Make A Garden Thing: Twig Plant Markers

Holy crap, it exploded into summer. My girlfriend just moved in and between the two of us we’ve amassed two dozen plants that are getting all sorts of bushy. Now they can’t keep their leaves to themselves, won’t stop poking each other in the areoles and are acting like the bratty children you imagine they’d be. Plant parenting is hard.

You could just lie to yourself and pretend you remember the difference between cilantro and parsley shoots, or you can just whittle some wood and let the plants do the talking. When it comes to leafy friends, you should name them so they feel special and don’t develop a complex and off themselves out of spite and loneliness. (RIP unnamed plant I forgot in the corner of my bedroom!) Or you know, label them by type.

Is it morbid to make nametags out of dead relatives? Probably

Is it morbid to make nametags out of dead relatives? Probably

To take a cue from Make A Thing, this is about as easy as peeling a carrot but slightly harder than labeling your pencil crayons. Did anyone else use scissors to scrape off the paint at the end? No? Maybe my mom just knew about my tendency to lose things and didn’t trust my eight-year-old peers.

Things You Will Need

+ A dead plant

+ A live plant

+ A saw, pruning shears, Stanley knife, etc.

+ A vegetable peeler or some fancy knife skills.

+ Permanent markers or lettering stamps and ink.

+ Sealant, clear lacquer, clear nail polish, top coat, etc

1. I say you need a dead plant because it’s mean to desecrate a live one. So go into the woods and collect some dry sticks about 1/4″ to 1/2″ in diameter. If you happen to have a plant that needs pruning, trim your topiary and let the cuttings dry out. Cut into 6″ lengths.


I looked out my window and my bush grew a foot-long branch in a week. I call him Jumangi for a reason.

2. Use your vegetable peeler (or impressive knife skills) to shave a patch off bark off from one of the ends. An inch and a half is a good start, but obviously you’ll need more space if your plant’s named Bubba Gump Shrimp the Third.


It’s almost as easy as cutting yourself!

3. Then start naming your plants! Use your best penmanship to write out the names. Or use a set of stamps to spell them out, causing your friends to be wonder if you shoved a twig in your typewriter. Or go hardcore and draw a plant portrait, so your tiny plant baby knows what to aspire to.


I never said we had a naming theme.

4. Apply a protective layer of spray or polish to prevent water damage to your twigs. You are totally going to remember to water this plant.

5. Put it in the pot! Just make sure you give it the right name, lest your plant becomes even more depressed.


Now My Gump is Less of a Grump

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Hailing from Vancouver, Kristen's still trying to figure out how to survive Montreal's Real Legitimate Canadian Winter. So far she's discovered that warm socks, giant toques and Tabby kittens all play a role in her survival. Her ultimate goal is to rank higher than KStew in the "Kristen + Autostraddle" Google Search competition.

Kristen has written 139 articles for us.


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