Grow Plants From Plugs

Inexpensive "plugs," seedlings that you pot up once before planting out, are ideal if you don't have the space to sow seeds yourself and are the simplest option for plants that are hard to germinate.

From: DK Books - How to Grow

container filled with plants available as plugs

container filled with plants available as plugs

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

This container, ideal for a partly shaded spot, is filled with 'Illumination Rose' begonias and fragrant blue heliotropes, all grown from plugs, together with 'Genii' fuchsia and trailing golden creeping Jenny.

When to Start: Spring
At Their Best: Late spring to autumn
Time to Complete: 1-1/2 hours

Materials Needed:

  • plug plants — begonias have been used here
  • dibble or pencil
  • potting soil
  • large modular trays or small 3-inch plastic pots
  • watering can

Planting Options

Most popular bedding plants, including geraniums, busy Lizzies, begonias, lobelia, snapdragons, dahlias and fuchsias are available as plug plants, although many companies also offer a selection of newer and more unusual varieties. Order in early spring for a late spring delivery.

Order Your Plugs

When ordering plugs, make sure you will have time to pot them up soon after they arrive— most companies specify when they will be delivered. Plugs are also known as "miniplants" and companies may offer them at different stages of development. The youngest plugs will be cheapest.

Plug Plants

Plug Plants

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Remove Plugs From Container

When the plugs arrive, water well and store them in a cool, frost-free place. Fill large modular trays, or small 3-inch pots, with good-quality potting soil, designed for seedlings and young plants. Using the blunt end of a pencil or a dibber, gently push the plug plants out of their original containers.

Take Care When Planting

Take Care When Planting

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Plant Up in Modules

Make a hole with your finger or a pencil in the compost in the modules, and insert a plug plant in each. Firm the soil around the plug lightly with your fingers, taking care not to compact it or to damage the roots.

Plugs in Modular Cells

Plugs in Modular Cells

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Keep Plants Watered

Water the plugs using a can fitted with a fine rose, and keep them in a cool, light, frost-free place. Water regularly, harden off and plant out in pots or in the ground when all risk of frost has passed.

Seedlings

Seedlings

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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