Plugs are cuttings taken from the mother stock plants. They are rooted and shipped to greenhouses to transplant and grow on for their season’s supply. They can be easily pushed out of the trays and either transplanted into larger pots or outside in the ground. The principle advantage of the plug plants is that the roots can be kept relatively undisturbed when transplanting them into their final growing position.
In comparison to growing from seed, this method is much easier with a greater end result, especially for plants which are more of a challenge to grow fromseed. Raising young seedlings inside is time consuming, as they need to be carefully watched at each stage – moisture levels must be just right, plenty of light but away from drafts and cold, etc. Get it wrong, and they end up with stunted growth which they may never fully recover from. So, buying young plants is an attractive alternative if you want to guarantee success or replace any early-season disasters. Plugs offer the gardener the ability to produce an attractive display with minimum effort, you can purchase the exact number of plants required, it is cheaper than buying flowering size specimens and uniformity of size/shape and colour of plants is useful for carpet bedding.
Every year, Garden Retreat runs a “plug program” in which you may order any quantity of various annuals in plug form. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified when the order list becomes available!
Author: Colleen Tanner