Meet the Vera Plant Care App, Which Puts Plant Doctors at Your Fingertips

Photo: Getty Images/Westend61
I'm still a budding (ha!) plant mom who fell in love with a sprig of lavender a few months back, named her Carla, and never looked back. I felt like a natural, and over time, my lavender lady grew into a healthy tangle of long, leafy vines. But with shorter days, decreasing sunlight, and colder temps looming, I'm nervous about the future health of my plant baby. So, I sought extra help in my plant-care by enlisting the Vera plant care app, a new plant-care tracking tool by Bloomscape, the potted-plant delivery service.

I'm not the only person who turned to plant parenthood as a self-care strategy in quarantine. And that makes sense considering that bringing nature indoors can help boost your mood, and the benefits of taking care of plants include increasing concentration and even helping to make us more compassionate. But while there may be plenty of reasons why you find yourself loading up on plants, taking care of them effectively is another story. And whether you're a newbie to the world of plants like me or are a well-watered greenhouse vet, the Vera plant care app exists for when you find yourself overwhelmed by your, say, 20 new snake plants.

"All plants require different care, so our Vera app breaks it down to offer specific watering reminders, and fertilizing, repotting and care instructions per plant," says Bloomscape founder and CEO Justin Mast. "As each of your plants will require different watering requirements and schedules, we recommend setting up a plant profile for each of your plants, and setting up those unique reminders. We also recommend taking pictures of your plants for their profile, so you can see how they grow during the seasons throughout the year."

As someone who had to mourn a gone-too-soon orchid, this organizational genius is alluring to me. So, I downloaded the Vera plant care app to streamline my care routine for Carla, with hope that if all goes well, I might work up the courage to get her a plant sibling.

Here's what happened when I used the Vera plant care app to tend to my blooms

When you open the app, you can search and select your plant in question. Next, plug in your plant's name, the room where it lives, and when you acquired it. Then, take a picture of it and set daily reminders. You can set a watering schedule and alarm, and also a fertilization schedule.

Vera shares common issues that can befall your plant and serves as a guide to your plant's eccentricities.

The reminders, though, are not what sells me on Vera; rather, the profile itself is what I find impressive. It details what exactly your plant needs. (For example, a lavender plant craves six to 8 hours of sunlight and balmy temps between 60°F and 90°F.) It also shares common issues that can befall your plant and serves as a guide to your plant's eccentricities. In my case, I did not know that indoor lavender plants don't always flower, or that they should be cut from the top. And when I needed to prune my plant, it was good to know how to do it and be confident in knowing that I wasn't stifling purple blossoms that would never come.

I also love the easy access to plant professionals. For example, Carla was flourishing in my first sunny weeks of using Vera, but suddenly started browning at the roots. I started panicking and splashing in an extra half-cup of water here and there, which only led to more browning stems. The app directed me to Bloomscape's Plant Mom Support Team, where I asked if I was low-key killing my plant. After a quick Q&A with plant-care success specialist Leah V, I learned I was probably over-hydrating my lavender, should allow the soil to dry between watering, and maybe repot it to a vase with a drainage hole. Things have been looking green since then.

In a breath, there's a lot of growth potential with Vera, whether you have one plant or a whole plant family. If you need friendly reminders to water your buds or friendly advice on how to not be a helicopter plant parent, this app will put it all at your fingertips.

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