How do you mark your pots?

keepitlow(6)April 16, 2010

I've been using magic marker but it fades quick and have to keep redoing.

How do you mark your pots?

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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I don't mark my pots. I mark the plants. I do use a laundry marker which is waterproof. Sometimes I just put an ice cream stick into the dirt with the name of the varietal on that but mostly I just use that green garden tape that you use for tying plants back, and write on that.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 10:17AM
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I make copper labels and attach them with copper wire to the plant. See this forum discussion -

With attached copper labels I have the following benefits:
1) Lessens the chance of losing labels during repotting or being pulled up by animals or curious people
2) Plastic labels have a limited life span (the harder plastic ones can break). Ink tends to fade and even pencil tends to wear off over time.

There are other options and all have some benefits and problems to be considered. The copper labels for example, take time to make from scratch. Buying them in a ready to use form can be expensive.

I rarely label the pot itself but do this only for temporary situations using duct tape or writing directly on the pot with a marker.

When dealing with cuttings, I have seen that a Sharpie permanent marker seems to last for an adequate period of time - written directly on the cutting. Personally, I use a bright yellow acrylic paint and write a simple three letter code - lasts long enough till they are rooted and then I make a permanent label.

Lastly, another temporary label that I find very useful is the brightly colored plastic contractors marking tape. The fluorescent colors are useful for me and a permanent marker sticks to them well. I just discovered this tape and find that it will be easy to mark and find extra plants for trading, to distinguish them from my regular collection (I once mailed out the only fig I had of a particular variety - ooops!)



Here is a link that might be useful: plant tags

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 2:11PM
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Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 5:51PM
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I use mutiple methods - usually more than one at a time.
There is nothing worse than a lost-named-fig.
I use vinyl tags with sharpie makers - both sides
(yes, they do fade or break soon enough),
If the pot is a white-bucket, I also write on it too, else
I write on some tape (e.g. painters-blue-tape).
If the main trunk is fat enough, I also shapie mark it
(the bark makes a very good surface to write on).
Also have those thin copper tags that one can write-on
(unless very close-by, makes a hard to read impression).
Tried a few thick copper scrap-metal with punched-down
spelling - very laborious.
If permanently planted inground - a site map is a must.
I also heard the good simple idea of using pre-etched
numbered tags with a #-name tag map/record.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 5:44AM
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Though useful as a start, I tend to avoid those
stick-in-the-soil tags, as if by-accident or otherwise,
if "misplaced", they can produce a night-mare -
always "secure" any tags you use...

Another quick "cheapo" tag can be made from those
colorful-surveyors-tape avial. at HD (etc)...
Just loosly double-wrap aroung the twig.

Others use stips of plastics from (recycled) containers,
and the list goes on and on and on...

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 5:59AM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

Plastic plant stake written on with grease pencil, pushed down enough to be covered with mulch. + a metal plant tag, hole punched and attached with a bendaroo (my 6 year old doesn't like the white ones).
I've also been known to attach a tag with twist-tie directly to the side of a container.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 10:54PM
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If using foam cups for rooting or seeds, I just write with a pencil. The indentation lasts as long as the cup. On baggies and plastic pots I have used surgical tape, available at the drugstore or super market. It sticks to anything. Usually with the large plants, I have them memorized. But last year for the large figs, I made tags (attached to the trees) from strips of milk carton and used a paper punch to make the letters of the abbreviated names. It did the job but is ugly as sin. I'm still working on that one.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 1:06AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

I have a labelmaker (Brother P-Touch or similar). I print out labels (on label tape) and wrap/stick them to themselves around the trunk. They haven't faded too bad yet. I will go to steel tags if/when the fig in particular becomes permanent.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 1:27AM
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NOTHING, absolutely nothing beats "paint sticks" for PERMANENT writing on containers. They come in various forms. Most will have a ball point much like a ball point pen. This type of paint "STICK" releases a thick flow of paint onto the container which is not ever affected by UV light or waterings. The writing is really permanent.

A second form of "paint marker" that is PERMANENT for years....has a felt like tip that releases a "metallic" type paint. The brand that I use is called " Prang Metallic Markers'. These can be found at art and craft stores. I get mine at Hobby Lobby and Michael's. I promise that you will LOVE them as much as I do.

A third type of "almost" permanent type maker is called a GREASE PENCIL. It can be found at office suppy stores. (It is also known as a laboratory marker and it is a very helpful writing tool in an anaytical lab.)

Sharpie and Foray permanent markers are junk compared to the permanent markers listed above. I use aluminum metal tags too.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 11:25AM
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I have been useing permanet markers i think sharpie brand and write name on container and under the lip so the sun never hits that part . I cannot see the name though without bending down no big deal im familar with my plants each individul shape.
For the heck of it i was at a nursery recently and pick up a package of copper tags and was thinking of neighbor next door as he has everything i can thing of but rocks from the moon and might have the alphabet stampe lettering although i can use a ball point pen and easily inscribe into them. Cost was 2.99 for 20 or 25 i forget with copper wire i should get another package for future use although i wont be having 40 or 50 trees as i intend to thin them out in near future, but dont think the copper wirre will fit around a few of my trees trunk maybe though.
I think once the copper tags age they will take on a beautiful patina to them and look nice .
Thats just me.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 2:27PM
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I am managing hundreds of trees both in the ground and in containers............sure don't want to have any mislabeled or the correct ID somehow lost. My in ground trees all have those Aluminum tags for identification. I also keep a map of my orchard for back up ID. Those aluminum tags are quite shiny and have caught the attention of some birds. They were trying to pull them off of my trees. Maybe they want to steal them to decorate their nest....who knows. Copper is more durable than aluminum and will not not shine with age. Maybe it is a better choice.

I use a Sharpie pen to ID my fig cuttings while they are in rooting cups. I root hundreds of cuttings each year (lots of experiments) and will re-use these rooting cups. I use a Sharpie to write the cutting ID on the outside wall of the cup. A dab of gasoline on a rag will quickly erase a Sharpie writing on a plastic rooting cup (the clear "crystal" type).

I tried to use marked sticks for young fig starts in containers. Don't trust that my four grandsons will not remove or switch them while playing. Much easier to write on my black plastic trade gallon pots with a $2.00 Prang metallic marker. Like I've stated earlier, this produces a permanent highly visible gold or silver metallic paint that will not come off under any conditions. This becomes very important when you manage hundreds of container figs.....and are looking for a cheap, simple, and 100% reliable identification system.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 3:11PM
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Prang metallic marker sound pretty good. Who sells them?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 7:48PM
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I get mine at a local arts and craft supply "Hobby Lobby". Artist and decorators use this type of pen for their paintings and designs. They want cheap, simple, and permanent too.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 9:38PM
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All my figs are in pots, and I mark the pots with a China Marker, also known as a Grease Pencil. It lasts more than one season, but should be reapplied every year. It dries out after about a year if exposed to the elements and can be rubbed out. I don't mind, as sometimes a fig is moved to a larger pot and by rubbing out the China Marker, the old pot can be reused for a different variety. I usually use a white one, it shows up nicely on the dark pots. But they come in different colors.

I put a 6 inch plastic Pylon stake in the pots, and another one in a drain hole as insurance. I take cuttings in the spring while the trees are all bunched together in the garage or on a trailer and it's hard to see what the varieties are. So I color code the plastic labels so I can spot the trees I'm looking for without having to read every label. If you don't have a LOT of figs, this would probably be a waste of time.

"Permanent" markers are not all created equal! The markers shown were used to mark a Pylon plastic stake last fall. You can see the Garden Marker is still dark, the Sharpie Industrial is loosing color and the Super Sharpie (just a bigger barrel Sharpie) is an illegible series of dots after only a few months.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 9:53PM
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Thanks for the report fignut!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 9:00PM
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The garden marker looks great.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:35AM
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