Plant markers help keep your garden organized, but they don’t have to be drab. It is fun and easy to make every marker just as distinctive as your individual gardening tastes.
Why Mark Plants at All?
Making plant markers would seem to be just one more task that takes away from chores like weeding, watering and tending your plants, so why bother with the extra work? Plant markers do more than just mark plants. When you know which plant is which, you can properly water the plants and keep track of a weeding or thinning schedule to give each plant proper care. Good markers also distinguish desirable seedlings from young weeds, both of which can look similar. Plant markers also add a unique and fun personality to your garden, showing off your gardening style.
A Good Plant Marker Will Be…
Plant markers come in an infinite variety of shapes, sizes and designs, and they all share common characteristics that make them useful in the garden. Good plant markers are…
- Visible: You should be able to easily find and read plant markers not only when seeds are newly planted, but also when plants are mature and foliage may be draped over the rows or pathways.
- Durable: Plant markers need to be able to withstand harsh and changing conditions. Dirt, water, and different garden chemicals can take their toll on markers, and they need to resist fading, weathering or other damage such as warping or splitting.
- Firmly Set: A plant marker is not useful if it moves easily when bumped or jiggled. Whether the marker is heavy enough to resist jostling or is poked into the ground to stay firmly upright, it needs to stay in place through the growing season.
12 Fun and Creative Plant Marker Ideas
While a basic wooden stake or stick can be a simple marker, there are many easy and fun options that can add quirky personality to every garden row.
- Painted Rocks
Large, heavy river rocks are easy to paint as garden markers. Use one color and similar fonts on each rock to create an elegant marker set, or opt for more colorful or crazy options. Colors could match the produce you are growing, or if you are more artistic, paint rocks with pictures of the different fruits and vegetables in your garden.
- Upturned Pots
Small or medium-sized pots can become fast garden markers that have a charming country theme. The pots can be painted in different colors or simply marked with the names of different plants, or artistic gardeners may paint more elaborate decorations around each pot to coordinate with the plants they mark.
- Stamped Utensils
Utensil serving pieces can be excellent garden markers when they are stamped or embossed with plant names. You can find plenty of vintage serving spoons from thrift stores, or you can opt for a coordinated set of markers. The handles are easy to press into the ground for firm, secure placement.
- Seed Packet Jars
Reusing the seed packets for your plants is a fast and convenient way to mark each row or section of your garden. Seed packets can be slipped over the end of a wooden stake and topped with an upturned jar to become instantly waterproof. For more elegance, slip the seed packets into a wine bottle.
- Ceramic Tiles
Square ceramic tiles are easy to paint as elegant, kitschy plant markers. Permanent markers can also be used to label tiles, but only label the top half of the tile so the bottom half can be firmly stuck into the ground to stay in place through the growing season.
- Wooden Spoons
Paint words or pictures of plants on the broad end of a wooden spoon and use a quick coat of sealant to be sure they will not fade. The spoons are easy to poke into the ground and will add a kitchen-esque vibe to your garden.
- Wooden Clothespins
Color-code wooden clothespins or mark each one with a name of a plant before clipping them to thin wooden stakes or wire trellises or cages that help support individual plants.
Use large, chunky letter beads to spell out the names of different plants, and finish each label with colorful beads or crystals on the end. These short beaded strands can then be tied to small crooks for delicate and elegant garden markers.
- Wine Bottles
Toast your garden with wine bottle plant markers. The thin necks of bottles are easy to poke into the ground, and the broad body of the bottles can be painted with words or pictures to denote different plants. For even more elegance, consider etching the glass.
Like painted rocks, bricks can easily become garden markers. They are more uniform than most rocks and can even be an integral part of a garden fence or border. Use the same lettering on each brick for a coordinated look, or consider bright colors or pictures for more fun.
- Scrabble Tiles
Turn gardening into a game by using old Scrabble tiles or similar small letters to create customized markers. Letters can be positioned on wooden stakes or small wooden signs, or even centered in small open frames for a rustic but winning option.
- Garden Tools
What better way to label your garden than with garden tools? Old hand tools such as trowels and rakes can be useful markers that fit into any garden, and the plant names or pictures could be on either the broad handles or wide trowel blades.
Whatever you choose for marking your garden, make it just as fun and enjoyable as your garden and it will be a great accent for your individual gardening style.