Plant markers can be a lifesaver, especially if you are new to gardening or you have planted so much this year that you can’t remember what you planted where.
If you buy plants from nurseries, they often come with a little plant marker that tells you all kinds of useful stuff. You can simply push this marker into the soil beside your plant for reference any time you need it.
But, if you have raised all your plants from seeds, then you might need some help in remembering what’s what. These ideas for plant markers come in all different forms, functions, and longevity needs.
Perhaps you need something to help identify what is in your seed trays. Maybe you need something temporary in the garden to mark where you planted whichever seed until the plants come up. Or, you might be looking for something a little more decorative, artsy, classy, statement-making, and permanent.
Whatever your artistic ability or how tight the purse strings are, there is a DIY solution to your plant marking needs.
Use Old Plastic Items
- If you have old plastic yogurt pots, plant-based milk jugs, or juice cartons, you can carefully cut 3-4 inch strips from these to make reusable markers. With each rectangular strip, cut a point at one end so that it pushes into the soil more easily. Then use a permanent marker to write any information you need.
- Old plastic spoons are also a similar option. You can write the name of the plant on either the concave or convex side of the spoon with a permanent marker and push the handle end of the spoon into the soil.
Use Old Metal Items
Source: Adrianne Surian/YouTube
- Make the same style of plant marker from thrifted metal cutlery. This time, instead of using a marker pen, you could paint the names of the plants onto the spoons. Depending on your skill and materials, you could also use a metal letter stamp to hammer the names of the plants into the spoons.
- You will need a can opener that gives you tin can lids without sharp edges. Paint or write the name of the plant on these lids and attach them to a stake that can be pushed into the ground. You could also write only on the top half of the lid and push the rest into the ground. You will then have little semicircular markers for your plants.
- The used, and sadly unrecyclable, lids from mason canning jars make great plant markers, too. Use them in the same way as regular can lids. The white enamel side helps your lettering to pop.
Try Other Recycled Materials
Source: Garden Gate Magazine/YouTube
- Use old bathroom or kitchen tiles. They can be placed flat on the soil, almost like a little stepping stone, or attached to a stake that is pushed into the ground. Alternatively, you can use only the top portion of the tile to write on and push the other half into the ground.
- Make bigger plant markers from pallet wood. They give you room to get creative. Once you have painted your sign, you can attach your plank to a stake or cut it to a point at the end and hammer it into the soil.
- Old bricks also make a really good canvas for painting or writing on. You could leave the brick its original color, or you could paint the entire brick and paint the name of your plant onto it in a contrasting color. You can use them again next year, or paint over the words and start again!
- If you are careful, you can use the pieces from broken terracotta plant pots to mark your plants. Use paint or markers to label the pieces and lay them on the soil or push them into the soil next to your plants.
- Paint or write the name of your plant on wooden clothes pegs. These are especially cool if you have a container garden. The pegs can clip to the sides of your pots.
Natural Plant Markers
Source: Ideal Home/YouTube
- Find some twigs that are about an inch in diameter. Next, take a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, and scrape away the bark from the twig, leaving the white inside exposed. BE CAREFUL. Cut away from yourself. Simply write the name of the plant in the space you have created.
- Popsicle sticks, whether recycled or from the craft shop, make great markers for seedling trays and plant pots.
- If you have the tools, you can cut slices from natural logs. You could paint onto the surface of the slice and place them in your garden stepping stone style. If you are into wood burning, you could make a more permanent marker.
- Painted rocks also make great permanent plant markers. You can keep it simple or get as creative as you want.
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