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reading faded plant tags

This is a discussion on reading faded plant tags within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I remember hearing about some weird (but presumably efficacious) solution somewhere for reading old faded ...

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  1. #1
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    Default reading faded plant tags

    I remember hearing about some weird (but presumably efficacious) solution somewhere for reading old faded plant tags...but my lack of memory is rearing its ugly head again. Aside from holding it up to the light , does anyone have a voodoo solution to an old faded plant tag? (My mom asked me to pot a few potbound minicatt seedlings, which were ignored by the both of us for years).

  2. #2
    Paphraguy is offline Former User
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    I remember seeing on one of those true crime forensic shows on TV. The forensic scientists use some kind of chemical solution and even special "luminiscent" lights to read old faded handwriting. Those lights looked similar to black lights that you can get at any hardward stores. Try one of those and see if that helps!

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    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Jason,
    You use your scanner and tweak the contrast to bring up the writing..I tried it once and it helped some but I couldn't make all of the tag out..it was too far gone.

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    I can't help you there having lost many a name over the years so now I double tag by placing the one tag against the other that has all the info on it so when one fades too much, I still have the info available on the other tag which has been protected.I haven't tried it but I bet if you put a coat of clear nail polish over the info on the tag you could preserve it much better especially over pencil.

  5. #5
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    If it's too far gone to read by natural light, holding it under a UV bulb or black light might help whatever's left of the writing stand out more.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by L I Jane
    so now I double tag by placing the one tag against the other that has all the info on it so when one fades too much, I still have the info available on the other tag which has been protected.
    I have been dealing with tags for 12 years. I just make sure I rewrite them soon enough. I have used special pencils, special plastic tags, wooden tags, many felt pit pens, metal tags. I try take piccys of the plant and tag. Most plants this works but not the orchids unless they are in a special pot. I like the idea of the double tag one against the other. Thank you Jane. I think I have found the solution. I will start the job on Tuesday morning. I have hundreds and hundreds of plants. Over 300 just in named violets. That'll keep be busy for a while. Barb

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  7. #7
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    I can't be of too much help in recovery of a faded tag, but I can recommend a different tagging solution. I keep a book of all my orchids, listed in cross-referenced columns, and numbered. I then buy aluminum plant tags and inscribe the number with a ballpoint. Fading takes fifty years, and even then its unmistakable.... Just dont lose the book : )

  8. #8
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    I have an odd problem with tags as well. I've found a few in what I thought were NOIDS but the only thing that is readable is a number on the end that is obviously hand writen. one which is about to bloom just says 19212 The rest of the tag which was burried in the edge of the pot doesn't even look like it ever had anything on it. I'll post pics of the flowers once the two blooms open.

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    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfinKW
    I have an odd problem with tags as well. I've found a few in what I thought were NOIDS but the only thing that is readable is a number on the end that is obviously hand writen. one which is about to bloom just says 19212 .
    Hi Wolf,
    If you know the company from where the orchid came....give them a call and they can usually give you a name from the # on the tag....happened to me once on a phal purchased at a show in FL.

  10. #10
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    WolfinKW is offline Wolf - I bite but only when asked.
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    Hmmm, I'll have to see if I can find that out because it's not on the tag... and these are abandoned by the ex roommate. hmmm fascinating!

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