Plant labels

So over the years, I've used several things to help me keep track of what is planted, where. Popsicle sticks written in permanent marker that wasn't so permanent. Plastic tags that also faded. Tags that came with from the local nursery eventually faded as well. I know there are other ways I tried to remember that I'm forgetting at the moment but all didn't work. 😣

I've even tried written plans but that last quick trip to the nursery to get a thing or two and I end up bringing home more lovely finds that need a home. So they get stuck where ever there's space left. And of course, they are not added to the plan.🤦‍♀️

This year I'm trying many, many new kinds of veggies, herbs, and flowers. 😁

So I'm going to need something reliable to help keep track of everything.

What has worked for you?


  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JennyT Upstate South Carolina I continually have the same problem. I have even had people purchase cute signs for me as gifts that also faded or simple fell apart from rain. I am also searching for a better option.

    @RustBeltCowgirl that is a good idea. Have you tried it?

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Michelle D I really don't have enough of a garden yet to try it. I would think that recycled aluminum pans like store bought pie pans and a dead ballpoint pen would work fine.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie, I have thought about painting rocks.😊

    And a pencil, really? That works best, huh? I'll look into that too. I've got several areas that I'll be planting so I can try a few things.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,019 ✭✭✭✭

    I've had the same problem so thanks for the cute solutions.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I mark my plants twp diffesrnt ways. Just in cse opne fils the other can usually pull me through, lol.

    Kids will love painting rocks or terra cotta plus it give the gardens a unique fun look

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭

    You certainly have great ideas that are fun and creative! Paint on rocks. Perhaps, during the cold months one can add a bit more paint to jazz up those rocks for added pazazze

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I've definitely trying the permanent marker on plastic or wood and had the fading problem even after a few weeks. The metal tags sound great and making them out of old aluminum cans sounds even better. What a way to recycle the garbage that gets thrown in my ditch all the time.

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    I love the idea of painting on broken terra cotta pots. Would acrylic paint be the way to go for that?

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,156 ✭✭✭✭

    Clever ideas listed, but personally, the stamped ones last and last. You can get some very cute alphabet stamps from a destash page!

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I use acrylic paint and varnish over it to seal it. I have had them for over 10 years. My niece and nephews made them so they have memories attached to them too.

    And as @water2world said the stamped labels last forever. Thye were used at out local audubon site. The only thints we would change is sealing them with a varnish. Some did rust and looked sad.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭

    We keep a journal overlay each year with additional notes.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,452 admin

    @JennyT Upstate South Carolina I use a permanent marker on a small glass jar. I write on holding it upside down. I put some colorful paper inside and put the jar on to a wooden stick. The permanent marker keeps for a few years. The paper I have to change every year. But, I think, it is not a perfect solution. I also tried writing on cut tiles or pieces of broken clay pots.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jowitt.europe That's a clever idea too.

    The sign is nice and big, plus I have all of those items already.

    Thanks, for sharing.😊

  • george
    george Posts: 3 ✭✭✭

    A few years ago after seeing these in a friend's garden we cut up some old damaged Venetian blinds and now have hundreds of labels easy to use. The plastic lasts for years. Another friend heard we were having a problem with words coming off the labels and asked what we were writing with? We said we had tried markers and ball pen ink. He suggested using No2 pencils. Problem solved: the writing can be rubbed off, but nature seems not to do this. Since our labels include the varieties and planting dates we find this the most inexpensive way to label our plants.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have used this method for years @george I try to get blinds at a sale. You get so many out of one blind. And pencil is definitely the way to go.

    And welcome to the group @george. Its nice to have you here. If you have not introduced yourself please do. And check out our friendly rules and regulations listed at the top of discussions.

  • LorettaLiefveld
    LorettaLiefveld Posts: 2 ✭✭✭

    I've tried all of the above methods except metal stamping (which was on my list of things to try, but so far I have a method that works now). They all had their drawbacks. I can't draw or write in any way that would look 'good', so the hand-painted/hand-written methods just didn't work for long, if I wanted it to be permanent and yet look nice. I've tried the 'blinds' method as well as cutting strips from something like a bleach bottle. But I just don't think they look very good.

    Right now, what I'm doing is using a Brother P-Touch label maker. You can make skinny labels or fat labels, long or short. The ink seems to stay on the label and not fade (so far, after 2 years). The labels seem to stick well to either wood or metal. So, I love that aspect of my current labels.

    My only issue at this point is that I'm not sure I'm happy with the 'stakes' I'm using to elevate them. I don't like label methods that are on the ground or close to the ground. They get dirt all over them when hard rain splashes on the soil, and the geese and chickens seem to think they are some new kind of food. So far, I'm using something that looks like this. My label on the aluminum/zinc metal looks great, the metal 'stake' part of the label seems to bend easily, and sometimes they end up twisting around so the label part turns backwards. Or, in order to get them into my rocky soil, the free ends of the stake are much wider than the top, which looks very dumb.

    So, I'm still working on it.

  • Sherry Clark
    Sherry Clark Posts: 6 ✭✭✭

    I have a collection of plastic knives. I'm going to try writing on them with a No. 2 pencil. If that doesn't work, I will write the label on paper, then cut it out and cover with clear tape, Then glue the label to the plastic knife with hot glue or goop glue.

  • tinarock
    tinarock Posts: 37 ✭✭✭

    @LorettaLiefveld I think those stakes you are using will rust in a couple of years.

    I don't use permanent markers for outdoors. I use "Garden Marker" by DP Industries, Inc. It is water and fade resistant. You can buy them at

    No marker is going to last forever, but these last several years.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @george Using blinds is a wonderful idea. I'll make sure to keep an eye out for them at the garage sales and thrift stores. 😊

  • Bont Boy
    Bont Boy Posts: 2 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2022

    Greetings everyone !

    I find so much frustrating about where ' Modern living ' ,

    has brought us ! Not simply ' Permanent ' Markers, which are NOT ! But the Fonts used ,

    eg:- Straw upon Brown or Light Brown, Beige upon Clear Cellophane etc ! ! !

    My suggestion for Permanent labels, for the ' Resident ' lantds, Shrubs ; is to obtain Slate Roofing Tiles, trim to required size / shape, ( or Terracotta tiles , and mark with a White Marker; ( ideally a Metal Marker of Permanent Quality ! )

    Sharing this about the infiltration of elements in Today's Life, designed to be Destructive, and erode the former Quality of Life in ALL its aspects... Here, we're discussing Plant Labels , yet one cannot rely upon what is sold as a ' Permanent ' Marker even ! ! Fortunately , even the ' Normies ' are awakening from slumber ! !

    The Amazing Polly ( St George !:-

    Admin note: link removed

    Ps thanks for the suggestions folks,

  • Sheila
    Sheila Posts: 108 ✭✭✭

    When we moved into our current house the metal blinds were in somewhat rough shape and in some cases truly horrendous colours so we removed them and I have been using them for a number of years to label the garden and varieties of garlic I grow. Like everyone else I found "permanent" markers are anything but! I cut the blinds twice as long as I want them then write the names on one half of the blind piece, fold it in half and write the name on the side now facing up. It means writing it twice but I also never lose the information on what I planted. I now will try it with pencil - I just have to get one other than a mechanical as they are too delicate for this type of work!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,513 admin
    edited March 2022

    I want to extend a welcome to a couple new members! @george @Sherry Clark

    When you get the opportunity, and if you haven't done so already, please leave a short introduction in the appropriate category here:

    It helps us get an idea where you are located and helps with members networking.

    Also, take a moment to look over the FAQ. Many questions are answered there to help you better navigate the forum.

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭

    I like the idea of painted rocks. This was a really helpful thread😊

  • Deb113
    Deb113 Posts: 42 ✭✭✭

    Garden journal is my favorite. You can keep growth notes as well for year to year

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