Insects, Spiders, & More | BugGuide.net
- Keystone Plants by Ecoregion | The National Wildlife Federation (North America)
- Invasive Species | invadingspecies.com (Ontario, Canada)
Includes terrestrial and aquatic plants, fish, forest pests, invertebrates, and pathogens
- Native Plants | Can-plant.ca (Canada)
Browse by region, name, characteristics, and plant type or species
- Native Plant Encyclopedia | Canadian Wildlife Federation
- Pollinator-Friendly Native Plants | Pollinatorpartnership.ca (Canada)
- Plant Selector For Birds By Garden Zone | Birds Canada
- Ontario CropIPM | broadleaf, grass, and perennial weed gallery
- Identify Seeds | Canada food inspection database with images
- BC Invasive Species | Includes plants, animals, fish, insects, and fungi
- All Plants | UK – Royal Horticultural Society (UK)
Search by sun, soil, characteristics, plant type, or season
World Plants Database
- All Plants | canadaplants. ca (Canada and world) – link no longer active
Woody, bulbs, annuals, perennials, tropicals, wildflowers, and weeds
- Canadian Seed Company Listings | Online sellers
- United States Seed Company Listings | Online sellers
Find Your Frost Dates & Hardiness Zone
Average Frost Dates | Use this calculator at Almanac.com. Enter your city and state or province to find your first and last frost dates and number of frost-free days.
Ecoregion | Learn about the native plant and animal species and environmental conditions specific to your region to better understand why your garden choices matter.
Learn More: Understanding Frosts & Freezing For Gardeners
Plants by Species / Type
- Garden.org Online Plant Databases – all plant types
Includes listings of online plant databases for specific states, regions, and plant species.
Here are some popular ones:
- Clematis | Identify your clematis – good for figuring out which clematis you have
Also see National Gardening Association Clematis Database
- Ornamental Grasses
- Tomatoes | Rutgers Database
- Wildflowers – Regional Listings
Plant Research & Evaluations
- Search | Google Scholar for research papers
- Search | University Extension research papers | Check that research is peer-reviewed.
- Reference | How to properly write plant names | PDF file
- The Global Seed Vault in Norway | Learn how it protects seed species from around the world
Plant ID Phone Apps
IOS and Android
The idea is great: use your phone to photograph a plant you want to identify and ask the app to ID it or narrow down the options (if it’s unsure).
I can’t say I’ve ever found a plant identification app that was accurate. Out of every 10 queries, perhaps 5 might be correct.
Also, a lot of these apps seemed to have moved to a paid model where there is a fee to either buy the app or request help.
After my last round of testing, I liked this one (somewhat):
Garden Answers | https://www.gardenanswers.com/
although I mainly rely on Google Lens.
If you’ve found one you think is excellent, I’d love to know.
- Inaturalist | Observe, share, discuss findings around the world.
- Natural History Museum | Database of the World’s Lepidopteran Hostplants
Look up a plant and find out which butterflies and moths use it as a host plant.
- Butterflies & Moths of North America | Collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
Seed Starting for Beginners
Sow Inside Grow Outside
by Melissa J. Will
NEW EDITION | Everything you need to get started with indoor seed starting for indoor and outdoor plants. Grow what you want—any time of year!
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