30 Unique Garden Marker Ideas You Already Have on Hand

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A big part of growing a healthy, successful garden is knowing how to keep it organized. From arranging your tools so you know where to find them to storing your seeds properly so they last between seasons, organization is key when it comes to having a truly green thumb!

One thing that many growers overlook as they are planning out the season’s plot is the need to include garden markers for their plants. Without indicating where your plants are growing, you’ll have no idea what spot is bare soil – and which one actually contains a fragile little seed.

What a waste of time and money!

Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a lot of time or energy adding garden markers to your garden. You also don’t need to “downgrade” your garden’s aesthetic by using garden markers made out of things like plastic (like the boring ones that come with seedlings at the store).

Instead, consider these 30 creative and unique garden marker ideas to bring the appearance and organization of your garden to the next level.

1. Painted Rocks

Green painted rock with white lettering that says rosemary

Kids love painting rocks, so put them to use making these cute little painted rock garden markers. Add plant names to the top or even use a stencil and paint the plant shape on top of the rock.

2. Household Trim Plant Marker

Wooden reed plant marker in soil

Do you know those strips of trim leftover from household repairs? Cut them down to size and paint them with herb names then tuck them into place in your garden. Super cute, easy, and multi-purpose.

3. Paint Stick Markers

Paint stick plant markers painted on soil

You know those wooden sticks you get to stir paint with? Turn them into little markers. Paint or draw the name on them then cut the ends into a point so they can easily go into the soil. They are perfect for marking your garden!

4. Hand Printed or Painted Labels

Hand painted garden markers with leeks and herb names

If you have access to a computer and a printer, an easy way to label your garden plants is by simply designing your own on the computer, printing them off, and then laminating them. This will keep them protected from the elements!

You can also use a hand-printed label as a stencil for painting the name onto a piece of wood or cardboard like shown above.

5. Scrabble Tile Markers

Yellow bucket with scrabble tile plant markers

Who doesn’t love a competitive game of Scrabble? That is…until you forget where you put all the letters! Save the extras or odds and ends and use them to make your own fun garden markers. Here is a great example on Etsy that you can check out!

6. Cork Plant Labels

cork plant marker


Save a few old wine corks and print the name of the plants on them with a stamp or permanent market. You can attach them to stakes, bamboo skewers, or even clothespins. Easy peasy!

7. Wooden Markers in Metal Frames

Wooden herb sign

You can make these with wire hangers or scrap wire to create a little frame then use scrap wood to paint a plant name and create a sign. Super cute, very easy, and rustic.

8. Painted Wooden Pieces

Wooden garden markers in garden

I love this idea using little wooden pieces from the dollar store. A bit of hot glue and some paint and you have a great garden marker that is beautiful, easy to make, and a kid-friendly project. You can find this tutorial on Craft Create Cook.

9. Beaded Plant Markers

Beaded butterfly garden marker

Have some beads? Put the kids to work creating garden markers with the beads you have lying around. The one shown above can be purchased on Etsy, but you can use your own and add a sign to the top or a ceramic plant to mark each plant type.

10. Decoupage

decoupage handpainted

If you’re growing plants in a pot (we’re looking at you, herb gardeners!) you can decoupage a pot by cutting out construction paper, contact paper, or even magazine pictures into letters to spell the name of the plant. You can even use the seed packet as a material!

11. Clothespin Markers

Wood etched garden marker clothespins on white table

Clothespins are incredibly easy to come by and they’re also convenient to write on. They won’t last forever, but it will only take you a few minutes to jot down the name of your plants. You can also buy these custom ones on Etsy or wood burn your own.

12. Terracotta Pots

Pottery pieces with herb names

Have some broken terracotta or clay pots lying around? Put them to good use by adding a label to the shards. You can insert them directly into the ground or you can glue them to stakes to make them even more visible among your plants. I love these custom pottery ones on Etsy, but you can paint similar designs on any pottery pieces.

13. Plastic Plant Labels

Basil and mint labels in small terra cotta pot

Sure, you can use those boring plastic plant labels from the nursery – but instead, you might want to consider recycling materials that you already have lying around. You can cut up juice bottles, old milk jugs, or any other kind of plastic container that you’re just going to throw out. Cut the straight pieces into strips and use them for labels.

Paint them, cut them into shapes of plants, and more. Or, you can even use certain recycled materials to make your own 3D printed labels! Brilliant ideas! I found these on Etsy.

14. Wood Labels

painted white wood label

>Have some scrap pieces of wood lying around? Sketch a picture of the plant on the wood or simply write out the name of your plant on the timber. They can be as simple or as sophisticated as you’d like!

15. Ceramic Tile Labels

White tile with carrots painted and word carrots painted on top

Ceramic tiles can be hard to come by, but if you have some handy from a home improvement project you should hang on to them. Just paint or stencil them with the name of the plant – add a picture of it, too, if you want! This one from Etsy is great for inspiration!

16. Wooden Spoon Plant Marker

Wooden spoons painted with garden names

Grab the broken or cracked wooden spoons from your kitchen and paint them. Such a fun idea that is great for recycling something while also being ideal to get kids involved in planning the garden.

17. Toothpick Garden Marker

Toothpick garden markers on wood table

This is so easy and super fast! Grab some toothpicks, scrap paper, and a bit of glue and in minutes you have a cute little marker that is also biodegradable.

18. Glass Jar Labels

opened glass jar in a table

This idea is a bit more costly in terms of materials, but if you have some old, broken glass jars lying around, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune! It will also allow you to save the seed packet, a bonus if you tend to forget things like harvest dates and watering requirements. Simply glue the seed packet to a stake and then cover it with a glass jar. You’ll have all the information you need right at hand, but protected from the elements!

19. Stamped Clay

White clay garden markers by herbs in pot

Clay is easy to craft into any shape you want – you can even use cookie cutters to fully customize the look! Once the clay is formed, all you need to do is stamp the names of your plants on them! You can also buy them easily on Etsy in just the names you have in your garden.

20. Popsicle Sticks

popsicle stick used as mint plant label

These plant markers won’t last forever, but they offer a fun project for children. Simply write the name of the plant on the popsicle stick and pop it into the garden.

21. Laminated Seed Packets

seeds in an open packet

If you like the glass jar idea but don’t have any glass jars handy – or would rather keep things at a more minimalist level – simply laminate your seed packets and stick them in the garden. Weatherproof but informative!

22. Canning Lid or Tin Can Markers

Purple painted tin can lid in potted plant

If the canning season has come and gone, it’s time to put all those old kids to good use. After all, you can’t reuse them on new canned goods! Simply write the name of the plant (or print out a picture!) and attach it to a stake. You can also use a simple tin can lid like this one inspired by Creative Green Living.

23. Spoon Markers

Spoon garden markers on plants

If you have some old spoons lying around, you can easily make your own garden markers out of spoons. You can write on them with permanent markers or, if you have a little more skill and the assistance of a letter stamp kit, you can stamp your own markers to be used in the garden, too.

24. Twig Labels

Plant markers in wood box with terra cotta planter

The next time you prune your fruit trees, save some of the trimmings. You’ll want ones that are relatively thin and straight. Using a vegetable peeler, slice a flat surface. On the wood below the bark, you can write the name of the plant with a permanent marker.

25. Blackboard Paint and Chalk

blakboard sign written in chalk laying in the wood

With a little bit of blackboard paint, you can turn any surface you want into a writing surface. This is a particularly effective way of writing which plants are which on pots. You can simply wipe the surface clean each season and start afresh next year – no buying new plant markers needed!

26. Brick Markers

Brick plant makers in garden

Have some old bricks lying around? Save them – and use them for your vegetable or herb garden. The inspiration came from this tutorial over on Simple Details Blog. A great idea that they made using stencils.

27. Seashell Labels

seashells

Do you live near the ocean? If so, consider using seashells as your labels. Add a bit of clear gloss and you’ll have labels with a ton of pizzazz and lasting power!

28. Carved or Whittled Wooden Markers

Glowforge printed garden markers in wooden box

If you can whittle, then you will love making your own carved wooden markers. I also love the idea of using a printing machine like the Cricut Maker or even a Glowforge to make these. You can use these plant markers on Etsy for inspiration!

29. Mason Jar “Lamp” Marker

Mason jar plant marker

Turn a mason jar or any empty condiment jar upside down over one of the paper seed packets to create a covered plant marker that looks like a lamp. Super cute and functional all in one!

30. Wood Slice Garden Markers

Wood slice garden markers in pot

You know those handy little wood slices you use for crafting? Grab some paint and add names to them then stick near your plants. I like these funny ones on Etsy for inspiration.

Why You Need Plant Markers in the Garden

If you’re growing to grow any kind of garden, good plant markers are a must. Not only are they great if you have plants that look very similar (for example, multiple cultivars of tomatoes or look-alike herbs) but they’re also great if you’re a newbie gardener and don’t have your plant ID skills down pat yet.

Plant markers will also help you identify plants that you want to save seeds from. They can be used if you share an allotment with another gardener or if you are growing perennial root crops, like ginger or yakon, that are easily dug up by mistake. They can also help prevent you from losing your bulbs each year!

Having a supply of garden markers ready to go at the beginning of the season is a great idea. It’s the easiest way to take your garden from disheveled and disorganized to orderly and awesome in a hurry! Consider these unique garden marker ideas and you’ll keep it looking fresh.


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