If you have ever gone to repot your plant, there is a great chance you found the roots encased in what looks like a cylinder of soil or other, unnatural material. This is what is known as a plug, and although it may be confusing to find or you may hear some plant parents voicing their distrust of the practice, let me tell you what plant plugs are and why they are used.


Who Uses Plugs and Why

  Plugs are most often used by plant nurseries, especially those that are growing plants for boutique shops all over the world. If you have ever seen a gardener prep their own seeds indoors before transplanting the seedling plant outside, it’s the same general concept. The reason many growers do this is because it’s both easier to maintain large quantities of growing plants when they’re in the same set-up, and it has been shown to increase the overall strength and health of a plant, even as a mature plant.


What is Used to Make a Plug

  Thanks to advancements in technology over the past few decades, plant plugs are now made of a variety of different materials, both natural and man-made. You can often find plugs made of a compostable matter like paper very often because once surrounded by soil, the plug will break down and leave no trace behind. However, the opposite can be said too, because many other plugs are made of things like plastic cages or bands or even of a mesh-like material; while these hold the plug together more firmly, they also never break down, leaving you to either keep it around forever or cut it out entirely.


Why Some People Don’t Like Plugs

  There is a common misconception that growing a plant in a plug and keeping it inside the plug even upon repotting can cause problems. The truth of the matter is that the plug itself is not causing any issues, its that many plant parents aren’t familiar with how to care for plugged plants. It is just like the issue with sphagnum moss; many plant parents say that they’re plants are dying because of various problems, but the truth is they don’t understand the special care requirements needed by a plant that is growing in a moss-heavy mix.