What are "Plugs"?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Marcia Hutchinson
Posted on: September 1, 2000

I have never dealt with "plugs" before, and do not know what to expect. I am considering order plugs of Hidcote Lavender. How big is a plug? How old is it? How big is it? How long before it looks like anything? Can they be planted now (in Massachusetts)? That ought to do it.

"Plugs" are also known as "cells", and they come in "flats" approximately 1 foot by 2 feet and 2 inches high. These flats hold 128 cells or plugs, each of which is planted with one lavender plant. Even though there are 128 cells, we count them as 120 plants. In order words, we guarantee that you will get at least 120 plants from a plug tray, but you usually get more.

A lavender plug will have a root ball of approximately one inch by one inch square at the top, tapering down to about half an inch at the bottom. The root ball will be about 2 inches long.

Above the root ball will be the aerial portion of the plant which in the case of Hidcote lavender will be about 2-3 inches high.

Most lavender plugs are between 3 and 9 months old. When planted out in the garden, it will be fully mature in 1-2 years.

Most definitely, you can plant them now. Fall planting works very well for the hardy lavenders. But you must make sure that the soil has excellent drainage, and you must mulch the first winter. If the soil is a heavy clay type then you must add sand or raise the bed a few inches to allow excess water to run off easily; doing both is preferable. Mulch es such as straw, dead leaves, should be laid down over the plants after the ground has frozen and before the lasting snows arrive.

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