Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ready... Set.... Mark...

I am thinking there are just as many plant markers available as there are plant species, and it sure is not easy to find the one that works for me.
My friends ask: ‘why plant markers? you are not a Botanical Garden’.... which brings me to my pet peeve: it drives me crazy to walk through Botanical Gardens and just that one plant I am curious about does not have a tag. Believe me, I flag down a worker and don’t let it go until I get that name!.... sorry for ranting…. back to markers…

Way back when, it was the first thing I did after purchasing a plant, I tossed the plant tags. Nowadays it is just the opposite, no tag, I may not buy, knowing I will spend hours and hours searching to identify the plant.

There are great plant markers available, like this one, except, they are meant for just a handful of plants:

clay markers

then there are those cuties, just write the name of the plant on it. The drawback, they are expensive:

expensive ornamental markers

and the kits with the copper and wire… they look ugly:

ugly markers

So, besides the ones above, my choice for ‘short term’ marking is chop sticks.
I get them free with sushi take out, or one can get them for pennies at the Asian market or the dollar store.
Why short-term, because they rot. fast!
I use them to mark the plants for trading, at plant swaps, certain annuals, and seeds which I will recognize as soon as they sprout:

chop stick markers

But my all time favorite plant marker is the plastic mini blind piece!

I cut it to the length I need to fit all kinds of info on it, like Latin name, date I got it and from whom.

I don’t use Sharpie, since it does fade, but I use a regular school pencil. For re-use, a plain eraser does the trick, getting rid of the words and the dirt :)

the mini blind pieces I push all the way into the ground for long-term marking, and always at the right side at the base of the plant. I will find it again after 10 years, if I have to:

my favorite markers


  1. I've long wanted to make markers using old spoon and those little metal alphabet dies that you tap with a hammer to leave an impression. Meanwhile I'm marking my Pentas cuttings as to color with strips cut from Blue Bunny Ice cream cartons.

  2. Nell, what a neat idea to use spoons. Especially since one can find them very cheap at flea markets and garage sales.
    The Ice Cream carton strips, don't they rot away too fast?