What are Plug Plants? Plug Plants are young plants or seedlings grown in polystyrene trays with individual cells filled with a peat or a compost substrate. The number of cells per tray varies (102, 144, 288, 512). The more cells that are in a tray, the smaller the plants will be. Rooted Cuttings, or Liners are young plants grown from cuttings. They are usually grown in trays with larger cells. Plug Plants are primarily used for commercially raising vegetables and bedding plants in a greenhouse. Once these seedlings have grown and have a good root system, they are ready to be transplanted into larger containers or gardens.
The Benefits of Plug Plants:
Plug Plants are more reliable. Plugs that are raised professionally under controlled conditions in a greenhouse during their formative period will ensure a good root system and better plant health. This in turn will help the plant reach its maximum potential during the harvest/blooming period.
Plug plants will produce more vegetables/flowers. Since these plants are healthy with a good root system, they will grow quickly will be better able to withstand pests and disease.
Some varieties of plants can only be grown from cuttings. Some hybrids specially bred for unusual coloring, and varieties of plants such as Calibrachoa, Dahlia and Lantana can only be grown reliably from cuttings. With plug plants, you are not limited to seed varieties of plants. You can order Plug Plants that have been propagated from cuttings to add to your seed-grown plants.
Plug plants can fill in areas of the garden. There may be spaces in the garden where plants have not grown or where plants need to be replaced, or you would like to add companion plants. Having an already developed young plant to fill in the space instead of waiting to see if your seeds will grow will make your garden a success.
Using Plug Plants can reduce energy and save on labor costs. Growing young seedlings is very time consuming, and will need to be well taken care of at each stage. In areas with shorter growing seasons seedlings need to be started indoors and kept at a warm temperature, and moisture levels need to be just right. In eliminating the first 4-6 weeks of growing time you will save time and energy costs.
Plug Plants save time. Some plants and vegetables take several months to mature from seed, so it’s just not practical to sow from seed into the garden where the growing season is short.
Plug plants require less weeding. Plug plants are much easier to weed than plants that are grown from seed. In addition, you will not have to weed your plants as frequently.
Using plug plants will help in designing your containers and gardens. With small plants you are able to see what they will look like with companion plants. Since they have already started to grow, it will take less time to take root in your containers or vegetable garden and you will see the results more quickly. Plug plants are easy to transplant and you will be able to visually see what your garden will look like.
Plug plants are sustainable in their trays. Plug Plants do not have to be planted immediately when you receive them. You can just set them in the sun and water once per day, and they can be transplanted weeks later.
Whatever your choice is about ordering plug plants or seed, it’s best to plan early when designing your gardens or containers. You’ll want to plant as early as possible in the warming weather to give your plants plenty of time take root and flourish. If you do decide to choose plug plants for your gardens, we highly recommend Bountiful Plants where you can get the best Plug Plants directly from the greenhouse!