Guest Author - Susan Taylor
If you are a new orchid grower, or even if you have been growing for a while and have a number of plants, you probably wonder why in the world there is a name tag in the pot and why you should keep it.
Every orchid, be it a species or a hybrid, should be sold with a name tag so you will be able to identify what youíre buying. From the name you can find out how to grow it, whether it will grow in your conditions, and how big it will get. Over time you will probably get more and more orchids and it will become more difficult to tell them apart unless you have left in the tags. And then, if you are like many of us orchid enthusiasts, you will want to join a society and eventually show your orchids. Without the tags you will not be able to show them properly.
Now there are several methods of keeping the tags in orchids and one of the most important considerations is whether there are children around your plants. If so, take precautions to make sure you have duplicate tags in case the tags are removed by mistake. Some mothers simply put a second tag in each pot which is buried below the side of the pot. Others use tape with the name printed on it from one of the labeling machines and tape that to the pot. For a quick and easy solution, you can just write on the pot with indelible ink.
After a few years you will find that most plastic name tags will start to disintegrate. Iíve found that itís a good idea to put a new name tag in the pot every time you repot so that you will never be wondering what in the world the name of the plant that has become illegible is; or what the other half of the name thatís disappeared on the broken half of the tag is. I recommend using the labeling machines to make your tags if you can since that is much easier to read than hand written tags. If you have to write by hand, use a #2 pencil or indelible laundry pen for the longest lasting results. Write as large as you can for the size of the tag since everyone who will be reading it may not see as well as you can.
For information on what the information on the tag means, see my article Orchid Name Tags.