March 4, 2010

Plant Tag Round Up -A Look at Plant Labels

Wooden labels available from Terrain.
Hand Crafted Wooden and Bamboo Labels available at Terrain.

I am starting something new, and it's called Round Up. Not the herbicide, but rather, a round-up is blogging term for a gathering, a collection, or a review of a particular item. In Growing With Plants, a Round Up will focus on all sorts of things that would interest you, my readers. It might be a particular type of plant, like, let's say Peonies or Violets, but mostly, it will be a Round-Up of something interesting to those of us who like plants. So it may focus on watering cans, showing the latest variety or coolest forms available this year, or a Round Up on Clay Pots, staking devices, tools or rubber boots. Today's first Round Up will focus on something we all need help with - labeling. Welcome to the first Growing with Plants Round Up on Plant Tags and Lables.

Gardeners are itchy to start thinking about planting, and with the seed sowing season starts to ramp up, I thought that I would share with all of you my most favorite finds for plant tags a labels. I am considering both criteria, aesthetics, and functionality, so there are no slate labels with etched titles like 'HERBS' or 'DILL", and there are no home made sorts, like those made from paper cups and egg cartons. Instead, I am shared with seriously serious labels, such as where I get the black labels everyone keeps asking me about that I use, and my methods, and some labels that are simply just beautiful, for those plants which you might have in a display.

Alitags.com, a premiere site for english Victorian plant tags offers many choices of tags, in materials ranging from metal to bamboo.

The Alitags top-of-the-line system comes with Punch Letters, so that you can stamp the genus and species on each label. Thusly, you can have plant tags that look exactly like those seen at the large botanic gardens.

Check out Alitags for more information.

Alitags also carries these new Bamboo labels, which look similar if not exactly the same as the ones that I ordered from Terrain this week for $12.00 ( 6 for $12.00 US). The Alitags version are sold for 20.5 GBP for 25 labels. Heck, I need to do the math, but I would imagine that volume will reduce the price since they are light, and postage is the only variable. Still, these are all very lovely, and I will be ordering lots of these. Since Alitags in in the UK, the shipping may be more, but the selection is wider.

Copper is the fanciest choice, for both design and practiality for it will age with a patina. The only downfall is the cost.
These copper tags are also available at Alitags.com.

Many of you will recognize these as the black labels I am fond of, and since so many of you ask me where I get them, and how I make them, I will share the process with you. My black labels come from another British site like Alitags, called The Essentials Company. They ship overseas, and are very reasonably priced, especially if you by in quantity. I used to order the white heavy plastic label, and then switched to the black rigid label. On these, I would write the plant name in white paint marker, and the result was exactly what I was looking for, hand drawn white type on black that would last under the extreme conditions which my plants exisit. White labels with sharpie would fade after a few months, and although pencil would last the longest, I never liked the look of it.

Then I discovered a free packet of black scratch-on labels that also came in the package from The Essentials, but the needle which came with the labels was useless in scratching in the name, and once you did, it looked as if the name was scratched onto the tag, not very attractive. I then discovered the labeling system, the Brother P-Touch. I use black P-Touch tape with white text, to type the plant name onto. I use the 1/2 inch or 3/8 inch tape, which I can only find on-line from Staples, for the stores seem to no carry the black tape with white letters in waterproof. The result is a very neat and tidy look, and I can add lots of information onto the label.


  1. Dang, I think Round up will be a success. We have been looking at some specialize labels and you have done a lot of leg work for us. thanks. I like old looking metal ones...something to set us apart from the standard plastic. Matti

  2. Anonymous10:58 AM

    This is an excellent idea! Thanks so much for posting!!

  3. Perfect! I would love to try to do this one this coming weekend. I think I can do it also. I love metals tags everything about so I am going to do this as soon as possible.


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