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Google Search is the go-to search engine online for finding information on just about anything, including info on garden plants. But what if you don’t know the name of the plant you need info on? Google Image Search to the rescue!

Quick Tip: Google Image Search For Unknown Plants - Use the free online tools that are available to you to find out what that mystery plant is in your garden. Take a photo, upload it and search.

If you are a master gardener you might know the common name, botanical or scientific name, and every other piece of info someone might need to know about almost every single plant in your garden.

However for the average gardener, you will need to look up information. Google Search tends to be the online tool most people will go to.

Easier said than done if you don’t know what to search for in the first place. However Google has considered this and has provided a specialized search tool called Google Image Search.

You can access it here:

google image search

See the camera icon? This will allow you to either type in a url of an image you find online (useful if you are looking for other images that are similar) or upload your own photo of that mystery plant to have Google search for a similar image.

google image search paste image url

google image search upload an image

So let’s upload a photo of a rose from my garden. This is the result I get:

google image search result garden roses

Not bad. Even gives me the Wikipedia entry on the right side. And I can find more images similar to it.

I have to point out though that this tool is not perfect. I tried some other images from my photo album and found that it had issues with photos where the object you are looking for is not taking up most of the frame.

One image of a flower in a container came up with “Soil” as the result. Yes, the container had lots of soil visible but I wanted it to pick up the flower.

It might help to crop your photo before uploading it so that the plant you are looking for is the main focus. Also pick a part of the plant that is unique. Image Search may not pick up the subtle detail in a leaf to tell you what plant it is. It may succeed better with a closeup of the fruit or flower of the plant.

A useful tool to have on hand even if it doesn’t work in all situations.

Now give it a try yourself and come back here to post your experience – did it find what you were looking for?

If you enjoyed this article, have something to add or have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Wishing you all the best!

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Marc Thoma

Tranquil Garden Urban Homestead, Victoria, BC


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Marc Thoma

Marc is the founder of Tranquil Garden Urban Homestead. He has more than 15 years gardening experience and is working steadily on creating his own urban homestead, trying to be more self-sufficient by growing most of his own vegetables and fruit.

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