Category Archives: Caring for your plug plants

All about trailing Petunias

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Trailing Petunias are another popular summer bedding plant.  Trailing Petunias produce masses of flowers all summer long so are perfect for adding colour to your summer garden.

 

 

Trailing Petunias are ideal in hanging baskets and patio containers.  To fill a 12″ or 30cm hanging basket we would recommend using 4 or 5 plug plants.  You can read our step by step guide to planting a hanging basket here.  Trailing Petunias can also be planted in garden borders for ground coverage.  Plant them 12″/30cm to 18″/45cm apart.  Our trailing Petunias have striking flowers.  We love the deep velvet flowers of Back to Black.  Or why not try Pink Ice Variegated with its beautiful pink flowers and variegated leaves.

From left to right, top row: Back to Black, Banoffee Pie, Candy Wheels. Bottom row: Pink Ice Variegated, Pink Star

From left to right, top row: Back to Black, Banoffee Pie, Candy Wheels. Bottom row: Pink Ice Variegated, Pink Star

Surfinia® is the brand name given to a particular range of trailing Petunias.  The Surfinia® range has been specifically bred to produce strong branching plants that are vigorous trailers which produce masses of flowers.  They have good weather tolerance and a long flowering period.  Surfinias® are a great value plant as they grow rapidly and a few plants can fill a hanging basket.  To fill a 12″ or 30cm hanging basket we would recommend using 3 or 4 Surfinia plugs to create a lovely display.  Because they are so vigorous, if you are planting Surfinias® in a mixed basket plant them with other vigorous trailers such as giant Fucshias, Lobelia and Helichrysum, so that they don’t dominate the basket.  The Surfinia® range is available in a wide range of colours and so is ideal for any colour scheme!

An amazing display of Surfinias®

An amazing display of Surfinias®

Tumbelina® is a range of trailing Petunias with stunning double flowers.  Plant them in hanging baskets as you would with trailing Petunias.  Tumbelinas® are avilable in a range of pretty colours.  Look out for Belinda, Melissa and Priscilla which have lovely scented flowers.

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From left to right: Tumbelina® Clara, Tumbelina® Priscilla, Tumbelina® Susanna

We also stock a range of trailing Petunias with mini double flowers about the size of a ten pence piece.  The Mini-Me® range is not as vigorous as full size Petunias so we would recommend planting 5 in a 12″ or 30cm hanging basket.

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From left to right: Mini-Me® Double Purple Picotee, Mini-Me® Pink, Mini-Me® Soft Pink

For more advice on growing trailing Petunias from plug plants, have a read of our guide.  When your trailing Petunias are ready to plant in the garden, they prefer a position in full sun or partial shade.  They will need feeding weekly whilst in flower, with a good quality all purpose feed such as Miracle Gro, and they must not be allowed to dry out!  It is best to water in the mornings or evenings instead of when the sun is at its strongest, to avoid scorching the leaves.  Remove faded flowers to keep your display looking at its best.

All of our Petunia plants can be found here.

For all other plant varieties, you can checkout our plug plants page.

All about Geraniums

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Geraniums are a popular summer bedding plant available in upright, trailing and climbing varieties.  Geraniums are Mediterranean plants, so the more sun they receive, the more they flower!

 

 

Trailing varieties look fantastic in hanging baskets or window boxes.  To fill a 12″ or 30cm hanging basket with trailing Geraniums we would recommend using 4 plug plants.  For more advice on planting hanging baskets, have a read of our step by step guide.  We sell a range of trailing Geraniums with single or double flowers.  The Gerainbow™ range have single flowers and are available in a range of vibrant colours.  To add interest to your planting you could try Evka with single red flowers and variegated leaves.

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From left to right: Gerainbow™ Neon, Gerainbow™ White, Evka

If you prefer double flowers then look out for the Sybil range of trailing Geraniums.  These have beautiful ‘rosebud’ double flowers and are available in blue, pink, purple, red and white pearl.

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From left to right: Sybil Pink, Sybil Purple, Sybil White Pearl

Upright Geraniums are ideal for patio containers or garden beds and borders.  To fill a 12″ or 30cm patio container we would recommend planting 3 upright Geranium plugs, which will give the appearance of one large plant.  Alternatively, use an upright Geranium as a centrepiece in mixed hanging baskets.  Upright Geraniums are available in a wide range of colours.  Octavia Hill is a classic scarlet Geranium, or try the Maestro™ range have large flowers in striking colours.

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From left to right: Maestro™ Salmon, Octavia Hill

Also have a look at the Flower Fairy™ range in complementing shades of pink and rose.

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From left to right: Flower Fairy™ Berry, Flower Fairy™ Rose, Flower Fairy™ White Splash

For those gardeners looking for something a bit different, we have a range of ‘fancy leaf’ Geraniums.  These upright Geraniums will add interest to your planting.  Caroline Schmidt and Frank Headley are varieties of Fancy Leaf Pelgardini® with variegated leaves and striking flowers.  The Angel Eyes range are compact plants with frilly leaves and bi-coloured flowers.

From left to right: Pelgardini® Caroline Schmidt, Pelgardini® Frank Headley, Angel Eyes Bicolour

From left to right: Pelgardini® Caroline Schmidt, Pelgardini® Frank Headley, Angel Eyes Bicolour

Climbing Geraniums can be used to create striking flower pyramids or towers.  Planting them in March will give you a small tower over the summer months.  If you have a heated greenhouse then you could overwinter these Geraniums to grow a tower of up to 2m in height!  Antik Scarlet is perfect for this!

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Flower towers created with climbing Geraniums

 

For more information on what to do with your plug plants when they arrive, have a read through our guide.  When your plug plants are ready to plant in the garden, Geraniums prefer a sunny spot as this will encourage flowering.  Your Geraniums will need feeding weekly whilst flowering with a multipurpose feed such as Miracle Gro.  As mentioned above, Geraniums are Mediterranean plants.  They can tolerate dry conditions so be very careful not to overwater them.  However don’t let them dry out completely!  It is best to water in the mornings or evenings, instead of when the sun is at its strongest, to avoid scorching the leaves.  With a little care, your Geraniums will provide beautiful flowers throughout the whole summer!

You can buy our geraniums plants here.

How to care for your plug plants

Bacopa-ThumbnailSo you’ve ordered some plug plants and waited eagerly for them to arrive.  Great news – they’re here!  But many new gardeners may be asking “What do I do now?”  This is a complete guide on how to care for your new plug plants.

 

When your plug plants arrive we recommend that you unpack them as soon as possible.  Our jumbo size plug plants should be potted into 9 or 10cm pots, using a good quality multipurpose compost.  We like Jack’s Magic compost for potting on, as it is very fine.  Don’t forget to include your free colour label for each plug so that you can identify them as they grow!  Your plug plants will need to be kept on a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse.  Your plug plants will need to be kept at a minimum of 7 degrees Celsius.  If you are planting hanging baskets or patio containers, your plugs can be planted straight into them, as long as they will be kept inside in the warm!  You can read our step by step guide to planting a hanging basket here.

If you have purchased our mini-plugs, we recommend planting them into small 5cm pots, or seed trays with inserts in.  We would not recommend planting mini-plugs straight into hanging baskets as the plants really need to establish their roots in smaller pots first.  Again, keep your mini-plugs in a heated greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill.

Whilst your plug plants are in their early growing stages, we recommend that you are careful not to overwater them.  Keeping the plug plants quite dry will encourage root growth, however it is very important not to let them dry out completely!  The compost should be kept moist, not waterlogged, but also not dry and dusty.  This is particularly important with Geranium and Begonia plugs as they tolerate dry conditions and do not like to be overwatered!  Most good quality composts will have feed in that will last for the first 4-5 weeks after planting.  After this point you can feed your plug plants once a fortnight with a good quality multipurpose feed.  Once your plug plants are in flowers, feed them weekly.

Once the frosts have passed your plug plants will be ready to plant out into the garden.  Please refer to the specialist pages for further information on particular plant varieties.

Visit our website to view all of our varieties.

Focus on Surfinias: Hot Salmon

Surfinias are a variety of trailing petunia. They are an extremely popular summer bedding plant that are ideal in hanging baskets and patio containers. Surfinias are vigorous trailers which produce masses of large flowers. They are available in a wide range of colours ranging from pastels to deep, rich colours. We love the vibrant Hot Salmon Surfinia:

Surfinia Hot Salmon Plug PlantTry planting 3 Hot Salmon plug plants in a 30cm hanging basket for a wonderful display of bright colour all summer long. When planting Surfinias in a mixed basket, plant them with other vigorous trailers such as Giant Fuchsias or Helichrysum, to prevent the Surfinias from dominating the basket.

In the garden, Surfinias prefer a sunny spot. Feed them weekly throughout the summer and do not allow them to dry out.

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You can find our full range of Surfinias at: babyplants.co.uk/surfinia-plug-plants

Or our entire range of plug plants here: babyplants.co.uk/plug-plants

Happy planting!

Step-By-Step Guide To Planting A Hanging Basket

This blog post is going to give you full instructions for planting amazing hanging baskets.

Mini Famous Calibrachoa Double Amethyst

 

 

 

 

There are lots of hanging baskets available in different sizes and shapes.  This guide is based on using a 12” or 30cm hanging basket.

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  1. Firstly, if you are using a hanging basket with an integrated plastic liner, it is very important to pierce several holes in the liner.  This is important to allow drainage and prevent the plants from becoming waterlogged.  If you are using a hanging basket with a coco liner or moss liner, you can skip this step.
  2. Secondly, fill your basket with good quality multipurpose compost.  After several years of research, our favourite is Miracle-Gro Multipurpose Compost.  You can read more about it here.  Miracle-Gro compost contains slow release plant feed, so there’s no need to add additional feed at this stage.  If you’re chosen compost does not include plant feed, we recommend adding a slow-release granular feed.  You can also add water-retaining granules at this stage, to cut down the need to water during the summer.  Ensure that any feed or water-retaining granules are mixed into the compost.
  3. Select the plugs you want to use for your basket.  Get some ideas here from our ‘hanging basket inspiration’ blog.  For a 12” or 30cm we recommend using between 3 and 5 plug plants, depending on the variety.  For example, Surfinias and Giant Fuchsias are vigorous trailers so you would only need to use 3 plugs.  If you are using more compact plants such as Mini Double Petunias or Million Bells you may need to use up to 5 plugs.
  4. Make a small hole and insert your plug plants.  If you are planting a mixed basket, we recommend using an upright variety in the centre of the basket, surrounded by trailing varieties around the edge of the basket.  Push the plug plants into the compost and tuck them in!
  5. You should now have a beautiful, original basket.  Keep the basket in a greenhouse or other warm place until the risk of frost has passed, when it can be put out in the garden.  We recommend keeping the basket on the dry side to encourage root growth, but do not let the basket dry out completely!

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You can see from these pictures how quickly the plugs will grow.  Plant now, and by the time the summer begins you will have a beautiful display of hanging baskets.

Can’t decide on a variety?  We have a lovely selection of hanging basket collections that you can choose to save you time and money!  Visit: Our Hanging Basket Collections page for more information.

Happy planting!