Ah! the humble label! But when you think about it there's a little more to it than just recording the orchid's name. But let's get that right first.
Make sure all your plants are labelled. Unnamed plants don't help you too much in getting the growing conditions right, or when it comes to breeding, showing or selling your plants. You could write a second small label and bury it in the bottom of the pot. If you do have some unknown plants, make an effort to identify them when in flower, and label them immediately.
Also replace any faded or broken labels as soon as you notice them. They have a habit of becoming lost, so regular checks of your shade house should find any that have fallen to the depths of the shadehouse floor, before they get sucked into the bottomless pit!
Check your spelling is correct from your reference sources, (particularly when purchasing new plants) and print legibly. You may be able to read it, but others may not. This will assist us in recording the plant names in our monthly club competitions and Show correctly, where sometimes we have to take a guess!
T labels are available if you look around the shows. They are more expensive, but being able to record the information horizontally, makes much more sense, doesn't it? It avoids accidents to the growers' and observers' life and limbs as they twist their necks at 90? angles to read it! They also are a little roomier, so hold more information.
You need to keep up to date with genera name changes, so you can alter your labels when necessary.
On the back of the label your can record other data such as repotting date, purchase date, flowering date, type of mix, growing condition code e.g.- rest, dry, wet, orientation etc. You can devise your own use.
The coloured labels now available are very useful for easy identification of plants available for sale, seedlings, coding for species or hybrids, according to potting medium or to indicate resting plants. Once again, you may think of another use.
Lastly place your labels with the name facing outwards, as this is referred to more often than the other data. It also eliminates the need for removing the label to read the name, where it is likely to cause damage to the plant, or loss or breakage of the label.
So, with a little more thought, you can make your labels work for you!