How to - Gardening Basics

Anatomy of a plant label

Learn to read the essentials before purchasing and planting


Plant name
Identifies the botanical genus and species names, plus the more common moniker.

Notes the ideal amount of sunlight for your plant. Full sun refers to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day; part shade to a range of 4 to 8 hours.

Offers planting guidelines for how far apart your seedlings should be from each other.

Describes the size of the plant when mature.

Lets you know how much (and possibly when) to water.

Indicates how often to fertilize. Take care with this information, as it precludes an organic approach to healthy, productive soil. You might
also see this information on a container arrangement.

Flowering time
Gives an idea of peak time for plants. Usually shown as “early,” “mid” or “late” season.

Days to yield
Refers mainly to edibles, and lists the number of days from when you sow your seed to the date veggies can be harvested.

Hardiness zone
Shows what climate is ideal for the plant.

Bottom of the tag
Details extra information on the attributes of the plant.

'Grown in Canada'
Buy local to help support Canadian businesses.

Illustration by Cybèle Young.

Read more in How to and Gardening Basics

  • Page 1: Plant label basics

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