I am curious ditchlily what type of label you put underneath??? I have tried several labels on my DLs and they always seem to fade out. I do not have the label machine... does anyone use that? I think I might need to try it as I am really tired of losing names as well !!
I have some that I bought years ago that are made of foil that you write on with a pencil. It actually makes an imprint. You can make your own using aluminum cans or heavy duty aluminum foil folded over several times. I have also just planted the label that usually came with the plant, if it is not exposed to UV the writing usually lasts much longer.
For labels above ground the Brother P-touch labels are great (I have not actually used them, but know lots have). I recently added zinc labels and used a china marker that is oil based. They do not fade in the sun, but can be reused if you use oil to remove the writing. The paint pens that you get in craft stores also last if you write with them. DON'T use regular "permanent" Sharpies, they will fade in the sun. I have been told that the industrial Sharpies will not, but have never used them myself.
The zinc labels.
Close up of zinc label.
Here is one that someone sent me with a labeler.
Another zinc label with the original plant marker next to it, an "expensive" plastic knife marked with a paint pen. Made in 2009.
I was going to buy the laser labels and print them to put on the markers. Since I have had the markers for over a year, but just never found a good time to buy them and print, I decided to just use the china marker. Not as pretty, but it works and has the added advantage of making the plate faces reusable.
I have several of the zinc tags like that - some colored some plain, but I was told to use a pencil to label them so it wouldn't fade. That did not work! My garden is in full sun and there is almost NOTHING left on the labels. I did label most on the back as well, and that is still legible. I needed to reuse them though - thinking I would just 'erase' what was on there and could not get it off so I can't reuse the tag!!
I have not tried the china marker, but that sounds like a good option if it doesn't fade. I would love to have one of the ptouch but not sure which to buy or what type of labels you need to avoid the fading...
Everyone is correct.
Sharpies fade in the sun - that's why I don't know what daylilies I own. I'm going to reread this so maybe I will be able to tell my plants hello using their proper name - not "hello, daylilly."
I've used the p-touch labels and zinc tags and they have been fine. I've had the labels in the ground for a year or so now and they look exactly the same as when I stuck them out there, even the ones in full sun. They were fine through the mild winter but since I use them to label tubes in our -80˚C freezer in the lab, I'm pretty confident they won't have any issue with harsher temps. You just need to be sure to use the laminated tapes so that they are UV resistant.