Plant Markers

In one of our recent Smart Gardening Workshops, an attendee asked presenter Kerry Mendez what kind of plant markers she uses in her garden. Kerry’s response: “Actually I don’t usually use markers in my gardens, mostly because these don’t look great in photo shoots. I keep a journal and list where my plants are. There are many great plant tags out there. I know Rapiclip is one good product on the market.”

Rapiclip is one example of a plastic tag. Rustproof metal tags are also available and popular. You can either write on them with a paint marker (Sharpie makes one) or print the plant name on a paper label and tape it onto the tag with heavy-duty clear tape.

How do you keep track of your plants? Leave a comment below!

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38 thoughts on “Plant Markers

  1. I use rocks to write the plant name on and place it at the base of the plant. Since I use varying sizes of rocks as hardscape the name rocks blend right in. I use either a permanent marker or paint markers to write on them. I have tried everything, including all ideas above, but found this the best for me. I also keep a journal.

  2. I keep all plant tags & associated receipts in a paper bag with the year written on it. i make notes on the tags as to the location of the plant. This way I know how long I have it, & where I bought it.

  3. I keep a garden journal where I draw diagrams and sketches of my areas and what I both intend planting and then, do actually plant (sometimes reality differs from intention). Usually, when an area is in bloom, I will depict spaces, ideas for filling those spaces, colors needed, size or type of plant, etc. When planting season for that area arrives, I refer to my diagram/sketch and do the planting. If I have amended the plan, I note changes, I list the plants/colors used, names of bulbs and places where purchased.
    I don’t tag my plants in ground, relying on my knowledge of my plants should someone ask. Although I appreciate tags in public gardens, I find them distracting, unsightly and in the way during weed pulling in my gardens, yet, I have seen some done with imagination. I, however, would rather give the space to another plant!!!

  4. Plastic spoons and forks make great markers for spots where you’d like to add more tulips (spoon) or daffodils (fork). Push them into the soil handle first. They will hide amid the growth of other plants all season, and still be there in the fall at bulb-planting time.

  5. I use white, cheap, plastic picnic knives…you can write a lot on them with a sharpie, then stick the part you wrote on in the ground, and the sharpie writing lasts a long time. And, if you stick the knife in far enough, it’s not too distracting in the landscape. Another idea a friend of mine (who lives near a golf course) uses is she collects all the golf balls that land on her place and writes on those with a sharpie and half-buries them near the plant. However, this probably won’t work if you own a ball-obsessed dog like I do…

  6. I use old medal window blinds. cut them to 5 inch lengths and cut points on one end,and write plant name,and when planted. They hold up very well. For larger plants use them up to 27 inches long .You can find these blinds at thrift stores very cheap.

    • I cut up old white plastic blinds, and write the names on both sides with a permanent marker – top and bottom. If the name fades above ground, I still have it on the below-ground end.

  7. When I plant, I put the picture ID tag from the pot on the ground at the spot where I planted and then take a photo with my digital camera. I download the photos to my computer and date them. I write in a journal the names and plant dates which I can cross reference to my photos.

  8. One thing that I do when planting fall bulbs is to plant a few muscari bulbs on top of any bulbs (ie. lily, narcissus). The muscari put up foliage in the Fall and mark where I have planted bulbs so I don’t dig them up by mistake in the spring or the next fall.

  9. For markers I recycle plastic venetian blinds. The slats can be cut on a slant with scissors for anice point, and they are easy to write on. They last a few seasons. I try to keep track of bulbs and ephemerals by taking photos when they are growing, but I seldom refer to them so I am always surprised. Besides, I find stray bulbs everywhere– maybe I am getting some “help” from the critters.

    • My feeling exactly and one Venetian blinds about $5 new can produce about 300 possibily more markers. For a professional look use a label maker and it afixes perfectly on the slats

      • I too use plastic or metal blinds. I’ve been known to dumpster dive for free ones.I also have a laser printer and clear labels (must use laser labels) to type the pertinent info for my plants. Also works well if you share plants with friends. These hold up for several years but eventually will peel off.

        • I use clear Avery Laser Labels and they have lasted as long as 10 or 15 years on the aluminum metal tags. I even put them on the aluminum wire-tie tags and have tied them to the stakes or cages in my vegetable garden.

  10. When we bought our home, we were given the plot map and the footprint of our home. I made a copy on a transparency and put it in a notebook. It was easy to sketch out the planting beds, grassy and natural areas we have added to our landscape. To make detailing where plants and trees are, I’ve created my own numbering system. Keeping a log of where foundation plants and trees are is pretty much unchanging, but some perennials and annuals come and go so I keep update these changes and keep them in chronological order. If a plant is moved or “passes away” I make note of it. I also take digital pictures and store those in my online garden album (picasaweb.google.com) to share with friends.

  11. As soon as I get a new plant I record it on a plants record form in my ‘A Gardener’s Journal: Plan, Plant, Grow…Record the Results’. Besides the plants details I also include a short description of its location for reference. I also take a lot of digital photos throughout the season to refer to year after year. And I do a ‘graph’ map with a legend in which several copies are also available in the journal I referred to earlier. I do my ‘map’ in pencil so I can easily erase to update it so I don’t have to draw a new one every year, because I inevitably add and move plants. This journal provides forms for all kinds of garden recording, with plenty of room to write on. To check it out go to JournalPros.com

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