Plant Labels

Hi Everyone, 

I would love to know if anyone had found out how to get hand written plant labels which do not fade off after a month or so!  I have tried, makers of meny different types & pencils. and i am at a loss.  I must be missing something!  All sugestions welcome.  Thanks



  • RonRon Posts: 33

    There are some that are embossed on copper. They would last but are expensive. The relatively cheap white plastic ones do fade and become brittle. I have a ceramic tile-cutter so I cut tile-wedges and write on them with a permanent marker pen

  • Thanks Ron, I have just found that you can get plain ones, and i have tool,s to engrave, so thats a good idea.  for the veg i grow every year thats a good idea.  

  • At the moment, I have found a Sharpie. is the longest lasting pen outside. I cut up plastic milk bottles and write on those. They are OK in a plant pot but not so good in the soil as they don't stick into the ground firmly. Still, you can make a hole in them and tie them on to shrubs, or to label things in the shed.

  • I will admit that out of all my pens the Sharpie was the best, but in my south facing zero shade garden they do last very long!  Interesting idea with the the milk bottles, have not tried that.  will try that combination and see if it lasts any longer than with the plastic plant label.  Thanks.  

  • Also margarine containers can be washed and cut into label shapes; writing on the inside.(economy! ) You can buy waxy pencils which last longer than ordinary pencil. And yes a Sharpie is good too, but I have found pencil lasts longer.

  • i must admit that was another  thing i wasnt buying anymore, plant labels, im growing plants for customers winter spring summer, and when ive finished with the label, and come to grow the same plant but a different  name i put it in a pot and write another one out, so through the winter ive washed all the labels some have come up clean, i dont use the pencil ive used a marker sharpie.

  • RonRon Posts: 33

    Hannah, You can buy sheets of copper and thin enough to cut with scissors. A 'steam rally I often attend has stalls that sell it but If you know of a local scrap-dealer it's worth a look, you never know what else you'll find!

  • Ron, My Dad always said that you can buy anything you ever wanted at a steam rally!    I will think about that at the next one i go to. I like this idea for the plants that need a permanent label for.  

    Spimula, I know what you mean, waterproof pencils, i did not think you could get them anymore, i have not seen one in years, will have to look harder.  

    Carolgratton, I have not needed to wash one since I moved in here, I leave them in my garden or even in a pot and they seem to just fade off.  I have loads of lovely clean plant labels, usually marking the plants i can never remember the name of! also i am beginning to think that i have a bad batch of Sharpie markers!  

    Generally I am fascinated with the ideas you have all come up with for making your own free labels.  I am a great fan of true recycling (no transportation and processing required!) and have been using old labels for years.  I am being to run low now so for new seedlings i will start to use the Marg tube and milk carton ideas as i always have one or the other in the recycling bin. 

  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 701

    I use cheap supermarket packets of plastic coloured drinking straws and write on them with a plant label pen or permanent marker.  They're fiddly to write on but there's no fading and can be cut to any size.  I use  them mostly for seed pots and trays and I can colour-code the different types of seedlings and spot what I'm looking for quickly.  Then when that's done I can hang them on string above veg seedlings or flower seedlings and it keeps the birds away.   The green coloured ones are great for labelling established plants - you hardly notice them because they're green !!!I  and I just thread string up through the straw and tie it to the plant stem. 

  • HeadfuzzHeadfuzz Posts: 1

    Why not make a cheap variation of the copper embossing idea with aluminium kitchen foil?  Write in reverse on the back or write normally on the front and wrap tightly around a lollipop stick or chopped up milk carton.  I only ever use the milk carton method (without the foil) which works for me - don't use any ink with a red base as this fades quicker in the sun.  Blue and green inks last longer.

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