How to grow Summer and Autumn Bedding Plants

Getting young plants is great- they’re at the right stage for growing quick and developing strong stems, roots and flowers once you get them planted. Just follow our guide below for getting your young plants off to a flying start;


Receiving your medium-sized plug plants when they arrive
Remove the cardboard packaging and water the plants on arrival.
They can be safely left in the tray for a few days but do not allow plants to dry out.
Keep out of direct sunlight to protect the young plants from scorch or drying out.

***Do not overwater young plug plants***
If young seedlings or young plants have rotted, more or often than not it’s down to over-watering.
Prevent this from happening;
• When young, water from above when soil feels dry until roots are emerging from the bottom of the pot.

• Never stand pots in water for a length of time. Roots need to breathe and get sufficient oxygen; if you keep them standing in water they drown.

A good tip for established plants is to stand them in a tray of water overnight, if the soil is dry. In the morning tip out the excess water from the tray. Only ‘flood’ the tray again when soil surface feels dry to the finger tip. Again, make sure you re-visit after a few hours or overnight to tip out excess water.

Potting your medium-sized plugs plants up & then growing them on in the ground outdoors
*Just before planting thoroughly moisten the plugs. Water adding a weak solution of feed to put the plugs in good stead.
Use a dibber or pencil to push the plants out through the base of the plant tray to avoid damaging the plant.
Pot up into trays or individual pots - our Potting On Kit is perfect for the job. Pot each plug into 7.5cm (3in) pots using a good multi-purpose compost or a container compost. When potting up the plugs handle the plants carefully by the root ball (the plug-plant soil) to try and avoid damage to the stems. Fill the pots or trays with good compost with a little slow-release fertiliser mixed in.
Grow on for a few weeks in a light, frost-free place, but try to avoid direct sunlight. Keep them moist but do not over-water.
And keep the growing plants well ventilated. This allows the young plants to develop well and produce good root systems.
Some varieties naturally grow tall and leggy at first. They can be encouraged to ‘bush-out’ by pinching out the growing tip. You can do this literally by pinching off the top of the plant just above a branching point.
When plants have grown and formed a good root system within their pots they can be planted straight outside.
Most bedding plants need to be spaced at 30 40cm (12-16 in) apart, depending on their overall size.
Check 'Variety Information' table below for plant spacing details.

Receiving your large-sized plug plants when they arrive
Remove the plants from the packing straight away and sit them in a tray of shallow water, allowing the plugs to fully soak.
Once the plugs have soaked, remove them from the tray of water, allow to drain and position them outside, out of direct sunlight.
One of the best things about our large-sized plug plants is that it isn’t necessary to pot them up and grow them on before planting outside, if you are short of time. It isn't necessary but it is recommended that you do for best results.
Potting your large-sized plug plants up
*Just before planting thoroughly moisten the plugs. Water adding a weak solution of feed to put the plugs in good stead.
We recommend that you pot-on your large plugs as soon as they arrive for best results. Potting them on first allows them time to develop a strong, healthy root system. Our Shuttle Trays with 9cm (4 in) pots are ideal.
Use a dibber or pencil to push the plants out through the base of the plant tray to avoid damaging the plant.
Handle each plant by the plug root ball, rather than the stem to avoid damage.
Pot each plug into a 9cm (3in) pot using a good multi-purpose compost or a container compost.
Water after planting to settle to roots and leave to grow-on in a light, sunny place until the roots have established in the pot before planting outside oncle the plants have established and lots more roots have formed. (following the same instructions as above).
And keep the growing plants well ventilated. This allows the young plants to develop well and produce good root systems.

Growing them straight after in the ground outdoors
*Just before planting thoroughly moisten the plugs. Water adding a weak solution of feed to put the plugs in good stead.
If planting straight outside without potting on first, make sure they are in a sheltered or protected position. Sometimes plugs are vulnerable in exposed sites or where there are pests or pets.
Before planting your large plugs, thoroughly dig and add some granular fertiliser to the soil first. Doing this provides an easier environment for the young plants to establish their roots.
Dig an individual hole for each plug, deep and wide enough for the entire root ball. Water each planting hole and allow the water to soak away.
Use a dibber or pencil to push the plants out through the base of the plant tray to avoid damaging the plant.
Place the rootball in the hole, backfill the soil and gently firm down the area around the plant.