It’s time to get busy with plug plants
Plug plants have revolutionised the growing of bedding plants for both commercial and amateur gardeners.
Germinating seeds of some of our favourite bedding plants can be slow, expensive and require a propagator.
You will find plenty of baby plants in plugs at your local garden centre at this time of year. I know that many of you also source these little plants online or mail order.
There are two types of plug plants
Plug plants can be split into two distinct categories with the obvious one being the seed raised bedding plants. Typically these are Antirrhinum, fibrous rooted Begonia, Busy Lizzies, Petunia, Pelargonium and even Lobelia. You’ll find that these tend to come as tiny plugs with each plant growing in a tiny root cell. You’ll need to pot this on into something bigger as soon as you buy them or as soon as they arrive on your doorstep. They also dry out very rapidly in the plug trays so you need to prepare a warm place to grow them on. This could be a greenhouse or polytunnel with a little heat, a conservatory or even a warm sunny windowsill. You should just transplant each plug plant into a larger cell or module tray filled with good quality potting compost and water them well.
Bigger Plug Plants
The second category, and one that has far more variety options, is those plants that come in larger individual plugs. These are about half the size of an egg cup. Sometimes they are grown in containers that degrade when wet and allow roots to grow through. This minimises root disturbance. You should pot these larger plug plants into 9 cm pots filled with the best potting compost that you can get. Then water them well and these will need the same growing conditions as the seedling plugs.
After five to six weeks, the fertiliser in the potting compost will be used up. You should then begin to add liquid feed to the water. Use diluted Miracle Gro, Phostrogen or tomato feed.
Don’t be afraid to pinch out growing shoot tips to encourage your plants to produce lots of side shoots! This is especially so with plants propagated by cuttings. Fuchsia, Surfinia Petunia, ivy leaf Geranium, Nemesia, Calibrachoa, Bacopa and trailing foliage plants such as Helichrysum will all make better plants if you do this.
Plug plants and baby plants are a great way to grow your seasonal bedding plants and it’s a very easy and rewarding way to garden!
More Reading about Plug Plants and Baby Plants
Kindergarden Plants have an amazing range of plug plants and baby plants to grow on. Read more about them here.
Find a local Kindergarden Plant Stockist here.