Plug plant care

A small piece on the basic care of plug plants
Care for your plug plants

Many thanks for the purchase of your plug plants. The following is a simple guide for the care of these young plants.

• Unwrap your plants as soon as possible after receipt.
• Have your pots (9cm diameter or similar) and compost ready. The pots must have drainage holes. The compost can be any good quality proprietary compost; Use ericaceous compost for Blechnum, Woodwardia and Osmunda ferns.
• Fill your pots with the compost and make a hole in the compost the same size as the plug. You can use the plug container itself for this.

• Remove the plug carefully. Some species and varieties will have looser compost than others. This is not a problem just pot as normal.

• The plug compost level should be level with the compost in the pot. Do NOT plant too deeply, the crown must be kept above the soil surface.

• Water from below by placing the pots in a tray. If watering from above use a rose to avoid the water moving the plug.

• Do not overwater, let the compost dry a little before rewatering. You do not want the compost to be permanently wet but moist. Wet compost can mean that no air gets to the roots, resulting in rot and dead plants. This is the most common cause of failure.

• Do not let the pots dry out completely. The plants will recover from this if for a short period, but growth will be slowed for a time.

• Keep in a lightly sheltered, shady spot. Sun in the morning/late afternoon is perfect for them.

• Once the roots appear at the base it should be ready for planting in the garden. I would not recommend planting into the garden before this stage. They can be left in these pots for a while but for rapid growth pot into a size larger pot. Do not over pot.

• Plugs can be planted directly into living or stone walls and the like but great care must be exercised with watering as they are prone to drying out quickly due to the small rootball.

Care for the Hosta jumbo plugs is similar. I use P9 pots (9cm square).

Enjoy your plants!
Mike Keep
Shady Plants Fern Nursery