Inexpensive Plant Markers

Sharing is caring!

Preview: These homemade plant markers are the perfect way to remember what vegetables and herbs were planted in your backyard garden.

Every year when seed starting time rolls around, I realize I haven’t thought to buy plant tags yet. And often times, I want to start my seeds immediately.

Then later, as I’m planting things in the garden, I realize I STILL forgot to purchase them. Am I the only one that does this?

But I really like knowing what I planted and where. So I’ve gotten creative and come up with some easy DIY plant markers that can be used for seed starting or for marking your plants in the garden.

Homemade plant tags also make a lovely gift for the gardener on your list. These are perfect for Christmas or Mother’s Day. Plant markers can be tailored to the plants your favorite gardener loves.

However, simple markers have a practical use too. The popsicle plant markers are perfect to use in your seed starting containers so you know what varieties you planted.

homemade plant markers in the garden

Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you purchase something through a link. It will not change your cost. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see my disclosures page.)

Painted Rocks

a painted rock used in the herb garden
A painted rock plant marker in the herb garden.

These painted rocks look really cute in the backyard garden. They can help add some color to an otherwise green landscape. This is also a fun project to do with the kids. They could decorate the rocks and an adult could write various vegetable names on them. This would be a gift most children could make on their own.

While you can purchase smooth rocks (and they would make this project a little easier) you can also use rocks you find in your own backyard (like I did). The scavenger hunt for the rocks could be part of the fun for the kids.

And don’t think this project is just for little kids. One of my teenagers saw my painted rocks on the counter and wanted to make some too!

While I have provided a tool list below, here is a whole kit if you wanted to purchase the rocks and the waterproof paint together.

Popsicle Sticks

Popsicle sticks to use as plant markers in the garden.
These popsicle sticks are an inexpensive way to mark your plants in the garden.

Popsicle sticks make easy and very inexpensive plant markers. These can be something super simple, with just the name of the plant written on them or more elaborate with painted colors and names. There are even bigger popsicle sticks if you wanted to decorate them a bit.

I think the larger ones would make a prettier gift, however, I use the small popsicle sticks to label my seeds when I start them and when I transplant them.

The nice part about popsicle sticks is that they can be left in the garden to decompose. The downside to this is that they don’t last very long as markers.

Two to three months is about as long as they will last before they start breaking off at ground level. But by that point, you can usually tell a squash plant from a cucumber plant in the garden.

Painted Spoons

Spoon plant markers make a great gift.
Spoon plant markers make a great gift for your favorite gardener.

I’ve seen lots of painted spoons used as plant markers. They are really cute if you are artistic and can paint the vegetable or flower onto the bowl of the spoon. (Unfortunately, I am NOT very artistic. I can barely write the names of the plants neatly.)

To make the painted spoons, you can use wooden spoons or inexpensive stainless steel ones. The stainless steel spoons will definitely last much longer. Many times, you can find them at local stores, or thrift shops too. This could also be a great way to re-purpose bent or damaged spoons you have at home.

Would you like to make homegrown food simple? Get my FREE guide – The Abundant Backyard with my top 10 tips for growing and raising food in your own backyard.

A Few Other Ideas

While I have used all three ideas listed above, I have seen other options that would make really cute plant markers.

Paint stir sticks that you can get at your local hardware store would make nice plant markers. They can be painted just like popsicle sticks. Since they are larger and thicker, they should hold up a little longer than popsicle sticks. But I still wouldn’t expect them to last more than one season.

These bamboo plant markers would be really cute to paint. They also come in a plastic version. I might not take the time to paint them for my own garden, but they would make a great addition to a gardening gift basket.

I’ve even seen people paint canning lids and hang them in the garden or attach them to a stake. This post from Skip to My Lou has a great tutorial.

Finally, a cute wedding or Mother’s Day gift would be to gift a small herb garden or seed packets with any of the above plant markers to identify each plant.

Tools You Will Need for Homemade Plant Markers

Once you have decided on what to make your homemade plant markers from, you will need to assemble a few items in order to decorate your markers.

For any of the painted plant markers, you will need outdoor acrylic paint. OUTDOOR paint is key. Otherwise, the paint will wash off when it rains. This outdoor acrylic paint is specifically designed for painting rocks, but I bet it would work on most other mediums as well.

Since most likely you will be writing the plant names or drawing a picture of the vegetable, these paint pens will make the task much easier.

It’s a good idea to seal the project after you have completed your painting. This outdoor sealer can be painted over the top of the finished project to provide some additional protection from the elements.

So what kind of plant markers do you use in your vegetable garden? I’m always looking for new ideas, so leave a comment below if you have an unusual way of marking your plants.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *