All of our technology is getting smarter, according to much of the marketing we’ve seen in recent years. It seems to have started with the smartphone, now every other appliance is getting ‘smart’ and our homes are apparently becoming sentient. One such smart system are the automated grow systems which have become increasingly popular.

While many of these automated grow systems are geared towards people growing marijuana, it obviously isn’t the only thing you can grow. In fact, there’s a huge variety of berries, herbs, flowers, and other plants which can flourish in the conditions set by a smart grow system. To take your growth to the next level, we’ve found that utilizing these apps on your smartphone can really make a difference.


One of the most important things when starting anything new is having access to a community of people who are at different stages of the same path as you. When it comes to growing plants, you’ll find there are countless people out there with varying degrees of passion and experience. Finding apps which provide a platform for members of a community to share pictures and ask questions can be really helpful for new growers.


Essentially, a Facebook for green thumbs, GrowIt! boasts an enthusiastic and active community who are ready to guide even beginners. The platform is centered around sharing pictures and videos of your plants and garden for inspiration as well as ascertaining information. It can also guide you on what will grow well in your area, and is relevant to both automated grow systems and the classic outdoor garden.


Once you start gardening, you’ll notice beautiful plants everywhere you go that you’ll want to ID immediately. Thankfully, there are countless ID apps out there with varying degrees of efficacy, but our favorite also has a fantastic community behind it. Owned by the California Academy of Sciences, iNaturalist is a citizen science identification app which relies on its community for guidance in helping to ID plants. Have this app installed and ready on your phone to capture photos of plants out in the wild or even in the local café planter box.


Generally gleaned from the community, some people may prefer to use an app for guidance in the early days of growing their first plants. Having a degree of self-confidence can also help with communicating problems or concerns to others, so for introverts this might be a better place to start.


While this app won’t give you the same amount of detail as other apps, its strengths lie elsewhere. Gardenia is more focused on the absolutely necessary aspects of growing your plant. Enter a plant from their database, and you’ll immediately be given 6 icons which indicate the following:

– ideal level of water for that plant

– details about fertilization

– how much sun exposure it needs

– it’s ideal soil type

– the blooming seasons

– the minimum temperature it needs for survival

While this app won’t make you a master of plant theory overnight, limiting yourself to the practical knowledge can be the ideal foundation for your future growth.


Another app which can give clear and simple guidance to growing your own plants, Gardenate is focused more around your climate zone and may be more relevant to outdoor gardens. Although this doesn’t make it useless in automated grow systems, those cycles can still be adhered to and appreciated. Gardenate also has a great feature of allowing you to add things to a wish list for future growing.


Now that you have some idea of what you’re doing, and access to a community for any questions you may have, it’s time to start tracking your progress. This doesn’t have to be for bragging rights or scientific reasons, it will only really be relevant to you and those growing plants in the exact same conditions. Having a journal can help identify what your plants do and don’t like, which can then maximize your knowledge for growing those plants again in the future.


When it comes to recording your own garden and plants, simplicity in the app is best, as you don’t want to have to navigate a hundred pages just to see your plants. Leafarise keeps your plant diary very simple, utilizing your own pictures and your own notes to track your plant progress. This app also incorporates forecasts, rain prediction, and moon phases to guide you.

This app is currently free and early adopters will receive lifetime access so check it out now.


For those already with some experience in gardening, you may want an even blanker slate than Leafarise. That’s where Vera comes in, offering you a completely blank slate to input your own photos, notes, schedules, etc. Vera also allows for the creation of notifications to remind you of water or fertilizing schedules.

Whatever you end up growing, be sure to give yourself plenty of time and patience throughout the process. Just like we wouldn’t expect a plant to grow perfectly first time, we can’t expect ourselves to grow plants perfectly from the beginning, and if anything mistakes are greater teachers than any app can be.

Automated Grow Systems From The Professionals

Smart Bee Controllers offers comprehensive solutions for controlling your indoor or greenhouse garden. To get started with our team, contact us today!