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Marking Instructions

There are a variety of ways to mark the labels of our Metal Garden Markers. Below are a few of the most popular techniques. Feel free to experiment with what works best for you and your garden.

Permanent Pens

Many prefer to use a permanent pen (also called a nursery marker) to write directly on the label. In years past the only challenge has been to provide pens that were durable in most climate conditions. However, the dramatic increase in air pollution and acid rain has had an adverse effect on even the best pens we can offer. The spray from liquid fertilizers and/or insecticides can also break down the ink and cause it to be washed away by rain or prolonged watering or both. In addition, the ultra-violet rays of the sun break down the chemicals in the ink and cause it to deteriorate.

Lead Pencils

Another popular and easy method utilizes a common, large #2 lead pencil. The “lead” holds up well and is extremely weather-resistant. This method has the disadvantage of being less visible than other forms of marking the labels.

China Markers

The china marking pencil is one of the oldest of the pencils used for marking the labels. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and reasonably weatherproof.

Paint Pens

The Uni-Paint (formerly the Faber Paint Pen) is actually enamel paint in a felt-tip where the ink contains chemical additives which make it sun resistant. This option is more expensive, but has the best record for durability in all parts of the country.

Adhesive Labels

Some prefer to use the Dymo adhesive plastic marking tapes or other similar tape and sticker type material. The adhesives stick well if the labels are washed with hot soapy water to remove any dirt and oil. Office supply stores and many large department stores carry these items.


The labels may also be permanently engraved using an electric engraving tool. Electric engravers are available at most large department stores and hardware stores.

Another alternative is professionally produced, printed or engraved labels. Ads for companies printing weatherproof labels appear in many gardening magazines.

Since we cannot control the weather and garden environments, we cannot in any way guarantee any marking device used on the labels of our Garden Markers. We advise customers to take a minute while they are making the labels to also mark the reverse side of the label with the same information. If the front weathers and becomes unreadable, the more protected reverse side will still contain the information needed to identify a plant.


Some gardeners may wish to remove the markings on their labels so that they can be used again for another plant. Unfortunately, the more durable the marker used, the more difficult it can be to remove. Techniques for removing the markings include hot soapy water for the pencils, and paint thinner for paint based marking pens. The nursery pen is by far the most difficult to remove, but a few gardeners have reported some success with the bathroom cleaner Lime-Away. Please note that no matter what product is used to try to remove the markings on the labels, every label must be rinsed thoroughly with water to remove any trace of the cleaning product. Failure to do so may result in damage to the surface of the label.

Again, we do not in any way guarantee any method used to remove the markings nor will we be responsible for any damage to labels in any attempt to remove the markings from them.

We offer replacement labels for every style of garden marker available. Replacement labels are an easy, inexpensive alternative to purchasing a new marker.