Plug Plants information

Plug Plants

Plug plants have been an important step in the maturity of seasonal gardens and landscape designs. The use of plug plants can add significant personal value to the time you have to spend outdoors and provides a quick start to your personal gardening goals.

Because you may have questions about plug plants this section is designed to answer a few of the most common questions.


What is a plug plant?

A plug plant is any developing plant whose growth cycle is initiated well in advance of its actual planting. Plug plants are designed to be introduced to your garden or landscape with substantial growth already established. Once assimilated the plant can begin to produce flowers, fruit or vegetables much sooner than traditional seed planting.

What does a plug plant look like?

A plug plant will look miraculously like the plant species you are looking for – above the root system. Below the root system you will find each plant has been nurtured in a peat moss or potting soil mixture nestled in a disposable plug container. These miniature planters provide enough space and nutrition for the plant to grow well until introduced or ‘plugged’ into the soil in your garden or landscape.

Can you explain the plug?

The plug is visually much like you might think of en electrical outlet. The plants are designed to be plugged into the ground allowing immediate visual appeal. The plug plant is removed from its disposable casing and planted directly into a prepared space. Plug them in and enjoy.

How do I prepare to plant a plug?

Make sure the plug plant is lightly watered. You don’t want the plant to be either too dry or too wet when moving to the planting stage. If the plug is too wet it can pull apart and damage root structure prior to planting. If the plant is too dry it can be brittle and also break in the replanting stage. You should prepare a hole that is roughly the same size as the plug casing. You will want the existing stem to remain at and above ground level. This may take some readjustments to the depth of your hole.

It’s hard to remove the plug from the case. Is there a trick to easy removal?

You can pinch the very bottom of the plastic case to aid in removal. This should both loosen the plug as well as encourage the plant upward. Make sure the plant is slightly moist. This should also aid in removal.

Buying seeds are less expensive. Why should I buy plug plants?

One of the best reasons to develop a vegetable, fruit or flower garden using plug plants is simply because you are able to produce earlier blooms and earlier crops. For instance, using strawberry plug plants might mean additional fruit harvests from one planting. Using a cucumber plug will likely result in more produce from your garden. Using flower plugs means earlier blooms for a longer season of color around your home. This is especially true when you are planting flowers that typically take longer to develop in a typical season. It might even allow you to plant flowers that do not typically grow well in your region.

How are plug plants prepared?

Most plug plants are developed in much the same way as a traditional garden, but in this case the garden might be a 2-inch square plot. Seeds are placed in a peat or potting soil preparation. They are watered in a greenhouse and taken care of over several weeks when it is still too cold outside to consider planting anything. Plug plants can be grown in larger single plastic units or in larger combination packs (generally four or six plug plants per pack).

What are the other benefits of plug plants?

In a landscaping plan the use of plug plants can provide a sense of instant maturity to your design. Most professional landscapers rely on plug plants to bring a sense of immediate progress to their work. In some cases these plug plants may be the only way for some plants to become established in a region.

Another advantage is that it becomes very easy to tell the difference between the plug plant and any new weeds. When you plant seeds it can sometimes be hard to tell if what you are seeing is a seedling or a weed. Many gardeners have pulled developing and desired plants by mistake. This possibility is typically removed with the introduction of plug plants because they are already established.

How do I look after my plug plant?

You need to understand the plant will undergo some stress because prior to being plugged in the ground they were kept in greenhouses and watered regularly. The sun did not shine on them directly in most cases. You will need to pay careful attention to their need for water while resisting the urge to overwater the plants. Once the roots move beyond the plug the plant will begin to grow and produce flowers, fruit or vegetables quickly. 

Do I have to plant new plugs every year?

There are many plug plants that are annuals, but there are also some that can be purchased that are perennials. These will grow in more than one season. Be sure to get in touch if you are looking for something specific.



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