Fuchias – New for 2014!

new-fuchsias-thumbnail

 

We have a large range of Fuchsia plug plants, with 2 beautiful new varieties for 2014!

Twist and Shout is a trailing Fuchsia with single flowers.  It has a lilac corolla with pale pink backwards curling sepals.  These unique flowers will add interest to any garden!  

Julie Horton is a trailing Fuchsia with stunning double flowers.  It has long buds with rose-like pale pink flowers.  Both of these Fuchsias are ideal for hanging baskets and will make make a fantastic display!

From left to right: Twist and Shout, Julie Horton

From left to right: Twist and Shout, Julie Horton

For more information on growing Fuchsias, have a read of our guide.

What do you think of our new additions?  We would love to hear your comments!

What are mini-plugs?

mini-plug-thumbnailMini-plugs are small plug plants grown from seed.  They have a rootball of approximately 1.5cm, compared to the 3.5cm rootball on our standard plug plants.  Because of their smaller size, mini-plugs are very cost effective.  Prices start from just 9p per mini-plug!  Mini-plugs are the perfect choice if you need a large number of bedding plants for your summer planting.

Some mini-plugs are extremely tiny plugs produced only for mail order, but our mini-plugs are the same plugs as used by professional nurseries.  Our mini-plugs are available in trays of 100 or 50 mini-plugs.

mini-plug-blog

We have a large range of mini-plugs available including: Ageratum, Begonias, Cineraria, Lobelia and Petunias.

Mini-plugs should be pricked out and planted into small 5cm pots or seed trays with inserts.  For more advice on how to grow and care for your plug plants, have a read of our guide.

All about Geraniums

Geranium-Thumbnail

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.

Geranium-1

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.

Geranium-2

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.

Geranium-3

From left to right: Maestro™ Salmon, Octavia Hill

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

Geranium-4

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!

Geranium-5

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.

All about Fuchsias

Fuchsia-Thumbnail

Here at babyplants we love Fuchsias!  We sell a wide range of Fuchsia plug plants including trailing Fuchsias, giant Fuchsias, upright Fuchsias and hardy Fuchsias.  Whilst Fuchsias are commonly associated with pink flowers, in actual fact Fuchsia flowers range from white and pastel colours, to pink, orange, red and deep purple.  Whether you are planting hanging baskets, patio containers or garden borders, there is a perfect Fuchsia for you.  With so much variety to choose from it’s not surprising that so many gardeners are Fuchsia fans!

Trailing Fuchsias are ideal for hanging baskets.  Plant them in baskets of  single varieties, or incorporate them into mixed hanging baskets.  To fill a 12″ or 30cm hanging basket we would recommend using 5 trailing Fuchsia plugs or 3 giant Fuchsia plugs.  For more advice read our step by step guide to planting hanging baskets.  Some trailing Fuchsias have single flowers like Autumnale, whilst some have semi-double or double flowers such as Swingtime.  Or try Eruption for a mass of long and slender bright pink flowers.

Fuchsia-1

From left to right: Trailing Fuchsia Autumnale, Trailing Fuchsia Swingtime, Trailing Fuchsia Eruption

Giant Fuchsias have large fully double flowers that make a stunning show in hanging baskets.  Hang your basket above head height to fully appreciate these beautiful flowers.  Look out for the stunning White King, or the lovely Deep Purple.  Giant Fuchsias are vigorous trailers so if you are incorporating them into a mixed hanging basket, plant them with other vigorous trailers such as Surfinias®, Helichrysum, or Lobelia. 

Fuchsia-2

From left to right: Giant Fuchsia White King, Giant Fuchsia Peachy, Giant Fuchsia Deep Purple

Upright Fuchsias are perfect for patio containers.  They grow into strong bushy plants with masses of colourful blooms. Plant 3 Fuchsia plugs in a large patio container to give the appearance of one large plant, or use 1 plant in a mixed patio container.  Upright Fuchsias also make a lovely centrepiece in mixed hanging baskets.  For something a little bit different try Thalia, a lovely upright variety with tubular orange flowers and dark foliage.  Some upright varieties are hardy which makes them ideal for planting in garden beds and borders.  Delta’s Sarah has beautiful blue/purple flowers, whilst Hawkshead’s flowers are white.  Ideal for adding interest to your garden borders!

Fuchsia-3

From left to right: Upright Fuchsia Thalia, Upright Hardy Fuchsia Delta’s Sarah, Upright Hardy Fuchsia Hawkshead

 

If you would like more information on growing plug plants, have a read of our guide. As your Fuchsia plugs are growing they can be ‘pinched out’.  Leave your plug plant to grow until it has 4 pairs of leaves, then remove the top pair.  Following this technique will ensure a bushier plant.  We would recommend pinching out until March/April time.  If you continue to pinch out after this time you could delay the flowering period of your Fuchsias.

Once the frosts have passed your Fuchsia plugs will be ready to plant out into the garden.  Fuchsias prefer a position in full sun or part shade.  Fuchsias need feeding weekly whilst flowering.  We recommend using an all purpose feed such as Miracle Gro.  Your plants must not be allowed to dry out, but be cautious of overwatering!  It is always best to water early in the morning or late evenings instead of when the sun is at its strongest, to avoid scorching the leaves.  Remove faded blooms before they go to seed to encourage new flower growth.

Once the summer is over, if you want to try and keep your Fuchsias for the following year, the plant should be cut down to approx 6″ (15cm) high.  Hardy varieties planted in the garden should have a mulch (well rotted compost, grass cuttings, bark etc) put around the top of the soil for added protection.  Non-hardy varieties need to be potted up and kept in a frost free greenhouse for winter.  They will need a little water during winter, just to keep the soil slightly damp.  The following spring they should regrow from the base.  Even with the best care, only 70-80% may survive in the greenhouse.  For hardy types the survival rates depend on the varieties.

You can our full range of fuchsia 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.

Brand New Plants! – Sapcote Garden Centre, Leicester

Over 120 Trollies of Brand New Plants!

The work begins…

This week it’s a little bit hectic here at our garden centre in leicester, we’ve had a delivery of over 120 trollies of plants from holland. So it’s all hands on deck to help out!

Over 120!

Over 120!

Great looking busux balls!

Great looking buxus balls!

We’ve also had a lot of flowering plants in, and with this beautiful sunshine we’ve had this week, they’re all out in full bloom!Flowering plantsOur garden furniture (sold via Gardencentreshopping) is really selling well, online and in store.  Our new range of Cozy Bay rattan furniture, new for 2013, is flying out!  A great new style of rattan that comes with a 5 year warranty.  Perfect all weather furniture, for a no maintenance option.

Cozy Bay Rattan Furniture

Now lets hope the weather stays great and we can all have a nice BBQ in the sunshine this weekend!

———————————————————————————————-

This post was written by Matt from Sapcote Garden Centre.

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.

surfinias

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!

Focus on Petunias: Tumbelina Belinda

 Trailing Petunias are some of the most popular summer basket plants.

Babyplants.co.uk stocks a large range of classic trailing petunias, but we also have some more unusual varieties for you to consider for your hanging baskets this year.

Belinda-Thumbnail

 

 

 

 

Tumbelina Belinda is a variety of double trailing petunia.  Belinda produces masses of beautiful dark blue, fully double flowers all summer long.  As an added bonus, Belinda’s flowers are fragrant!

Trailing petunias are perfect for hanging baskets, providing cascades of colour.  You could try planting Belinda in mixed hanging baskets to provide a wonderful deep colour.  However we think that Belinda looks amazing planted together in a hanging basket, as seen in the photograph below.  That way you can fully appreciate the gorgeous double flowers and their beautiful scent!  To plant a 12” or 30cm hanging basket we would recommend using 3 or 4 Belinda plugs.

In the garden, trailing petunias prefer a position in full sun or partial shade.  Feed weekly when they are in flower and do not allow them to dry out.

You can purchase Tumbelina Belinda plug plants at babyplants.co.uk

Or see our full range of plug plants here.

Happy planting!

Belinda

A wonderful display of Tumbelina Belinda in a hanging basket

Beautiful Bacopa!

The Bacopa family of plants are some of the most popular summer basket plants.  In this blog post we will outline why we love them!

Bacopa-Thumbnail

 

 

 

 

Bacopa has little upright growth but provides lovely trails of growth covered in flowers.  Unlike trailers such as Nepeta, which produce long downward trails, Bacopa’s trailing growth is spreading, so it forms more coverage than just vertical hanging growth.

The varieties in the photo below are all available to purchase at babyplants.co.uk

Bacopa

From left to right, top row: Bacopa Golden Leaf, Bacopa Gulliver Dynamic White, Bacopa Snowflake, Bacopa Yellow Mecadonia. Bottom row: Bacopa Gulliver Lilac, Bacopa Great Purple, Bacopa Great Pink, Bacopa Great Pink Eye

 

Bacopa Snowflake is a firm favourite with our customers.  But we also love Bacopa Gulliver Dynamic White, whose flowers are larger than Snowflake.  Or why not try Bacopa Golden Leaf for its pretty white flowers and interesting green-gold foliage, to provide contrast in your baskets.  Bacopa Gulliver Lilac and Great Pink add lovely pastel colours to your displays, whilst Yellow Mecadonia provides more vibrant blooms.

Bacopa makes an amazing display in hanging baskets.  To fill a 12″ or 30cm hanging basket we would recommend using 4-5 Bacopa plugs.  Plant them in a mixed basket to add colour and texture, or fill a basket with different coloured Bacopa plugs to create an amazing effect, as seen in the photo below.

Bacopa-Display

A gorgeous display of mixed Bacopa plants growing in a wall basket!

In the garden, Bacopa prefers a position in full sun or partial shade.  The plants need feeding weekly when they are in flower.  Water them regularly and don’t let them dry out.

 If you have any photographs of your beautiful Bacopa we would love to see them!

Share them on our facebook page: facebook.com/ukbabyplants

Tweet us your pictures: @PlugPlantsUk

And you can check out our full range of Fuchsias, Geraniums and more plugs, at babyplants.co.uk/plug-plants

Happy planting!