Plug plants – which size is best for you?
It’s all-go in the garden now that the sun has finally decided to make an appearance, but knowing which plug plants to buy can be a bit confusing. They all need different levels of care and, if you’re not sure what you’re buying, you could end up with something that’s not quite what you expected.
Let’s start with the smallest – the mini-plug and plug plants. These are generally 4-8cm from the compost/root base to the tip of the plant. If you’re buying mini-plugs or plug plants, you will need somewhere frost-free to grow them on. A greenhouse is best, but a cold frame or windowsill will do the trick. Once you’ve grown them on, you can plant them out, either into your beds and borders or hanging baskets and containers. Do keep an eye on the weather forecast – if there’s even a hint of frost, make sure you cover your plants with horticultural fleece to protect them.
If you haven’t got anywhere to grow these tender plug plants on, don’t despair! Many of Thompson & Morgan’s plants are also available as jumbo plugs or garden-ready plants. As their names suggest, jumbo plug plants and garden-ready plants are bigger – 8-12cm – and can be planted out straight away. It’s always a good idea to have some fleece to hand, just in case a harsh frost is forecast – you’ll give your young plants a much better chance of survival.
You may also have seen Postiplugs™ in our latest catalogues and online. We wanted to make it easier for plants to be delivered, so we redesigned our larger plug plants so that the packaging would fit through most letterboxes. This means the plants are delivered sooner and arrive fresher – and no more annoying trips to the sorting office for you.
To find out more about the different plant sizes that we sell, please click here to read our ‘How we grow and send your plants’ page.
Rebecca works in the Marketing department as part of the busy web team, focusing on updating the UK news and blog pages and Thompson & Morgan’s international website. Rebecca enjoys gardening and learning about flowers and growing vegetables with her young daughter.
Can postiplugs be planted straight in the garden or will I have to grow them in pots first
Postiplugs are too small to go straight out in the garden. Pot them up and grow them on for a month or so until they are a decent size. Then you can acclimatice them to outdoor conditions for a week before planting them outdoors.
Great thank you
Just bought 2 Agralan Plug Plant Trainers and will in near future buy plug plants from yourselves (Begonias For Baskets) i hope i have Purchased the correct items to grow on before i can place out please advise.
Hello! Yes these will do fine for most plug plants. Hope you have a great display this summer.
Thanks for your response i spoke to someone called Sinead at Thompson and Morgan she said she didnt think Agralans would be any good which worried me so tried to speak to Agralan awaiting reply but at least you have settled my worries needed to know before i order plugs i have 5 off the easy sow baskets with the trap doors if i place 4 plants at top and fill the doors that will be 16 plants will that be ok.
David Robert Marsh.
Yes that will be sufficient plants to create a really full display!
All the best
Where can I buy potting on containers for my plug plants. I have just bought 48 Lavender plugs from yourselves and when they are sent out in March, I will need some containers to grow them on.
I don’t have use of a Greenhouse or Cold Frame.
You can buy small pots from our website at this link.
These will be ideal to pot your plug plants into when they first arrive. Try to keep them in a sheltered spot while they are establishing. By early autumn they will be ready to plant out in the garden.
All the best
If I buy postiplugs in September do they need to be in a greenhouse all winter?
Looking at the foxglove trio.
Hi Sara. Your Foxgloves should be potted up and grown on in a cold greenhouse over winter. Although Foxgloves are perfectly hardy, all young plants are susceptible to cold weather when they are young, so its best to keep them undercover. If you don’t have a greenhouse then a sheltered cold frame ought to be sufficient – just add some extra layers of fleece during particularly cold periods.
Would a 7cm pot be ok for plugs? Once the plant has ‘grown on’ and acclimatised can they go straight to beds or would it need a larger pot to be grown on more?
a 7cm pot would be perfect, I wouldn’t think you’d need to pot on again further to be honest, once the weather is “safer” they can go straight into their final planting position!
I hope this helps
All the best
can postiplugs go out in the garden now ?
Hi Karen, I would harden them off for a few days first as the weather can still be unpredictable, although if this fine snap continues, they should be fine 🙂
How long will it take mini plug plants to grow ready for garden? They have just arrived.
the plug plants should be ready to go into the garden within 8 to 10 weeks, depending on the growing conditions etc. We would normally expect you to be planting them outside during June.
I hope that helps
I’m considering purchasing some items from T&M which will come in the postiplug form but am unsure where this comes in the above description…treat as mini plug or garden ready plug…? Help would be appreciated…regards
Thank you for your comment and apologies for the delay in return. The postiplugs are approx 8-12cm and I have provided a link which shows all the various types of sizes. https://www.thompson-morgan.com/how-we-grow-and-send-your-plants I hope this helps but do come back if you need more information. Kind regards, wendie
Thanks Holly. I want to order on line now but will be unable to accept my plants at home until 21st April. Can I specify ” delivery not before…” ? I am unable to specify this by telephone.
Hi Jane, unfortunately we cannot guarantee a delivery by a certain date. The plants have to go out as soon as they are ready to be sent, to maintain the best possible condition of the product. Do you have a neighbour who could kindly take them in for you? Or an alternative address? I am sorry this is not the information you hoped for, I do hope you can find someone to keep them for you. Kind regards, Wendie
I’m unable to receive my plug plants until after April 20th this year and was thinking about ordering “garden ready” for the first time. Begonia Apricot Shades. ( Every year they give a fantastic display) Will they be too big to plant in the easy plant baskets?
Thanks for your comment. Begonias are great for long lasting displays in the garden. The garden ready Begonia ‘Apricot Shades’ plants that you have mentioned are just the perfect size for the easy fill hanging baskets.