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Has anyone a good tip for labelling plants.  I use the plastic white ones you can buy and use a waterproof permanent marker but the writing still gets washed away.

Compost fingers

A good idea is to get some paper and just draw a rough plan of what you have planted and where

Emma Crawforth

Hello Gardening Granny,

A simple pencil works really well on white labels. The best type to use is a soft one, i.e. a B pencil. But hard ones do work too. The writing doesn't get washed off and you can rub it out with an eraser when the crop has finished and reuse the label.

Emma team

I don't buy labels I cut mine from milk containers. A pencil is a good idea as I also use a permanent marker and find it washes off with the rain.

I have used the white labels  with pencil & then wiped the pencil off to reuse.

I now just use some spare  cardboard & a pen. Although these will fade/disintergrate, by that time the seeds/plants have  grown & been planted out,  so for me I don't need to label them any more.


Thank you all for your help with plant labels, I'll try using pencil instead of 'markers' and make a plan of what's where?

Lavender Lady

I like the idea of making plant labels from old milk containers, i think i will try that, at the moment I am using the plastic white ones but am running out and was thinking of what I could use instead of buying more.  Did think of using wooden lolly sticks, has anyone tried them ?

Thanks Lavender Lady I may try wooden lolly sticks and I think they're available in colours so if the name washes off at least I'll know what colour the plant will be?


I only use the white labels in the GH. I keep a detailed plant diary, and alphabetical plant list once they are out in the garden. I make a note of the exact spot ie. behind lavender, and between escallonia and euphorbia right hand border. That way there's no doubt and I can go back to the diary at any time and go straight to the plant. I always take off the labels from the nursery and store in a file , as they usually fade and you can't read them after a while.

I use plastic labels and use a chinagraph pencil  doesn't seem to wear off but easily wiped clean to reuse.

Thanks for all your replies.  I wonder if anyone has tried to use something where you can burn the name into the material.  Perhaps lolly sticks would be a good idea.  I have seen them made of ceramic with names on but I bet they are expensive.  Tin would also be good and you could hammer dots to make the names although I think tin would also be expensive.  What do you all think?


I have tried lollipop sticks, they rotted in the soil and I am still finding bits of them in the garden.

I have cut up old ice cream tubs into 4inch lengths, make ahole with a hole punch,mark with a "sharpie " marker pen and tie onto my plant or canes. this idea works great on my plot. 

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