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Plant Markers

One of the most difficult things to find for the garden is plant markers that hold up to the seasons. After experimenting for decades, I have many suggestions.

  1. Use the professional Sharpie marker (not the standard) and write on rocks. It doesn't interupt the serenity of the garden, like sharp pointed metal stakes which break as well as have labels fall off. The rocks supply the Feng Shui movement and balance to the garden. The marker will hold up for 1 full year, then you need to rewrite the plant names.

  2. I got tired of rewriting plant names and started using acrylic paints on the rocks. I would use the colors of the flowers and eventually painted the flowers on the rocks as well. This works great for the seasonal color themes in the gardens.

  3. When I swap plants with friends and organizations, I use Venetian blinds cut to 3" length and write the name and description of the plant.

  4. Out of used Venetian blinds? Use plastic silverware or slice up disposable perishable food lids. A Sharpie works fine on these types of plastic.

  5. If choice 3 and 4 are not tasteful enough for the function (rarely the case, most true gardeners are into recycling and saving the planet) take a photo of the flower when it is in bloom and attach to the pot. I do this one when it is a token gift for a lovely luncheon or garden tour.

  6. If you do not have photos of the plants in bloom, cut a photo out from a flower catalog and attach to the pot. Happy Gardening!

By Live Again from Wiscasset, ME

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November 12, 20051 found this helpful

When I have about a thousand kinds of perennials in my yard I do NOT have time to do your suggestion #1. Markers do fade and I need to keep track of the names of each of the perennials. I have hundreds of different kinds of irises and daylilies and need to know the names of each.

#2...acrylic paints on rocks. If kids come over and move the are in trouble. The only kind of acrylic paints I would suggest is using Patio Paints which never fade and are meant for being used on outdoor projects. Be sure that the rock is perfectly clean though. I do not want 1000 rocks in my landscaping though.


#3...I also use for when giving away plants or using for indoor plants. Venetian blind tags are brittle after about 1 year outside and of course the marker used will fade and you again have lost your name of the plant.

#4...plastic forks and spoons..very very breakable. And once again...the marker used on it will fade.

#5 & #6...not practical for outdoor perennials in a garden.

My choice for plant's cheap, homemade and easy to make and lasts forever...

Tooling copper is available to buy in craft stores. It is a soft 12" wide by 25" long sheet of copper that is easy to cut with a pair of scissors. I cut it into 1" x 3" pieces. I take a hole punch and make a hole in the corner. Then I write the name of the perennial into the copper. It is soft enough that the name is imprinted into the copper. Then...I take a wire coat hanger, cut it up into 5" pieces and twist the ends of each piece to make a loop that the copper tag goes into. Twist it so that the tag is looped securely. Put the tag into the ground immediately behind the plant and you have a permanent tag. (I found that the dog doesn't even bother them...whereas the venetian blind tags anywhere in the yard were fair game for her to pull out and chew up).


Please think about the kind of tag you will put next to your plant. If you do want to know what you bought in the future...make a permanent tag not one that will fade and break and disappear the next season.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
November 12, 20050 found this helpful

Thank you "Live Again" for this excellent article. I certainly like your suggestions in particular and will happily pass on your good ideas to friends. Happy gardening :)

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November 13, 20050 found this helpful

Thanx, Live Again, for the great ideas. I like the idea of the "Professional" Sharpie!!! Thanx again!!!

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March 31, 20100 found this helpful

I use cut-up plastic milk bottles. They work a treat for making plant labels and are very easy to cut with a scissors. I write on them with indelible marker.


Richardpeej (UK)

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January 30, 20120 found this helpful

Stamped copper? And that you have time for? Hmm

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January 30, 20120 found this helpful

You can also buy those Foam squares at The Dollar Tree or other Dollar Store in the Craft Dept. & write on them with permanent markers or paint the names & spray clear acrylic over it after cutting them to the size you want & hot glue to Lg. nails or wood skewers or Lg. pop cycle sticks-(also sprayed w/acrylic) so they last longer. Just re-apply it after it dries after a rain. Clear nail polish works too; but must be re-applied as well.


Or you can buy plastic place mats, in Dollar stores or Ann & Hope or the Christmas Tree Shop & cut them & use Marker or paint them. And if you don't want to hot glue any of these-just cut 2 small slits & slip your holders through. Just a few cheaper options.

Although the milk jug idea is a good cheap one, too.

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May 22, 20140 found this helpful

Well, I guess they don't make Venetian bilnds the way they used to. I have many markers that have weathered for five years and show no signs of becoming brittle.

If it's durability you want, go with the back side of scrap, white vinyl siding. I cut this piece with a dollar pair of Betty Crocker scissors from Dollar Tree. You may have to replace the writing over time, but I think we all can agree, the marker will last for at least twenty years.

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January 28, 20170 found this helpful

This is a marker made of scrap vinyl. It was marked with an industrial Sharpie. It has weathered for 2 years and shows no signs of fading. Need I say more?

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