How Do I Start Growing Plug Plants?

If you are new to using plug plants, Growtanical welcome you to a new, exciting and fantastic value way of filling your garden with glorious colour!

Keeping to a few simple guidelines will ensure plugs become an easy, pleasurable and rewarding addition to your gardening calendar year after year.

Choose the right size pots

This is important, simply because plants grow quickly. It’s good for the roots to be able to absorb all available moisture to prevent unused compost becoming sour.

Clay pots will give you good results as they are porous, though plastic pots are cheaper, widely available and easier to clean. The pots must be thoroughly cleaned before re-use each spring.

This will prevent the eggs and spores of any pests and diseases from hatching into your grow room and killing your plants. We recommend using 9cm pots in a pot tray.

Choose a good quality potting compost

Avoid multipurpose compost for potting plugs and never use garden soil. See our blog on potting compost for more details.

Fill the pots with compost. Break it up in your fingers to remove any lumps and get some air into it, just like baking a cake! Do not compact the compost. One of the most common mistakes people make is to firm it down, as this squeezes all of the air out.

Make a planting hole. Use a dibber or the blunt end of a pencil or pen. Gently create a hole the right size for the plug to fit into, ensuring the top of the plug is at the same level as the rest of compost.

Gently lower the plant into its planting hole. Hold the leaf of the plant rather than the stem, then gently fill around the plug with compost, using your dibber or pencil. Water in using a small watering can with a fine rose nozzle. This will help protect your plants and retain the air in the compost.

Growing on

Provide your pots with good light and sunshine in frost-free conditions. It is advisable to aim for a minimum temperature of 5 degrees Celsius.

Wait for compost to start looking dry on the surface in between watering. Never let it become completely dry or waterlogged, the plugs need water and air in the compost to be readily available.

Provided you have used a good quality potting compost, this will be easy to achieve. Do not at any time during this stage use any plant food, as good potting compost will contain enough balanced fertiliser for six weeks. By this time your plant will have grown enough to be replanted in fresh compost.

Planting out

After 3-6 weeks, you will see roots coming from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Once this occurs you know the plant is ready to move into its final planting position.

If you plan to grow in containers, please choose a specially formulated container compost. Just like the initial planting, there will be no need to feed the plants for their first 6 weeks. After this period, start feeding with a liquid fertiliser and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

If you would like to plant into open ground, dig some multi-purpose compost into your planting site at the rate of half compost and half garden soil in the top 5 inches. Keep the area weed free, water and feed regularly, then enjoy the new additions to your garden!

As you can see, there is no mystery behind successfully bringing on plug plants. A blend of good preparation and quality compost is key, and will soon become routine to even the more inexperienced gardener.

Growtanical offer a wide variety of high-quality plant plugs, with something special for every garden. With free delivery available across the UK, why not explore our range today and join the ever-increasing number of UK gardeners enjoying glorious Growtanical colour?

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