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How to Read a Plant Tag

Plant tags are full of information to help you make the best choice at your garden center or nursery.

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What You Need to Know

Take the time to examine plant tags and learn about the specific requirements of the plants they accompany. Using symbols and pictures, growers pack as many facts and details as possible onto the small plastic tag -- to help you successfully grow and nurture your plants.

Front of the Tag: Typically, the front of a tag lists the plant's common and scientific names and summarizes key information about it. An accompanying close-up color photo usually shows the plant's flowers and foliage as they appear at maturity. Once in a while, the photo shows the entire plant in a garden setting to help you judge its relative size and potential use in your yard. Symbols on the tag give size information, as well as sun, soil, and water requirements. And you might find desirable features, listed as bulleted phrases.

Back of the tag: The reverse side of the tag is usually devoted to more specific details on how to transplant and care for the plant -- especially critical to the survival of perennials, trees, and shrubs.

What to do with tags after planting: The tags that accompany plants you buy will be a valuable reference over many seasons as the plants grow and bloom. Save, date, and store the tags somewhere handy.

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