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What to do when planting up new plug or small plants?


Over the past couple of years I have dug up plug plants that have died after flowering and found that the roots haven’t moved far out, if at all from the net they had been grown in. I’ve started to tease the net away from the root ball recently to see if the roots grow better. Has anyone else noticed this with their plug plants?

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Yes on inspecting a plant that has failed to thrive I have found this so much so that I avoid buying them if I can I have tried soaking them before planting but it seems sometimes the net will not let them grow. I wonder if it is uneven watering before we even buy them which delays their progress and they never catch up or even die?

23 Aug, 2016


agree the nets are bad news

23 Aug, 2016


Hi Sheila, I've found that if you have plug plants, as you're planting them, make the hole, put the plug into it, but before backfilling, use a craft knife or scalpel type blade to just slit the net, and fold back as much as possible, you don't have to remove it, just fold it back, and this allows the roots to expand without hindrance, Derek.

23 Aug, 2016


Thanks for replying Drc, Brian and Derek. It does seems as if the net is too strong. I thought they were supposed to degrade as the roots grow. I have started loosening the net and teasing it down and away from the roots, sometimes I can remove it altogether. I don't think the water can get through it very easily. A couple of weeks ago I dug out a dead carnation and the root was in a tight ball and totally dried out still in the fibre net even after all the rain we have had. It had survived for 2 years then died.

23 Aug, 2016


Hi Sheila, well you know what can happen to the best laid plans, lol, Derek.

23 Aug, 2016


Yes, I always tease the net off, they grow much better.

23 Aug, 2016


I put a post on the very same problem years ago.....had a beautiful yellow Ceratostigma with blue flowers had been in the ground about four years and not grown at all!! dug it out to find it was being strangled by a collar!! removed and grew away in no time!
So many companies do this nowadays........we always inspect our plants and remove .......also we never plant out plugs they are planted in a larger container until the roots show through the bottom!!

24 Aug, 2016


Thanks Dd and Cinders..Yes I pot up plugs too as you do. Even the small plants from Hayloft are grown in the fibre nets. I took all of them off before potting them up. It can be an expensive lesson if you aren't aware of the problem they can cause.

24 Aug, 2016


I always peel the net off. I've never had anything to grow with it on.

26 Aug, 2016


I bought two Hardy geraniums last year online, they came in 1lt pots but had fell out the pots on arrival and we're just plugs, think I made the mistake of putting them in the ground last year expecting them to grow away but they did nothing so I dug them up this spring and potted them on in the hope they would grow better, the one put on lots of leaf growth and the other one flowered so still not brilliant, but hopefully will get better, strange how two of the same plants differ, at least they survived I suppose :-//

27 Aug, 2016


Totally agree - take 'em off! I've never had success otherwise. In fact I rarely buy plugs now if I can help it, in my experience they never do that well.

17 Oct, 2016

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