Best ideas for labeling plants

Kim N. says “I want to properly label the plants in my yard, especially those that are unusual, native, etc. What’s the best format? Best I can tell, front should include scientific name (genus + species), common name, then cultivar. Back should include source of plant (nursery, friend, etc.) and date added to landscape. What else? Corrections?”

Woodrow M.: I always use the Botanical name,  the common name in parenthesis and the year planted.

Dawn H: my problem is that I constantly buy plants with no idea as to where to plant them or have the time, so sometimes they sit for a year until they go into the ground. Purchase date and plant date are very different.

Woodrow M.: I use the planted date and keep all the nursery tags in a baggie for that year even if I bought it in another year.

Nila D.: I’ve always heard to take apart a set of blinds and use the slats to label.
If you know anyone with a Cricut Machine they can cut out permanent labels.

Murray W: Cut up a Solo cup and use a sharpie.

Woodrow M: I’ve picked up a lot of those remnants for free at “home store” chop bins, left over after trimming blinds to fit customer windows.

Rose D: Cultivar always comes after scientific Latin name. Common name can be before or after. So…
G.sp ‘cultivar’
G.sp ‘cultivar’

Woodrow M: I have three lines on my labels, which I format and print onto black labels with white print to a P-touch printer connected to my computer. Then, I attach them to the metal labels from Paw Paw Everlast. I have never had any fade or come off, although I have run over some with a lawnmower. A few are not in the ground but are attached to branches.

The first line is the common name of the plant.
The second line is the scientific name.
The third line is helpful and interesting information about the plant — when it blooms and other characteristics.
I don’t try to keep up with where I purchased the plants, although the date planted might be helpful.
Here are my examples of plants currently blooming:
Chinese Snowball Viburnum
Viburnum macrocephalum ‘Sterile’
Semi-evergreeen, large rounded white flowers in Spring

‘Jane’ Magnolia Tulip Tree
(Saucer or Japanese Magnolia)
Magnolia lilifolia x M. Stellata
Hybrid, blooms early Spring,
tulip-like purple flowers are white inside

Charlie N. : Are the labels a special address label that hold up outside? I use a P-Touch little “machine” and the P-Touch labeling tape (they last really well), but would be nice if I could do typing on my computer, so much easier to input info.

Woodrow M: My label printer has probably been updated and replaced. It’s a P-Touch “Plug & Label” Label Printer – Model PT-2430PC. You could find something similar at any of the office supply stores.
I use labels that have been reliable about sticking and not fading. Here’s one:…

Heather M: I would always use scientific name. So many common names are confusing and we have Google in our pocket for any common names. I actually might just use something inconspicuous and a number that I then kept in a chart on my phone with all the details I want. Too many plant tags junk up the look of the plantings as your eye jumps from tag to tag instead of enjoying the masses of plants.

Woodrow M: I attach my plastic printed labels to metal garden labels from Paw Paw Everlast. They have stayed attached and not faded for years. George Sanko, who ran the garden at Perimeter College gave me that tip on how to do it.

Kathleen H: I use Kincaid stainless steel marker with label maker tape…use common name and botanical

  • Advertisement