All: I can't say enough great things about the paint pens that Lee mentioned. We use a Deco-color Extra Fine Paint Pen. We have used these for nearly 15 years in a regularly irrigated garden. Credit goes to Darrell Probst, who told us about them many years ago. They are available on-line or from most craft stores. Tony Avent Plant Delights Nursery @ Juniper Level Botanic Garden 9241 Sauls Road Raleigh, North Carolina 27603 USA Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F USDA Hardiness Zone 7b email email@example.com website http://www.plantdelights.com/ phone 919 772-4794 fax 919 772-4752 "I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it myself...at least three times" - Avent -----Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Lee Poulsen Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 2:40 PM To: Pacific Bulb Society Subject: Re: [pbs] 'permanent' markers The only two types of labeling that have lasted a long time for me are: 1. Black extra-fine tip paint markers on vinyl as suggested in an article somewhere by Tony Avent of Plant Delights. 2. Labels made by a label maker using the clear tape stuck on vinyl. None of the "permanent" markers are. Even the new industrial-grade UV-resistant permanent Sharpies start to fade after a few years. I've only been using the paint markers for about 6 years so far, but none have faded yet. The label-maker-made labels on vinyl stakes have to be the prize winners for me. I have a handful from some plants, that were given to me more than 10 years ago along with these labels on vinyl, that are still completely legible with no degradation--even though the vinyl they're stuck to has started cracking. Amazingly, the label glue seems to have fused to the vinyl stake and prevents the cracked-through vinyl from breaking into separate pieces! I'm slowly putting all my plants into a database. Once that's complete, I plan on getting one of these label makers and printing out new labels for all my plants. Then the problem to solve will be finding something better than vinyl to stick them on. All the above are in pots that stay out in the full southern California sun basically all year long. --Lee Poulsen Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m >> From: firstname.lastname@example.org >> So, the question I have is: While nothing lasts forever, how long do >> these 'permanent' markers actually last? I must be clear - I am not >> talking about imprinted vinyl tabs, but the imprinted tapes that one >> attaches to a label stick. I could not see any changes in what my >> friends (who have a large bromeliad coleection) showed me after 5 >> years. From this I suspect the thick vinyl will wear away first. Any comments?