Ask a Question forum: Plant Labels

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garden07
Feb 18, 2014 10:46 AM CST
Is there a proper way to label plants.I just purchased a label maker and want to mark our plants,common name or latin name first or is whatever works best ?
Name: David Reaves
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
Vegetable Grower Region: Texas Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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david_reaves
Feb 18, 2014 10:50 AM CST
The Cambridge Botanical Garden says that you should use the Latin/botanical name first, then the common name, since the common name may vary.

http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/Botanic/Page.aspx?p=27&ix=2822&...

David
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Feb 18, 2014 10:54 AM CST

Plants Admin

Hi @garden07 and welcome,
A long as the Latin name and cultivar name (if any) are on the label you'll always know what you have. Beyond that it's gardeners choice. Big Grin
Evan
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Feb 18, 2014 11:14 AM CST
I agree
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Feb 18, 2014 12:26 PM CST
If you can use both sides of the label, maybe put the Latin name on one side, and the common names and cultivar name on the other side.

Then, it's like a flash card. See if you can remember the hidden names. When you check your memory, stick it back in the ground facing the other way.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 18, 2014 4:42 PM CST
I agree with RickCorey - even if we use the common names in our everyday conversation, it's a good idea to get used to the botanical names. When it comes time to ask a question or offer a trade everyone will know exactly which plant is involved.

When I watch movies or television at home, I quiz myself when I see plants on the screen and holler the names out loud like I'm playing Jepoardy. (Drives my daughter nuts!)
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 18, 2014 4:50 PM CST
I'm worse.... I work with plant names so when I see a tree the Latin name automatically pops into my head. Drives ME nuts. And not infrequently my DH. Hilarious!
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Feb 18, 2014 5:04 PM CST
Oh, I just thought of another good reason to go with the botanical names - laziness and/or lack of available space on the label.

Here is one example, you could label the plant:

"Muntingia calabura" or

"Strawberry tree, Jam tree, Cotton candy berry, Manzanil, Calabura"
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 23, 2014 9:06 AM CST
So right, greene. Common names vary a lot, especially in different parts of the world. I get teased for being 'snooty' when I use botanical names, though. My daughter says 'Oh, Mum don't be such a plant snob'.

May I add that I've tried a few label makers for plant labels, and none of them hold up very long in the outdoor environment. It's really frustrating to find your lovely labels with the printing faded completely. You should try a few out in the sunshine and see how they hold up before you go labeling your whole yard.

Who's got a favorite labeling method? I'm currently using cut up strips of black plastic nursery pots, and a silver Sharpie paint pen to write on them. They're cheap and they last (as long as the squirrels or birds don't steal them).
Thumb of 2014-02-23/dyzzypyxxy/b8df3f

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Feb 23, 2014 9:53 AM CST
I often use plastic knives as temporary plant markers. I drives me crazy that the squirrels pull them out!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Feb 24, 2014 3:36 PM CST
I use boring old plastic mini-blind slats marked with a thick-lead mechanical pencil. I find that the markings last almost as long as the plastic, which eventually gets brittle. Say, around three years.

The rascally squirrels might not swap labels around if you punch a hole and tie them to the plant.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Mar 1, 2014 12:30 PM CST
Just made a killer purchase at the thrift store.
Two boxes of brand new aluminum Impress-O-Tags Identification Marking Tags manufactured by Amekron.
Going price retail for the box of 100 is between $12 - $19 US.
I bought 2 boxes of 100 @ $5 each. Hurray!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 1, 2014 1:10 PM CST
I make embossed tags out of aluminum duct tape. Over the winter I've made about 200 of them .. very easy to make:

http://garden.org/ideas/view/Xeramtheum/1384/How-To-Make-Emb...
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Unknown

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Mar 1, 2014 1:20 PM CST
Yes, thank you, it was because of your article that I recognized these at the thrift store. These are very similar to yours. Since I had not yet purchased the supplies to make my own by following your excellent instructions, I made the purchase at the thrift store. I will be using these on some of the plants I give away at our local swap in a few weeks.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

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