All plants should be kept clearly labeled as a plant without a label looses much of its value. Remember this when you are deflasking plants, dividing or repotting larger specimens. All plants should be clearly labeled whenever they are removed and returned to their pots. Not only will the name of the plant be preserved, but the labels can also preserve important cultural or other information. Remember that some of the writing on the labels can deteriorate over the years, and you should regularly check their legibility to ensure the information is not lost. This should always be done when repotting a plant, as this is completed at 2 to 3 year intervals, and most writing and labels should last this time.

Plant labels of plastic are relatively inexpensive. You can also make your own by cutting up plastic bottles if you feel so inclined. Most labels are inserted around the rim of the pot, although some growers tie them to the container. This ensures they are not lost and keeps them out of the root zone when the insertion and removal of the label from the pot can damage the roots which characteristically encircle the inside of the container in the zone where most roots naturally grow. A tied on label also gives its full area available for records, which can be fully read without having to pull the label from the container.

Always ensure the label is written on with a water resisting pen. The use of a soft lead pencil can also be most effective, as it is inexpensive, long lasting, and survives a considerable degree of abrasion. Whenever you relabel, check that the plants name is accurately recorded. With seedlings it is possible that a hybrid name may have been registered, and therefore this can be applied to the plant. A hybrid name can replace the names of the two parents, which can be much more convenient. The names can be ascertained from the Sander's Lists of Orchid Hybrids once the cross has been formally registered.

Most growers at least record the full name of the plant. The correct generic abbreviation should be used. If a plant is awarded, this can also be recorded. A number of organisations have systems for the judging of flowers against certain defined standards, and make awards to those which meet the criteria established by the authority involved. The following abbreviations will be seen, with their meaning. The notation is in two parts - the first the award itself, and the second the organisation making the award. e.g. "AM/AOS,OCNZ" - an Award of Merit from the American Orchid Society, and also from the Orchid Council of New Zealand .


FCC First Class Certificate The highest award.
AM Award of Merit. Second level award
HCC Highly Commended Certificate. Third level award.
GM = Gold Medal, equates with FCC
SM = Silver Medal, equates with AM
BM = Bronze Medal, equates with HCC
CCM = Certificate of Cultural Merit rewards culture


AOS American Orchid Society
CSA Cymbidium Society of America (USA)
ODC Orchid Digest Corporation (USA)
RHS Royal Horticultural Society (UK)
WOC World Orchid Conference (prefixed by conference number.
OCNZ Orchid Council of New Zealand
AOC Australian Orchid Council

Additional label information can also be recorded, the most important usually being the date of repotting, as it is very easy to forget how long a plant has been in the mix. Cultural information, plant history and similar information can be included on the label.

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Site established 9th May 1998