What kind of plant labels do you use?

esther_bJune 5, 2011

I see lots of you use permanent metal or other material plant labels. What are the best kinds, and how do you print the name of your plant on them?

Thanks for the info.

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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

I use copper tags with 10" wires,and Brother black letters on clear tape. The labels are UV protected. Phil

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 8:55PM
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aka_margo(z5a WI)

I use zinc markers and a brother labeler with uv resistant labels. I buy my markers in bulk from Paw Paw Everlast.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 9:11PM
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gayle0000(zone 5-Normal IL)

I also buy mine from Paw Paw. Very happy with them.

I don't do the computer labels. I use the mechanical pencil they sell.

I put a link below to the ones I buy.

Reviews on these markers are overall positive. There are a few negatives about the tag falling off the frame. I can see how that could happen, but I personally think you would have to handle the tags fairly rough and often for them to break regularly.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Labels I Buy

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 9:49PM
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Brother P-Touch Labeler using UV resistant CLEAR labels. I do not care for the look of white labels against a metal marker.

I use the same labels as Gayle.

I am on my 5th season using these and they're showing wear. The plate slips off the marker, so I'll have to go out with a pliers and squish it back together.

Paul has a line on some great steel markers that I wish I'd have started with.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:25PM
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flowerchild59(z6b IL)

For overall cost, I like the paw paw markers. I use the UV resistant labels from pt brother, black on clear. I have an occasional one after 10 years showing signs of wear. But overall have been happy with them.
To keep the marker on the post, I use a little longer tape than needed and "tape down" each side with the longer strip of tape. It works well that way and rarely falls off. You use more tape that way, but lose less labels.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:38PM
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Kincaid stainless steel markers for me. I found them from another garden 2-3 years ago and since most of my plants are 'legacy plants', in it for the longhaul, I wanted something that would last.

About $1 each, a little less in bulk, they are wonderfully strong, stainless steel so they should handle weather for decades and I attach to them ptouch labels that are UV resistant and highly adhesive, specifically made for the outdoors. I use clear labels for my primary plants(conifers and Japanese maples) and the hostas get a 'recycled' blue-text over white for conifers/maples I no longer have.

The clear text.

A closeup.

At a distance, readable not too obnoxious.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 11:46PM
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This is my post from Jan 18, 2011.....

Have used 3 types - (1)label wraps around posts, (2)label slides onto posts using 2 sets of holes and (3)label slides onto posts thru set of holes and then slot.

(1) - inexpensive - $.30- $.60, lightweight, comes off posts, posts bend, matte, corrodes.

(2) - inexpensive - $.30- $.60, lightweight, stays on, label easily bends, tears at holes, matte, corrodes.

(3) - moderate price $.70-.90, heavyweight posts and labels, stays on, more difficult to push into ground, shiny, curved corners, have only used since 2010.

Have used (1) and (2) for 4-5 years. (3) is new so haven't seen effects of weather and winter yet.

Impressed with (3) so far - very sturdy stainless steel label and posts. Eager to see how they weather the winter. (They came thru great.) Not concerned about shine since I want the plant label to be there if someone is looking for ID, but otherwise disappear under the leaves. Picked up a couple of 15" and 20" posts and plan to use for hosta that are 3rd row back. Look a little too big I think for minis.

(1)&(2) have come from Paw Paw/Everlast (Similar EON) and local garden stores.
(3) from Kincaid


Here is a link that might be useful: Kincaid Gardens Plant Markers

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 11:54PM
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I have tried the copper, etc. on wire and didn't like them. It seems the garden guy and squirrels were too hard on them, making them come apart or bend.

I made a big switch three years ago to a heavy white plastic stake-like marker. Special markers are used on them. I bought a big bunch then, cuz I had already used and liked them. I found them at
I have only had one break and whatever critter broke it, left it by the hosta, unlike with the other markers that nearly ALWAYS disappeared.
I also like that they come in different sizes. I buy the large and place them so I can see many from my windows. Plus they are large enough that I can write the planting year on them. You might not like the look of growing markers, but I find the large ones easy helpful reminders.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 2:38PM
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Franknjim had a really interesting plexiglass marker that they were trying to promote. I wish they'd speak up and tell us what the progress is with their markers. They're the least conspicuous markers I've ever seen. I don't use any markers because all of them are too obvious. My garden's listed on the national register of historic places, so I don't like having it look too commercial. I would consider using Franknjim's markers, though. nance

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 4:45PM
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I have been dragging my feet and have had too many things going on at once to proceed with those yet. I still have them in mind.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 5:11PM
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bernd ny zone5

I bought and installed C: Cap Style Labels (100) from Paw Paw Everlast Label Company. Total cost for 200 labels was $72.45.

From PtouchDirect.com I bought a rebuilt Brother PT1010R-RF personal Label Maker for $8.99, a Brother AD24 P-touch AC Power Adaptor, AD-24ES, for $19.99, and three Brother TZ131 1/2 In. Black on Clear P-touch Label Tape, each $9.99.

I bought those products after reviewing several threads from the last years, and those simply were the best for my yard and how much I wanted to spend. I actually gave myself those markers as a Christmas present.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 8:34PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

"My garden's listed on the national list of historic places, so I don't like having it look too commercial."

Where do you live? Monticello?


Who puts his markers behind the plants at about 10 o'clock so they are less conspicuous, despite not living in a national historic place.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 9:34PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I went with the Kincaid last summer, so far they're are still looking good, but early days yet. I've begun replacing the other labels mentioned with those. The wrap arounds fall off the stakes and I have to go around with a pliers and tighten them. And no I don't handle them roughly, I suspect it's my weather causing them to loosen and fall off so frequently. The variety with the stake going through holes in the label were better but eventually the holes tear out and the stakes rust away. Have also tried the stainless steel post with plastic label from Hosta Direct. They're ok so far but after one winter are showing slight signs of weathering. So far the Kincaids are looking like the winners.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 11:25PM
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hostas_for_barb(6b Ontario)

Very nice Sailor Bill. My DH made some for me a few years ago. Aluminum 2" Angle with the name stamped with a punch. Time consuming but unique. Too many hostas now so I use (2) from previous post. But thinking I made try (3).

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 5:55PM
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bernd ny zone5

When selecting labels also consider how you will be navigating around them when raking tree leaves and stepping into the bed for maintenance.
I stepped on them and raked them up. Since they were there, after pulling all the dried hosta leaves, I could not mulch all the tree leaves with my mower on highest setting. The markers will now last foreever, nicely cleaned and bundled on a shelf in my basement. I have a map on Excel, so know where hostas are.

This post was edited by berndnyz5 on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 18:16

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 6:36PM
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Thistle and Maize(Zone 5a- Eastern IA)

Oooooh I'm very low tech....and cheap. I got a box of craft (Popsicle) sticks from the craft store for under $5.00 and used a china/grease pencil. Then I just stick it in the ground at about 2:00 location. Out of sight and I can read the name just above the soil if I need to.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:26PM
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bragu_DSM 5

I get the paw paws in bulk. I write on both sides (front and back). I find if the front fades, the back is usually legible (for up to several years) beyond the front side. I also place a plastic label marked with a permanent marker underground at 7 o'clock (in case the above ground label disappears)

It also goes on my map.

The hosta also gets its own id card (index card) and placed in my files so I can write notes on it every year. Number of eyes, when it flowers for me etc.

I also have an MIA file for the plants that go missing.

Oh yeah, I have everything on Excel as well. And photos.

I also order plain blank replacement tags (cheap in bulk) to replace those that go bad ⦠'breaking bad' bad â¦

dave (yeah, I know, it's almost anal)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 11:22PM
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luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)

SailorBill: I'm intrigued by your markers. What are they made of?

Years ago, I used the wraparound type, but the weather and critters made them useful for about 2 years - not nearly long enough. I am currently using expensive, heavy stainless steel Botanical Labels by Wren, but only on a relatively few plants, due to the cost. (A thinner, shinier version was less satisfactory.)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 8:04AM
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