Succulents Plug Trays – An Introduction

Mountain Crest Gardens Team
9th Feb 2015

We grow many of our succulents in plug form, which are offered in a variety of trays and assortments. Our video and article below introduce succulent plugs and why we love them.

Plugs are small masses of soil that are formed by roots binding them together. They have many advantages over bare root:

  • Better for shipping, because the roots are protected and can continue to grow during and after transit.
  • They do not have to be planted immediately upon arrival; the succulents will happily grow in the tray for months with proper care.
  • Better for planting, because their root system is already fully formed, and there is less disruption in their growth.
  • Plugs are easy to remove from the tray cells, and are great to work with for a wide array of projects.

Here, we are looking at Hens and Chicks plugs in our assorted Sempervivum plug tray. This tray always includes a wide array of texture, color, and variety. The plugs are 1.2in in diameter, by approximately 1in deep. Sempervivum rosettes typically range from an inch to an inch and a half in diameter. 

As you can see, it’s formed a very nice strong root system, which is holding the soil together in a tidy plug. This is one of our strongest growing Semps called ‘Royanum’. Typically this one is going to be significantly larger than the root plug underneath.

This is Sempervivum ‘Pixie’. It is one of our miniature Hens and Chicks, and you can see you get a cluster of smaller rosettes on the plug. Even though it’s a smaller rosette type, you can see it still grows a really strong root base and gives you an excellent plug.

Many Sempervivum will throw chicks even in plug form, as this ‘Spherette’ is doing. This demonstrates how well Sempervivum can grow even in a small cell.

Not all of our plugs are the same size, such as the plugs in our Jovibarba heuffelii plug trays. These plugs are larger than our Sempervivum---they are 2 inches in diameter by 2 inches deep. Even though it’s a larger plug, you can see it still has a very strong root system holding the mass of soil together. Here’s the plug of the Sempervivum ‘Royanum’ that we showed you earlier in comparison with the Heuffelii ‘Sundancer’:

Our #1 best seller is the Soft Succulent Assorted Plug Tray, below. It includes a very diverse variety of our exotic tender succulents. The plug size is the same 1.2 inch diameter as our Sempervivum plugs, however the plants range in size dramatically. They range in both height and diameter from about an inch to more than 4 inches.

Pictured below is one of our largest Echeverias, ‘Multicaulis’. Even in plug form, it will get up to 2.5 inches tall and over 4 inches in diameter.

Using plugs makes it a breeze to plant up this dish garden. This is just one of countless things you can do with succulent plugs. You could also plant them in vertical planters, wreaths, rock gardens, miniature gardens, terrariums, cracks in walls, any kind of container or hanging basket, even drop them into small pots for party favors. The possibilities are limitless!

If you have any other questions about succulent plugs, send us an email: sales @ mountaincrestgardens.com .