by Connie Oswald Stofko
“Plugs are a soil-filled fabric tube planted with one or more cuttings,” explained Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. The fabric acts as the container for the plant.
Regular plugs have one plant. Combo plugs have three types of plants together in one plug.
“The combos are great if you have trouble getting inspiration or aren’t sure what color combinations work well,” she said.
Buying plant plugs has advantages over plants in other containers, such packs of four or six plants.
Advantages of plugs are:
- You can buy just one plant if you want. Or five. Or 31.
- You can mix and match. If you like five different kinds of flowers, you can buy one of each.
- Maybe you saw a great combination of annuals on social media. With plugs, you can pot up your own hanging baskets or mixed pots exactly the way you want them to look.
- If you’re using a container with a small opening, plugs work much better than trying to squeeze in a plant you buy in a 4 ½-inch pot.
- Plugs are inexpensive and help gardeners who are on a budget.
“If you are unfamiliar with a certain plant, trying it out this way is a great option,” Weber said. “If you love it, you’ll remember it or even come back for more. If you hate it, $1.75 doesn’t hurt too bad.”
Mike Weber Greenhouses has about 200 types of annual flowers, foliage, vines and trailing plants as plugs. They include:
- Sweet potato vine
- Martha Washington geranium
For regular plugs, the price is $1.75 each. If you buy 50 or more regular plugs, the price is $1.50 each. There are two sizes of regular plugs simply because some plants are bigger than other plants; the price is the same for both sizes.
For combos, the price is $4.25 each. If you buy 34 or more, the price is $3.99 each.
How many plugs do you need?
Use these guidelines to help you determine how many plugs you need for your container.
If you don’t add enough plugs, you’ll be staring at bare soil for a month or more and the pot will be thin and sparse, she said. Remember that annuals will be enjoyed only through this summer, so you want these annuals to look good near the beginning of the season.
If you want the plants to fill in the container more quickly, add a few more plugs. However, don’t add too many plants or there will be too much foliage, too much water and not enough air circulation. The plant will get moldy and rot before getting rooted, she said.
For containers or mixed pots, use 1 flower plug for every 2 inches, then add trailers. For example, in a 10-inch hanging basket, use 5 petunias or 3 petunias and 2 million bells, then 2 trailing vines.
In a 10-inch container, use 2 combo plugs. In a 12-inch container, use 3 combo plugs. In a 14-inch container, use 4 combo plugs. You can also add 2 trailing vines.
7 Comments on “Save money & get more variety with plant plugs at Mike Weber Greenhouses”
Thanks for that information, Jen!
When we first open; every plant in every tray is labeled correctly. However; plants can make it their way to the wrong tray as people shop. I do our best to go through them hourly. Also, we receive our cuttings from many countries. Sometimes they are labeled wrong before we even see them bloom. This year the peach flair verbena is a shade of pink.
The dahlias were correct. The mixed tray I had labeled with the correct names.
Hi Sally, thanks for your comment. It’s nice hearing from you and giving us a nudge to be creative.
Thanks for that tip, Jeanine!
I love this place and usually walk in with my heart a-flutter at the variety! One bit of advice: if you don’t plant them right away, be sure to give them lots of water so they don’t dry out.
The plugs are an easy way to get that look those fully grown baskets give you along with the personal fun to get creative and do your own planting!
Are plug Dahlia varieties labeled with correct name?