How to Make a Plant Marker


Without plant markers, it can be easy for even the most experienced gardener to mix plants up, occasionally. Young, growing plants can look so similar to each other. Plant markers can save you the trouble of trying to remember which is the parsley and which is the cilantro. You can use the small, commercial plastic plant markers that come with plants, as they serve their purpose, or you can get creative and use markers as part of your garden art.

Stone Markers

Step 1

Collect some smooth river stones, approximately 3 to 5 inches in width. You will need one stone per plant, or one stone per row of the same kinds of plants.

Step 2

Use an acrylic paint pen in the color of your choice to write the name of the plant it will mark. Use your best handwriting to make it neat, but it doesn't have to be perfect as that's often part of the charm of decorative garden art.

Step 3

Allow the paint to dry. Take the stone outdoors and spray it with three or four coats of a clear acrylic sealer, allowing it to dry in between applications. Place the stone at the base of the plant to mark it.

Modern Plant Markers

Step 1

Write the name of each of your plants on a piece of paper in script (cursive). If you don't like your handwriting, print it out on the computer using a script font. The lettering should be about 3 inches high.

Step 2

Use rolls of 14-gauge wire and a needle-nose pliers to bend the wire so it takes the shape of the script. Start at the end of the wire and the first letter of the word. Double-back with the wire when necessary to cross t's and f's or to dot i's. Lay the wire on the word on the paper to try and get it as similar as possible.

Step 3

Leave one 18-inch length of wire trailing off the last letter. Use this to stake the wire plant markers into the ground near your plants.

Recycled Cans

Step 1

Collect small 6- to 12-oz. cans, such as soup cans and tomato sauce cans. You will need at least one per plant. Peel off the label and wash the can well.

Step 2

Take the cans outdoors and stand them on newspaper or scrap cardboard. Spray them with a white spray primer made for painting metal or non-porous surfaces. Allow them to dry.

Step 3

Paint the cans however you desire with acrylic paints. Keep the cans upside-down because that is how they will be in the garden. Paint the name of each plant on each can and decorate it cheerfully. Allow it to dry.

Step 4

Spray the can with three coats of clear acrylic sealer, outdoors, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. Put stakes or dowels in the ground next to your plants and put the can over the top of the wood to display the plant name.

Things You'll Need

  • 3- to 5-inch smooth river stones
  • Acrylic paint pen
  • Clear acrylic spray sealer
  • Newspaper
  • Printer (optional)
  • 14-gauge wire
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Empty food cans
  • Spray primer
  • Acrylic paint
  • Craft paint brushes
  • Wood stakes or dowels


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Keywords: DIY plant markers, plant markers, garden art

About this Author

Mackenzie Wright has been freelancing for the last 8 years in the arts of writing, painting, photography, crafts, and teaching classes on the arts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Education. Her writing has been featured in publications such as the Saint Petersburg Times, South Florida Parenting Magazine, and Home Education Magazine.