I have about had it with faded labels

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Grandma M

I am so tired of faded labels. I have tried pens, bought special pencels, no matter what I try, everything fades in time. I used Exclude on a few plants and it completely erased everything on the labels.

I broke down and ordered a Brother TZ computer label printer. I sure hope these don't fade. I was told, by Brother, because they use thermal printing, they will last under lights????

They just better not fade, :evil: and they BETTER stick to the labes I use. They are 1 inch wide and I record info, such as blooming dates and re-pot dates, on the back side of them. I use white ones for my paphs, orange for my phrags, and everyting else get a yellow label. My new labeler should print 3/4" or 1" wide labels.

If they fade or don't stick, I would have been better buying more orchids instead. It wasn't cheap. I should be here today or tomorrow. I think I will spray the first label with everything I use on my plants, including Excel, to see what happens. I hope my neighbors don't hear an awful scream...It might even carry over to the forum, so be prepared.

Does any one have experience using these?
I've never had a problem with pencil (#2 or so)... I use that for almost everything. On plants I have a lot of, I will break out the label maker (A Brother something or another). I don't recall what type of label 'stock' I ordered, but I have the catalog numbers in my e-mail somewhere if you want them. Haven't had any problem with legibility after more than a year in the sun with those.

The all time best label for any plant is an aluminum tag. I can't remember where I bought mine, but they are the kind of aluminum you can 'emboss' with a ball point pen. They last forever! I use them on the fruit trees and outdoor stock, haven't used them in the greenhouse yet but I really should now that I'm thinking of it.
Oh, an old trick (probably learned it from Ray Barkalow, who is a master of such tricks), is to spray your label with clear acrylic. Just remembered that. I suppose you could use clear nail polish for just a few labels.
I use a label printer when doing up labels from a flask or compot. They're done well and haven't faded in several years. I've got a few labels written in pen(not by me) that have faded. I found them this weekend while doing some major repotting. The plants in question aren't award quality, or even particularly nice, so that's a relief. But, there is a hint on Ray's site about how to get the names off of faded labels. I don't know if you've read it, or tried it.

Do you mean spraying ink or pencil printed labels, or for using on the thermal printed labels?

My Labeler just arrived. It's smaller than I expected. I can set it on my desk top. It will use either batteries or it has an adapter that came with it.

Guess what I will be doing after lunch? I am going to install the Quick Editor program now because it has the manual on it.

Wish me luck.
If you use the thermo labels, you don't need acrylic. But I guess it can help keep pencil and pen a bit more legible. I've never actually tried it.

I stick with pencil.

Last summer, I helped look for plants of Isotria medeoloides. Some were marked 15 years ago by pencil on metal tags. They were in perfect shape. A few feet away, archeaological flags marked with Sharpie were almost completely faded after just a couple years.
I made the mistake of using a sharpie on my labels early on... many of them are now almost completely gone. I replace them every time that I run across one that is still around.

When I do archaeological field work, I use a Staedtler pigment liner, which are supposed to be non-fading, and have been in my experience. I've tried them on orchid labels and they don't fade, but they take ages to dry and tend to smudge... so I went to a local Art supply store and bought a pigment liner made by Sakura which works much better, and I also haven't noticed any fading yet. I still prefer to hand write my tags :) One of these days I suppose I'll get a thermal printer, but in the meantime, pigment pens seem to do the job.

- Matt
HEY: This is fun.:rollhappy: :rollhappy:

:clap: I mastered my new label machine and it works great.

It has 1/2" tape in it but I believe it would be better with 3/4' tape. I bought extra tape, one roll 3/4" and one 1" wide. Just one thing I need to figure out, I don't know how to set the length of the tape. They all come out 4" lengths. I only want 3 1/2". This way I will waste a lot of tape at 4".

With 3/4' wide tape I can print the name is large bold letters on one line and the cross in regular print on the lower line.

I did spray a sample tape with Exclude and it didn't change it a bit. Now I will try other sprays on it to see if it will fade.

At this point, I am very happy with it.
I haven't had label problems yet but maybe one day.

I just thought that perhaps it would help if a second label was placed hidden inside the potting media.
I hope it works well for you. My last batch of labels came with two smooth sides (old batch from the same place had one rough side) so pencil is rubbing off.... Really annoying :evil:

I recently resorted to a Dymo.

I feel like I just typed a post like this, so hopefully that was a different forum and I'm not just repeating myself. Anyway, the Dymo tape is narrow so it's only possible to get the grex on it, and even then the tag gets pretty long.... But still, better than no info. I also prefer to tie the tag to the plant - they go missing if I just stick them in the pots - and this little hand embosser is able to make a slit in one end of the tag (not just a pinhole like in the photo).

I should check out the pigment liners. I was at an art store recently and knew there was something plant-related I should have bought :p
I try to use 2 labels in a pot .I add an extra & put it directly behind the one that is in the plant written in pencil.Since it is right up against the back of the one in the pot , it stays legible since watering doesn't get on it to cause problems.This way if the 1st one washes off or fades I still have label #2 to tell me what it is.I either wr4ite it on label # 1 or add a new label.:)
We use Avery weatherproof "paper" (it's actually polyester or vinyl) and print on it with a laser printer then trim with a paper trimmer. Set up a template in Word and you can even do mail merge with some practice getting the sizing & spacing down. I love it because it's 100% customizable. DON'T bother with InkJets for this- even the spray on stuff won't keep InkJet ink around more than a watering or two.