Table of contents

Contribution guidelines

  1. All data must be truthful and relevant. Any information added to a profile should be sourced from somewhere reputable or authoritative.
  2. Use a suggested value in each field whenever possible. Maintaining such a standard makes the data much more searchable.
  3. Include sources. If it’s more that a couple pieces of data, list the source. Follow the pattern used in the Description field. If you’re not familiar with markdown here’s a cheatsheet
  4. Use the comments section for proposing controversial edits or fields. If you have an opinion or knowledge on something that could be considered non-standard, or you simply can’t find a source, please make use of the comments system to propose such a field or edit, and we’ll try to get the community to help.
  5. Use the changelog. When updating or adding a plant, the changelog helps us maintain data quality. The changelog helps us keep a record of all the edits, so we know the what and why behind an update or an addition.
  6. Ask for help. This is a community - and we don’t expect you to do this on your own - nor do we want you to. Feel free to drop us a question or send feedback via the ‘Send feedback’ form in the bottom-right of the screen.
  7. No profiteering. First, if you have products to sell head over to the Open Marketplace. Second, this community is for everyone - and all inputs should maximize the experience for all others in the ecosystem. Please don’t add unnecessary links back to your blog or product. If you have relevant content or products to share, please reach out and if they’re in line with the mission - we’re happy to share them with our network.

A note about editing requirements

An account is required in order to have access to the site’s editing features, so if you don’t have an account you can register for free. You must be logged in to edit plant profiles.

To edit a plant

From the search page, you’ll find an ‘edit’ button on the right-hand side of each plant listed. From an individual plant profile, you’ll find an ‘edit’ button at the bottom of the data sidebar on the right.

To add a plant

From the search page, you’ll find a button above the Filters panel on the left labelled ‘New plant’.

Updating a plant profile

The editing/add plant view is essentially a large form. There are some required fields, but most of the fields are made up of dynamic key / value pairs (a sort of “question” and “answer” pattern) called attributes. That means any community member has the power to create a new field – or attribute.

When you edit an existing plant profile, you can review fields and make updates or add new fields. When you’re finished, drop a quick note in the changelog as to why you made the edits, and what you edited.

Saving your updates

Once you’ve checked your work and added a note to the changelog, you can hit the ‘Update’ button, and your changes will go live. There is a review process that all new data goes through. Currently this is handled by the admins of the platform, but will eventually be outsourced to more of the community.

Adding a new attribute

On the ‘edit’ page, you’ll find a wide button labelled ‘Add attribute’. This button will add a set of attributes. The first field is the label (key), and the second is the value (the answer). Please double-check that you’re using a standardized version of a label if it’s already used in the system – this will help with plant searchability and discoverability.

Deleting a data field

If there are duplicates, or bad data - you might need to delete something. Under each attribute set you’ll find a ‘Delete’ button. Use it sparingly.

Adding a source

Follow the pattern used in the Description field. Most plant profiles will already have source listed in the Description field, so it should be easy enough to copy/paste what’s there to create a template for a new source. These descriptions are written in markdown. If you’re not familiar with markdown here’s a cheatsheet.

Uploading an image

You’ll find the image section right under the Description. To upload a new image, hit the ‘Browse’ button and choose your asset. You’ll have to update the changelog and hit the ‘Update plant’ button to save your changes.

To add a source and image description - you’ll need to update the plant profile first, and then hit ‘Edit’ again before the Description and Source fields will appear. This is a pain in the butt - but we’ll try to fix it soon.

Feel free to upload your own beautiful images of your own beautiful plants - and don’t forget to credit yourself in the source.

Priority data

In order to keep our data searchable and consistent, we’ve developed a standardized dataset covering all the priority information. Do your best to fill in what you can.

Most value types labelled as choice can be strung together for ranges and multiples using commas.

Field Value type Example / Note
USDA Hardiness zone Number, range “6-7”
Wikipedia URL
Life cycle Choice Perennial
Days to maturity Number, range 60-70
Spacing Measurement in cm 21cm
Growth Choice Fast
Height Measurement in meters 0.5
Soil type Choice light (sandy)
Soil pH Number, range 6.5-7.0
Germination time Range, measure 7-12 days
Germination temperature Range, measure 12-18°C (55-65°F)
When to plant (indoors) Measure, relative to last frost 2 weeks before last frost
When to plant (outdoors) Measure, relative to last frost After threat of last frost
Light requirement Choice, range full sun
Water requirement Choice, range moist
Drought resistant Boolean true
Layer Choice shrub
Edible Boolean false
Edible parts String leaves, berries
Edible uses String, choice oil
Utility Choice, multi-choice Attracts insects, Hedgerow
Warning String, choice Weed potential
Leaves Choice Evergreen
Family String Betulaceae

Thank you

If you made it this far, we can’t thank you enough for your interest in contributing to the project. Now get out there and plant the future!