Plants bring life to any room, balcony or yard, but choosing the right ones for your home or garden can be as challenging as any décor makeover. If you don’t have access to a garden center planner, it’s difficult to be confident that your selections will create the desired ambience over the long term. Fortunately, there are several “plant identifier” apps that can help. Even if you don’t know the name of a plant, you can take a picture and upload it to learn more about the species.

Not only can these apps help identify the foliage or blooms, some can also help you determine how well a plant might thrive in your preferred location, and what its growth potential will be from year to year. Before you make a purchase, you can go online to learn about the best soil mixture and watering regiment for that plant and get troubleshooting tips for disease or insect control. For outdoor plants, you can learn about your region’s hardiness zone, and how the arrangements of plants affect each other, based on the nutrients they require, or the shade they may throw.