Homemade Plant Markers

This entry is sort of a repeat of an earlier post, but with more information.

I didn't realize how easy it was to root grape cuttings. When I found out, I started rooting them like crazy. I had five different varieties. I carefully labeled the cuttings from each, making labels from mini blinds and using a fine point 'permanent' Sharpie pen.


Within a year's time, the labels had become a bit brittle. That wasn't a real problem. To my dismay, the elements had obliterated the 'permanent' ink. There was nothing I could do but group the plants all together and re label them 'Seedless Grape - Unknown Variety'. That hurt.

Again, I say "If you want a marker that will last 30-40 years, make it out of vinyl siding scraps. If the siding will last that long on a home, it will last that long in the garden.

Now for the matter of a more permanent ink. There is a Sharpie pen with ink that will outlast the regular 'permanent' ink many times over. I would have been using it all along, but couldn't find it any longer.

I have found that Lowe's carries this pen, 3 for $3.00. It's called Sharpie Industrial Super Permanent Ink. I have labels several years old written with this pen and the ink is as bold as ever.

Someone knows someone who has a piece or two of scrap vinyl lying around. If not, Lowe's sometimes will sell one sheet of basic white vinyl siding. If that would be more than you'd ever need, you can always place an ad in Free Cycle for scraps.

There you have it. No excuse not to have nice plant markers that will last for many years without any maintenance on your part.

Oh, for cutting the vinyl you'll need scissors or shears heavier than those tiny foldable things you carry around in your purse for on the run mending. Someone knows some handsome, muscular jock who has, and is handy with, a pair of tin snips. So, ask around.

Say what? You are that handsome, muscular jock and you're a gardener, too? And you will cut the labels for that sweet, elderly widow lady down the street? How nice. You will do her parsnips and petunias proud.

As I always say "Among gardeners are some of the nicest people in the world"!

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November 30, 2016

This is a page about making Popsicle stick plant markers. Popsicle sticks are great for making inexpensive plant markers.

Making Popsicle Stick Plant Markers

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May 22, 2018

Worn out mini blinds can be repurposed and used for garden and plant markers. This is a page about vinyl blinds for plant markers.

A mini blind slat with the plant name written on the top.

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November 30, 2016

This is a page about cork plant markers. Corks can be used to make simple recycled plant markers.

Cork Plant Markers

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November 29, 2016

This is a page about making stone garden markers. Choose some pretty smooth stones to use for making garden plant markers.

stone garden marker

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February 7, 2013

This page contains sand dollar plant markers. These dried sea urchins can be made into colorful garden accessories.

Sand Dollar Plant Markers

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19 More Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

October 4, 2010

You can make garden tags out of leftover aluminum roof flashing (the kind on a roll). I took a simple tag design that I drew, printed it out on heavy paper, and cut it out. I took that template and a Sharpie and traced that design onto the flashing metal multiple times.

Garden tag ofr thyme.

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February 10, 2011

I have moved multiple times and added and split perennials to each flower garden. Sadly, after tending to a variety of gardens, I have had trouble keeping track of what's been planted and where.

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This is a method for making plant labels that are weather resistant and pretty, for the project presented in Birds and Blooms Magazine. The designer did not give measurements for the labels she made. So I came up with my own.

Labels with plant names.

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September 21, 2004

Save those plastic knives from your picnic to make durable row markers. Mark plant variety and planting date with permanent marker. Push knife with handle side in the ground.

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November 12, 2005

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...

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Everyone seems to have a tip for making plant markers. I've posted a couple here, myself. From the standpoint of durability, I think I've found the ideal material. Scrap white vinyl siding.

vinyl siding cut for a plant marker

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Instead of paying $5 for 20 garden markers, go to the Dollar store and get 30 plastic knives for $1 instead. Use a permanent marker for your plant name and place accordingly.

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I save all plastic labels that come with bedding plants. I clean them a bit and store them in a baggie along with a roll of good masking tape and a permanent marker.

Seedling And Plant Labels

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Use old forks as garden markers. Simply "weave" your seed packets through the tines on forks you no longer use. Stick them in the garden to mark your rows. Even plastic forks could be used, but be sure they are firmly pushed in the ground.

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Instead of buying plant markers go to your hardware store and ask for a bundle of shims. These are very inexpensive wooden slats and have plenty of room to use a permanent marker to write the name of the plant.

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June 25, 2005

Have leftover wooden spoons that come with the little ice cream cups or popsicle sticks? Use them as labels in your garden.

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