Grow on Plug Plants (In Pictures)

How to grow on plug plants

We take you through the simple process of growing on plug plants in this quick guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Filling your garden with colour can be an expensive business. Garden centres and nurseries are packed with attractive bedding plants in April and May, which are perfect to plant out for an almost instant show.

This convenience comes at a price. It’s certainly cheaper to grow your own from seed, but you’ll need to be skilled at germinating seeds, not to mention having the space and time. If you buy plug plants in spring, instead, you’ll find the growers have done the hard work – and there are still good savings to be made.

Give your plugs a little attention on arrival, unpacking them and standing them in water or misting until the compost is moist. Before potting on, leave them to settle in a warm, well-lit room for up to 24 hours.

How much care plugs require before being planted out varies by size. Mini plugs are the first to arrive, from early March, and these need the most care and time to grow on in trays or pots. Standard plugs come next and require potting and growing on for a month or so if you want filler plants for beds and containers. Garden-ready plugs can be planted out if it’s warm enough, but can also be grown on for a few weeks in a large pot, for sturdier roots.

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Follow the easy steps below to pot up and grow on your plug plants.

Mini plugs are the first to arrive, from early March, and these need the most care and time to grow on in trays or pots.

You will need

  • Pencil
  • Dibber
  • Good quality compost
  • Pots
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Total time:

Step 1

Mix together equal parts of multi-purpose compost and perlite for an open, free-draining compost. Then, gently remove each plug from its module, by pushing up from the bottom with a pencil.

growing-on-plug-plants-push-them-out-from-underneath

Step 2

Fill 7-8cm pots with compost, leaving a gap at the top to allow it to settle and make watering easier. Using a dibber or your finger, make a hole in the compost slightly bigger than the plug.

growing-on-plug-plants-use-a-dibber-to-make-holes-in-the-compost

Step 3

Holding each plug by its rootball, carefully tease out its delicate roots ad place it in the hole. Firm the compost gently around the plug to ensure the roots spread as the young plant grows.

growing-on-plug-plants-place-the-plug-in-the-hole

Step 4

When all the plugs have been planted, water with a fine rose. Keep on a bright windowsill or in the greenhouse for four to five weeks, potting on once for trailing plants, or twice for specimen plants.

growing-on-plug-plants-watering-in-plug-plants
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A couple of weeks after potting on, both mini- and standard plugs will benefit from feeding. Compost contains some fertiliser, but you’ll get better growth by giving plants a balanced liquid feed, every 10 to 14 days.