How do I mark my labels? Let me count the ways....
If you want to retain your plant identification, please do not use a Sharpie! Perhaps the biggest concern we field is that so-called “permanent” markers, such as Sharpies, fade in the elements. Even though they are called permanent, they do not last on our labels. If, however, you know you want to re-use the nameplates, then using a Sharpie is a great option as it will fade in the sun within a month or two allowing you to mark the nameplate with different information at that time.
Most gardeners desire a marking that lasts. If you want your plant identification to endure long-term, the best way to mark our zinc labels is with our black marking pencil or mechanical pencil. Write your information on the nameplate, set the nameplate out in the sun for a day, and the writing will “bake” into the nameplate. These markings should last for years.
In our Michigan garden, we have nameplates which are still legible after 10-15 years. If you notice the markings beginning to fade, simply repeat the process. We encourage you to also use the back side of the nameplates to record your information as they are not as exposed to the elements and will last even longer.
Our Deco-Color Paint Marker is another option for both our zinc and copper nameplates. It creates a very bold and dark marking. Testing has indicated that it begins to fade in about 3-5 years depending upon weather conditions. If you notice the markings beginning to fade, use your paint marker to write over the top of the fading markings.
If your handwriting is not what it used to be, another method which works very well is to use our weather-resistant peel & stick labels. You must use a laser printer with these white labels or the ink will smear. Simply adhere the label to a clean nameplate. Our testing has shown that these last for about 3 years before they begin to fade.