What are plug plants?
Plug plants are young plants with well-established root systems. They are easy to handle and can be potted on without causing any root disturbance.
Larger plug plants are also available in early spring for direct potting into hanging baskets and containers.
Why grow from plug plants?
Plug plants are easy to grow and give you a head start on the season, producing stronger plants for much less cost.
How to Grow on plug plants
Plug plants should be potted on as soon as possible. Otherwise, keep them in a cool, bright and well ventilated place. Before transplanting, soak them in water to soften the compost. Hold the plants by the leaves (not the stems) and ease them out of their tray.
Move the plugs into 5-7cm pots or trays using a good quality John Innes or multi-purpose compost. Make sure that you allow enough space between plants for growth. Make a hole in the compost slightly larger than the plug and gently firm the compost around the roots. Stand your plants in a tray of water for 10 minutes until the compost is moist on the surface and then allow any excess water to drain away. Put your plants in a cool place like a greenhouse, conservatory or on a bright windowsill. This will encourage sturdy, strong growth – too much warmth may result in weak and leggy growth.
When plants are well established, acclimatise them (harden off) to lower outdoor temperatures for at least a week before planting outdoors. You can do this by placing your plants outside during the day and bringing them undercover at night (or covering with fleece). It’s best not to leave your plants outside if temperatures are likely to fall below 5°C (41°F). Only plant out into containers, baskets and borders once all risk of frost has passed, usually at the end of May.