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
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
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
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
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