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Readers Respond: Ways to Label Plants without Destroying the Look of the Garden.

Responses: 43


I'm torn between wanting to remember what I planted where (and what didn't come back) and not wanting to litter my garden with unsightly plant labels.

Do you label the plants in your garden? Have you found a way to label important plants without it distracting from the look of the garden. Please share your ideas.

STicketts Labels and Stakes

Marie...If you would like to label the flowers in your garden and do not want them to look unsightly, you can put my Green STicketts into the plant, use a marker to remember what the plant is. And instead of the label making your garden look "unsightly", your plants will be labeled on the inside instead of the outside. See... STicketts.com
—Guest Cpdy Roux

Pen / Paint Trial.

Our orchard is on an old river bed, so no shortage of rocks. I have tried all sorts of pens and paint to write on them but they all seem to weather so quickly. I am now 18 months into a trial rock where I have written the pen names onto a big rock with about 10 different "permanent" markers and paint types, and it sits exposed to all the elements. Some disappeared in weeks, some months, the outstanding one so far is Uni Posca (available from an office supplies store) - still highly visible.
—Guest Sue

Labels and Plan

I have flower beds and square foot gardens. For the gardens I use a grid that I print and write the plant in each block. For my herbs and flowers I use plant stakes I get from Earle May for each plant. I also have each bed on a master sheet and update that as needed with loss and replacements when needed.

Easy Way to Label Plants

I have yet to find a labeling system that doesn't fade, get moved etc. I use a piece of graph paper or any paper will do, I use sticky notes and cut them to various sizes and write the name of the plant and place it on the paper where I put in the plant. Use a separate paper for each garden bed, then I put all the tags in a baggie until I have time to transfer info to (GardenScribe can buy online, the best organized gardening system I have ever used and keeps everything together.) If a plant dies, throw the sticky note out, if you have to move the plant to a different location, just move the sticky note. Sticky notes come in so many colors and sizes - keeping track of what I plant and where is no big deal. At the end of the season I tape the sticky note to the paper. If I'm really motivated - I include a before and after picture. This helps next spring when it's time to plant again and you don't dig up plants that haven't come up yet. Less time and nothing to distract from the plants.

Plant Markers

I cut slats from old venetian blinds to sizes I need and write the names of the plants on them with a magic marker. Easy to do and read.
—Guest Sandy

Rocks & Shells

Paint the name on a rock or ocean shells and place near the plant.
—Guest Cyndi

My Labeling System

It is VERY simple. I number each plastic marker on both sides. I've created a database which automatically has numbers. I enter the name of the plant next to the number assigned to the plant. I print out a detailed information sheet on each plant and put it in a binder (alphabetically). So, each plant has a plastic stake with a number on each side. That number corresponds to the database number. Then I can look up that info on that plant in the binder. If that plant dies, I can re-use that stake and put it into another plant pot and change the name in the database. . . . . REALLY easy and yet detailed.
—Guest Paula in Georgia

Paint Mixing Sticks

go to your hardware shop and get paint mixing sticks(they are usually free) painted up and labeled they usaully look pretty good.
—Guest melkozak@hoymail.com

Labeling Plants

Most of my garden Flowers and Vegetables are in pots. When I first started almost a full year ago, I didn't think of labeling pots. When I did I was very vague about description and anything else. I was very interested in my plants and didn't think it was a necessary item. The more I got involved with my plants I discovered I really knew little or could recall much information about them. So I purchased a roll of wide masking tape. Everytime I planted a veggie or a flower I labeled them. I put the name of the seed company, the item, date planted, approx date of germination, date of harvest, naturally the name of the plant & finally if it will need to be thinned out and what size to prune or seperate . The tape I use is 3 inch wide, and I use a Black Magic Marker with a fine point. This helps me maintain a visible record of the plant and when I can expect flowers or fruit. I do this for propagting plants also and it gives me an idea when the roots should start to appear.
—Guest Butchrgt


Make map on plexaglass with marker.The size of clipboard .You can look through it and see where plants are.This good for a plot 10'x10'. Make one for each plot. Lable each plant with numbers on the board. Then do a print out as to date planted color and any special notes. Save sheet and make updates .As to what works and grows and what does not.It is easy to change on paper than to dig up everything and start over. J
—Guest J


I put a schematic in the front of my garden book with all the plants and where they are in the garden. Then in the sping I know where everything is.
—Guest Janet Grundas

Labeling Plants

When I go to a function, I collect as many of the knives as possible. Take them home and wash them. I use a fine point permanent sharpie market to write the name on it. Sometimes I will cover with a piece of clear packaging tape and stick in the ground next to the plant so that only a small portion of the knife is visible. This lets me know where everything is planted in the garden as well as the flower beds.
—Guest Karen

Herb Labesl

I labelled my herbs because I was too cheap to buy the pretty metal embossed labels. Instead I took wooden rectangle from a craft store and stakes for them and painted them with acrylic paint. I had only a few so I painted an illustration of the herb and the name. I used colors that complement the herb. After the paint dries, I spray paint them with polyurethane and they hold up fairly well. I've given a few as gifts sticking them in herbs in pots. Mine are small. It's something to do in the off season when I don't garden as much. It also helps with herbs that die down so I remember they are there - garlic , for example.


decorative rocks!! My children love to find large rocks & use colored sharpies to put near the plants... Its a nice decorative way to remember what you planted & it doesn't take much space or wash off easily.. Good Luck;)

Metal tags

I also like the look of the metal tags.I see them alot at Botanical Gardens. I used to own a set of metal letter punches.Not sure what i did with them. You can purchase metal 'blanks' and use the punches to put the names on them.After,apply a water proof paint,wipe off the excess and only the indented letters will have the paint.

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