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The Best Way to Label Garden Plants

way to label garden plants that is easy to see, lasts all season (even in the Arizona summer sun), and can be reused season after season.

Looking for the best way to label garden plants in your garden? Throughout the years I’ve used many different garden markers and plant labels. 

My favorite way to label garden plants is easy to see, lasts all season (even in the Arizona summer sun), and can be reused season after season


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Garden labels should be easy to see

When starting seeds, I use these plastic labels from Amazon with a sharpie. They are simple to use and work well for labeling small seedlings. 

way to label garden plants that is easy to see, lasts all season (even in the Arizona summer sun), and can be reused season after season.

However, when the plants go out to the garden, the labels are difficult to find amid the dirt. The writing on these plastic labels often fades by the end of the season. I  reuse these labels for starting the next round of seedlings by wiping off the writing with a Magic Eraser. 

When I’m ready to transplant my seedlings, or plant my seeds in the garden, I love using these metal plant labels (also from Amazon). When it’s time to plant, I make labels for the seeds or seedlings and plant them along with the transplants.

way to label garden plants that is easy to see, lasts all season (even in the Arizona summer sun), and can be reused season after season.

These plant markers are easy to spot in the garden even when the plant gets large. I often have visitors in my garden, and an easy-to-see plant marker is as helpful for them as it is for me. 


The best way to label garden plants should last all season

Keeping accurate records each season is an important part of gardening. Gardeners often learn as much (or more) from failures as from successes. If labels are lost or indecipherable, it’s difficult to document what went well (or not so well) at the end of the season. 

The Best Way to Label Garden Plants

Wooden labels:

  • absorb moisture and writing bleeds
  • often rot quickly
The Best Way to Label Garden Plants

Plastic labels:

  • easily lost or buried
  • get brittle and break
  • the writing often fades by the end of the season

Black metal plant labels are written on with sharpie paint pens and they last all season (or all year) long.


The best way to label garden plants should be reusable

I love using these aluminum labels that are easy to emboss with a ballpoint pen for trees and long-lived plants in the garden. 

The Best Way to Label Garden Plants

However, many of my garden plants are annuals. The plants change each season. A different plant will be in that spot after the current plant is removed. Chances are you will plant a different variety of tomatoes or peppers next time and need a different label for the new type of plant.

The Best Way to Label Garden Plants

Ideally, you should use your plant markers again next season

way to label garden plants that is easy to see, lasts all season (even in the Arizona summer sun), and can be reused season after season.

I love that at the end of each season, I can simply paint over the labels with black paint and use them again. 

way to label garden plants that is easy to see, lasts all season (even in the Arizona summer sun), and can be reused season after season.

Many of these tags have been used for several years. 


If this post about the best way to label garden plants was helpful, please share it:

Joan G

Monday 3rd of May 2021

I'm unable to see the links to the labels. Can you share it in the comments please?

Angela Judd

Monday 3rd of May 2021

Looks like the black ones I link to aren't available right now, here's a link to some zinc ones: https://amzn.to/3eeMshu

Jane Anne Gibbs

Sunday 7th of February 2021

I noticed the black paint you use on your black plant label markers is black chalkboard paint. It holds up well the next year as you go to write on the black label once again with your paint pen? I guess one could not remove the paint pen labeling with some kind of paint remover as it would damage the black paint coating. And while one could still write on the label, the label would be come shiny, reflecting sun, which would not be comfortable for eyes or neighboring plants

Angela Judd

Sunday 7th of February 2021

I use the chalkboard paint because I have it on hand. I'm sure you could use regular black acrylic paint. I repaint over the top each season.