Friday, February 17, 2012

New Plant Labels and an Update on Old Plant Labels

It has been nearly two years since I posted about making plant labels for Tiger Gardens and I find I am in need of many more plant labels. As I am wont to do I tend to evaluate things I try in the garden before I either add to the mix or recommend my experiments to others. I am pleased to say the sculpey labels I made in that post two years ago have held up absolutely wonderfully so I have decided to make more for my shrubs in my gardens.
The process was quite simple and for less than $12 for materials I now have 20 new labels to hang on my shrubs and small trees in the garden. The first picture in this post is showing how the new labels look in situ. The above picture shows one of my labels I made nearly two years ago. All of those labels have held up very well. The only sign of wear on them is the fact that the stain and varnish have worn off from the label and mildew has set in. While the mildew affects their looks it does not affect the functionality of the labels. As you can see each one is still easily read and clearly serve a function in my garden--that is to identify the shrub or tree.
The above picture shows my latest batch of plant labels. I purchased two large blocks of Sculpey clay at our local big box store. I already had the stamper so just reused it. For further instructions you are welcomed to look back at the initial post on plant labels. I found that I had a GREAT need for labels identifying viburnums. Viburnums are a very versatile shrub and the types available for gardeners is sometimes mind boggling. A key facet of growing viburnums is to have a cross pollinator of the same specific epithet. Some viburnums are self pollinating but in my gardens I find viburnums don't produce many berries without a pollinator so I have tried very hard to find pollinators for my viburnums. For example I have a couple of Viburnum nudum viburnums. One is the cultivar 'Count Pulaski' and the other is the cultivar 'Winterthur'. I believe these two viburnums will pollinate one another (I hope) so I have planted them fairly close together. To help me keep my pollinators and groups of viburnums in order and to remind me of what might work and not work I made plant labels to identify all of viburnums. I think the labels will be a tremendous help in the garden.
As far as labeling perennials and bulbs I have plans to make some of my own metal plant labels using the same stamp kit I purchased for the Sculpey plant labels. I just haven't gotten around to it though. Instead, I researched some plant labels online and found that these tall heavy duty rose pin labels work the best for me. I purchased mine from a company online that I found had the best prices. I used a paint pen marker to write the name of the plant on the label. I really do like these labels but the problem with labeling perennials is that the labels have to be in the ground. When labels are in the ground they are very likely to get bounced around, stepped on, or moved. I find that I have to be careful around these labels but that would be a problem with any labels you use for perennials. Labels are a very good tool for gardeners. I am very good at remembering most of my plants but I do find that as time goes on I tend to forget plant names....

in the garden....

How do you label your plants?

Everyone enjoy your long weekend and President's Day! In this year of elections it is a good thing we get a day off to recuperate from all the campaigns.

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. I have the little copper plates with a black wax marker...they work pretty good. You know you could use taller stakes for your perennials....I really like your sculpey clay ones..

  2. I am a complete failure when it comes to labeling plants! Fortunately I can remember all the shrubs and trees but the perennials are really starting to get confusing. It's easy to identify the type of plant but not necessarily the cultivar!

  3. I don't label, but I really need to start. My mind is not what it used to be. I love your labels! Carla

  4. I wasn't aware of your other creative powers. Those labels are very original. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  5. Oh, love your labels! I'm going to spend some time this weekend looking at your original how-to post. Our little suburban garden/microfarm will be on a farm tour this June, and I need to get busy making more labels. My current labels are so boring. Thanks so much for sharing! Look forward to meeting you in Asheville--my first "fling"!

  6. I don't label, but I mark where some plants are located. Found I need to mark where the bulbs are...had a clump of daffodils coming up through a small forsythia I planted apparently ON the daffs. Will be using a drinking straw to mark where the daffs are they come up!

  7. I too need to mark my plants as the "old" mind doesn't work like it use to. I will go back to see how you did yours. Have to get the materials first.
    So far here what I have used doesn't work as the heat & humidity will cause them to fade bad.
    Hello all. Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. Tina my labels are usually the ones that came with the plant and most are gone. So I may have to figure out something and this is a great idea!

  9. Great labels! I love that you made something so enduring and that they have served you well!

    Thanks for your comment on the hike. I have gained many more pounds since then! But, thanks for not saying it.:-) Guess a few more hikes would have helped out with my weight over the years. Oh well. :-)

    I just got rid of my comment verification after a lot of people were complaining about the new kind being so might want to consider it too.

  10. I'm resolving to be better about labelling this year, and to identify and label at least some of the trees in my yard. I was thinking about trying to stamp something metal, but I love the look of the Sculpy.

    The worst is when I have unlabeled veggies. Can't remember what I planted and what to look for the following year!a

  11. I don't label my plants, but I do try to keep a file of what I have planted and where. It is not difficult to keep track of the trees and shrubs, but where I have gotten lost is in the perennials, especially the ones I have many varieties of. My daylilies are a total disaster with me only knowing the names of one or two out of close to thirty. I really don't care what the names are, but my co-workers who are daylily people always want to know and all I can say is "orange" or "yellow".

  12. I use the same labels with a paint pen for my perennials and have the same issues---they are always getting stepped on. I don't label my woodies but should. Have a great holiday.

    I have noticed that many blogs now have this new word verification system. I would say that about half the time I can't read the words. It is very annoying. Was wondering if you knew that this had changed on your blog.

  13. I've always tried to work out ways of recording plant names without labels. Nothing has worked perfectly of course, mainly because things change so much. I keep plant labels, and have a list on the blog with a photo to remind me.

  14. I have been using golf tees to mark my bulbs so I don't accidently dig them up to plant something else. No need to go to a pro shop - Wal-Mart has them.
    Love your labels!
    Have a great week!
    Lea's Menagerie

  15. Good idea. I could have used it 20 years ago though... Now I got all those nameless plants to deal with... :)

  16. I don't have labels on my plants. Yours look great ! I can usually keep track of the genus and species name of the plant. Unlike you Tina I don't have enough plants that I feel I need labels on them. :)

  17. I don't have tags but should as the mind "Aint" what it use to be.... Good job on your awesome tags...