As a gardener I've found that doing some paperwork while gardening really assists in keeping things organized and on schedule. It occured to me the other day as I stopped to check my beeping phone that it'd be REALLY handy to have a software application to assist in some of the paperwork items that I do every year.

I've got the knowledge and the gumption to make it happen, but what I really need is a lot of common data about the type of plants we, as gardeners, find ourselves planting. I'm looking for any sites that provide the following data points:

  • Common Name
  • Scientific Name (or maybe the full KPCOFGS classification?)
  • Light requirements
  • Soil pH requirements
  • Water requirements
  • Average germination time
  • Average time till flowering
  • (if fruiting) time to fruit

I am sure that no such database exists with all of these pieces of data available, but I'm curious to see what solutions other people are using to get this data.


4 Answers 4


The USDA Plants Database is helpful for most domestic and native plants. You can search by scientific or common name, and each species page will provide links to some of the information you are interested in. There are also modules for searching for various crop plant info (see sidebar modules). Another helpful place is your local ag university. In Utah, Utah State University publishes lots of regional horticulture information online, your state may have a similar university that will be a good resource for you.

  • It's good site to find out about the distribution of the plant and taxonomic data. It's strongest point is aggregating links to other sites with more information about how a plant will grow in your area.
    – kevinskio
    Mar 21, 2012 at 13:40
  • +1 for the ag universities. If you're searching in google, you can get a lot of hits in the universities and cooperative extensions by adding site:.edu to your search terms, which will filter on websites published by colleges and universities. The info is generally of a higher quality.
    – bstpierre
    Mar 21, 2012 at 18:11

When I do a web search I usually end up at Dave's Garden site. They have all the information you list for 189,700 different plants. More valuable still are the comments from gardeners who have grown the plant.

The site is directed towards North American growers so exotics and tropicals require more work.

  • A great site for plant knowledge. You have to sign up to search more than 10 times in a day but is pretty comprehensive.
    – WienerDog
    Mar 16, 2012 at 14:45

For information specific to Florida and much of the Southeastern United States, I use http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/.

UF IFAS is the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science at the University of Florida. They have an office in every Florida county.


Check out Gardenforms Landscape Plant Guide on Amazon. It's a book, but setup like a plant database, but portable....a must buy for all landscape designers!!! It has the plant information I couldn't locate in the Sunset Western Garden Book, like that of heights, widths, growth rates to where I can actually purchase the plant.

I hope Gardenforms creates an Internet plant info database, that would be awesome and a must someday.

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