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Plant Labels

September 1st, 2012

Whenever I buy plants, the little markers that come in the pots are thrown into a bowl on my potting bench in the garage. Of course, there’s always a plan to do something with them, or to start a database of all the plants in the garden, but that never really materializes.

They are handy to have around, I find myself occasionally forgetting the name of a specific plants and sorting through the labels to find the tag. I also like to look through the bowl every now and then to see what plants haven’t survived.

The previous owners of this house often planted the tags along with the plants in the garden. They usually blew away, or got buried. Sometimes, when I’m planting something or working in the garden I’ll find one for a plant I didn’t purchase and it makes me smile. Kind of like a relic unearthed in excavation. It gives me a small glimpse into the previous gardeners that lived here.

What do you do with the tags that come with plants?

20 Comments to “Plant Labels”
  1. Tara on September 1, 2012 at 5:40 am

    You should checkout a website called my (I’m not affiliated with them in anyway!) it lets you do exactly that; create a database, note planting dates, harvest dates, note what you have available to swap with other garderners etc etc! Very cool. Basic membership is free, and then it goes up from there. Might be nice for your new garden :)

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  2. daisy on September 1, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I usually place them in the dirt right next to the plant, especially if it’s something I’m not familiar with. That works for me because then the tag is right there when I’m thinking about that plant. Your new garden is gonna be spectacular!!!

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  3. angie h on September 1, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I saved mine for awhile. I wanted to put them in a notebook of sorts and keep track of how they did, how we liked them, any issues….never got around to it though and my husband threw them out.

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  4. songbirdtiff on September 1, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I have a collection of these in a basket in my office. Like you, I often unearth plastic markers in the garden of long-lost plants that the previous owners planted. I’ve found many of them in the vegetable garden of lots of different kinds of tomatoes.

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  5. Sherri on September 1, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Oh, don’t get me started!!!!! LOL :)

    The OCD side of me has saved all of my tags and wants to establish a comprehensive database of my plantings complete with scale drawings and field notes.

    The reality of my life is that the markers are currently languishing in the outdoor potting cupboard with spider webs and mouse droppings.

    Charming, no?

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  6. Amy on September 1, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I tend to throw them out, but when we re-landscaped the yard around my 1910 Craftsman before selling it, I left them for the new owners, along with a map of where those plants were in the yard. It felt like leavin am instruction manual, and I liked that.

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  7. Margie Clyde on September 1, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I save all my labels, also. I’m always forgetting what I actually planted and its name, so keep them in a small box with my gardening supplies. I enjoy reading your blog, and am impressed with you daily posts

    Reply to Margie Clyde's comment

    • Susy on September 1, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks so much Margie.

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  8. Mich on September 1, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I keep the labels as reference and once in a blue moon when Im tiding up around the potting storage area I look thru them…and usually think what the hell happened to that plant?! Lol.

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  9. Carla on September 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I keep my labels in 4-pocket plastic photo protector sheets and then file
    those in my garden binder. Very organized, but I can’t say that I go back
    and consult them very often. I think I looked through them more when they were tossed in a flower pot on the potting bench.

    Reply to Carla's comment

    • Susy on September 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      I’ve always thought about putting them in a book like that, just haven’t gotten around to it. Good to know that this “organization” method might be best!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. KimH on September 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    It depends on what it is.. Most I toss.. but some I keep in my garden book to remind me of the variety.

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  11. Maybelline on September 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Funny. I have a pot out in the shed with the same sort of contents. However, I will typically note the date planted on a larger plant and place it in my Sunset Western Garden Book (aka Bible). Helpful bookmarks.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

    • Susy on September 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      I’ve heard the Sunset Western Garden Book is indispensable for western gardeners.

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  12. tj on September 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    …I keep mine in the back of my fav’ gardening book. I taped a large envelope to the inside of the back cover of the book and tuck my labels from perennials, bushes & trees in there, sadly I need to adopt another method as the envelope is bursting at the seams. :o)

    …For the garden I just tuck the labels next to the plants or if it’s annuals I put ’em in a flower pot on my gardening shelf under the barn lean-to. I would really like to come up with a better and more eye pleasing labeling system for the veg’ garden.

    …I know I’m jumpin’ the gun here a little when I say that I’m already looking forward to next Spring & Summer here at Chiot’s Run – so exciting! :o)

    …Have a lovely evening!


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  13. Deb on September 1, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    I guess I do the logical thing, out them near the plant so I knoww hat kind and waht variety it is. If it’s something I know I will keep it and write on the blank side if it has one when I start my own plants.

    Reply to Deb's comment

    • Deb on September 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      put them …. know what kind… sorry about that.

      Reply to Deb's comment

  14. RobinL on September 2, 2012 at 8:24 am

    The only problem with keeping a database is not having the original photo, and having to type all that info. Instead, I keep my tags in a sleeve type photo album. I can pull them out and read them if I need to, and occasionally I’ll go through and pull out those that haven’t survived. I even found the photo albums on clearance, so it was quick and easy.

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  15. igardendaily on September 3, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Hi! I pretty much adhere to your same method – my markers are stuffed loosely in a couple of 4 in plastic plant containers. However, for any that are annuals or veggies and blank on the back, I re-use in the spring by washing them and using as plant markers for my seeds. I write on the blank side with a sharpie and it works great.

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  16. Christy on July 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    A great on-line tool that I use is

    It’s got an online plant library & I can personalize a ‘folder’ to save the plants that I have. Love it!

    Reply to Christy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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