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TheLorax

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I think I've tried about everything commercially available over the years to be able to identify my plants for a host of reasons.

For trees and shrubs as well as groupings of plants outside, I use a brand similar to the stakes at the link below that are 20" tall and copper and can be pushed down into the ground well over a foot to stop them from getting heaved during rapid freeze thaw cycles (I will be using these in the raised bed for the C. acaule I planted)-
http://www.dpind.com/Metal_Garden_Markers_s/3.htm
These also stay put when deer and kids trample them accidentally.

For other plants grown outside in pots, I've literally resorted to drilling a little hole in the lip of the pot to be able to attach a zinc tag. I now use similar to this and the squirrels can not take off with them since they are looped through a hole in the pot. If you use a cheap engraving took, you can permanently write the binomial as well as any other information you want on the tag-
https://www.mobot.org/hort/gardens/zinc.htm
I have several different species and variations of Spiranthes as well as other plants that may be the exact same species but have different location of origin data and the tags help keep me keep them straight. Great to attach to a tray of seedlings too because many all look alike for a while.

While re-potting my plants these last few days, I realized that almost all the little plastic tags I've bought for indoor only plants have failed me over the long run. I began using vinyl mini blinds to make my own tags a while ago at the suggestion of a friend. I cut them to two different sizes to be able to get the most out of the mini-blinds. I used to grab them from the curb on garbage day when I spotted them poking out of cans but hadn't seen any in a while so I had to buy a pack from Home Depot for $6. I am pretty sure I've gotten several hundred tags out of this set of store bought mini-blinds. I write information about the plant on the tag I create with a #2 pencil (permanent markers and paint pens always fade over the years). The vinyl from mini-blinds must have some sort of a UV stabilizer in it so they haven't cracked or split on me.


Other than that, I've given away a few divisions of my original paph and when I potted up the divisions, I used Shrinky Dinks to create decorative plant tags. Remember Shrinky Dinks from when we were kids? Well, they're not just for kids anymore! I don't know what my original paph is because I long ago lost the tag so I simply wrote Paphiopedilum from Lauren on the a heart shaped piece of Shrinky Dink in black and drew a tiny little picture of a slipper orchid in pink on the tag with some sort of a green leaf. If you use a paper hole punch to make a hole in your Shrinky Dink before you bake it, you'll have a ready made place to attach it to a stake or to a ribbon. They really turn out nice and they are permanent once you bake them. If anyone is giving gift plants this coming Christmas, these shrinky dink tags really look nice.
http://www.shrinkydinks.com/

Just a few ideas that are have been about as permanent as you can get in the form of a plant tag.
 
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Grandma M

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I was so tired of having my tags fade on me. I found even with # 2 pencil some sprays would harm them. I finally bought a Brother PT 1500 label printer. I can create the label on my computer, add any info I want, color code them with different color tape or colored labels.

.......Paphs have white labels with black printing on the tape. Phrags have orange labels with black printing on white labels, Phals have yellow tape on yellow labels, Vandas have green tape on white label....... The tape comes in several colors and several widths. The PT 1500 will take take up to 1 inch. I just type the info on my computer, (the form looks like a regular label). I usually have 3 lines printed out and can print them any length according to the info on it. I can find the tapes on the internet for less than Brother charges. Shipping free.

Now I can tell what is in the pot, by the tape or label color, even if it is on the back of the bench. To each his own. This works for me.
 

TheLorax

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That would blow my home made mini-blind plant tags out of the water for indoor plants. How much does that label printer cost? I've seen your tags before and they are beautiful! I couldn't use that on outside plants or plants in pots but that would be about as good as it gets for indoor plants.
 
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Grandma M

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Loren

If I remember correctly I paid about 89.00 for it. I believe you can also find it for less. For me it is worth every penny. I can put so much on the label, which I buy from Kelly's Korner, and write on the back of the pre-printed label info such as when repotted, when bloomed,(written with pencil). The labels come in different colors.

I had been using the colored labels before so on many of them I only had to print the tape and apply it over what I had written on the front of it. I wish I had done this long ago. They all look so neat now. NOTE: My penmanship leaves a lot to be desired.

I found the office supply stores only sell the labelers which take narrow tape, and you need to type the info with the machine, not on the computer.
 

TheLorax

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Under $100 is doable. I thought that thing was going to cost hundreds.

So where do you buy the labeler that creates 1" labels or rather the wide tape?
 
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Grandma M

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PT-1500PC
Computer Label Printer
Prints labels from your computer
Uses "TZ" tape from 1/4" up to 1"
Uses TrueType® Fonts
28 type styles
Includes one 1/2" black on white "TZ" laminated starter tape PT editor software, USB IF cable, and tape separator tool

$79.99

Lauren
Go to the Brother site to find this under label making machines.

If you get one I can tell you where to buy the tapes at a better price.
 

TheLorax

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I'll ask for one for my birthday next year. I've had problems with pencil smearing and would prefer to use your system.
 

Candace

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I also use the Brother label printer for many of my tags. It's great for doing compots/flasks where you have multiple same names. You can print out as many of them as you like.
 

TheLorax

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Oh, the pain of your comments. Green eyed monster of jealousy over their label makers grabbing you? Don't feel bad. I lust for their label makers too. I guess we both go label printerless for a while. We'll survive.
 

NYEric

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Not envious at all. Generally, the only benefit to tags for me is that the besseae crosses do really look similar. Otherwise my favorites are things like Pleurothalis species that aren't named yet.
 

TheLorax

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You have a valid point there. You probably know all your plants while I need to read tags to know what I've got.
 

TheLorax

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Oh my heart bleeds for you that you have so many you are finding forgotten treasures under the leaves of other plants.
 
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biothanasis

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I didn;t use to have tags on my plants, but yesterday I found a broken window shader (???? I don't know how to call it... :)) and made some for my plants.... I cut the "leaves" into piecies, trimed them a bit and they are all ready to acompany my plants... In the pics you can see the proccedure ... more or less...

The first two pics show the initial material I used, and the other ones how it ended up in tags... :):) Pretty easy and free of charge...

The lorax: Thank you for the idea... :clap::clap::clap:
 

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TheLorax

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Was not my idea. I have friends who are garbage pickers. One of them came up with the idea and shared it with me. One day I saw mini-blinds (window shader) sticking up and out of a garbage can at the curb so I pulled over and took them. I brought them home and washed them off and started cutting away making tags just like you did. It worked well and the vinyl material doesn't get brittle like store bought plastic tags that I used in the past.

One big problem mentioned by Grandma M is that chemicals (fertilizers, insecticides, miticides, etc.) can ruin your print even if it is in pencil and definitely if you use a marker of any sort. Use a pencil on your tags.

These mini-blind (window shader) tags have served me well and they are FREE which definitely appealed to my cheap side.

I do want Grandma M's labeler for my birthday though. I can't help myself for wanting it, it will be a new toy.
 

Heather

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Your shrinky dink idea made me smile, Lauren, I loved those as a child!

I too have a brother printer and find it quite useful around the house in general and with plants in particular.
 

TheLorax

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Oh Heather, I wish I had one of the shrinky dink tags I made to photograph for you. You don't even need to be a good artist or anything for them to turn out nicely. Mine turned out so cute. And they looked so nice on the plants when I gave them away. My friends thought I had them professionally made and when I told them they were shrinky dinks they were surprised.
 

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