​Our Plant Formats Explained

​Our Plant Formats Explained

Posted by Amber Williams on 9th Oct 2023

woman planting a group of tulip bulbs in the border

If you’re new to ordering with us, then you may feel a bit overwhelmed. Not only from our large range of plants but also by how what format to buy them in.

You can use this blog as a guide, and even to come back to whenever you need a reminder.

Bulbs, corms and tubers

bulbs, corms and a tuber

Image left to right: tulip bulbs, crocus corms, dahlia tubers

A whole host of our plants are supplied as a bulb, corm, or tuber. They could be spring or summer flowering, but this will depend on the type of plant it is. For example, tulips are one of our largest ranges of plants in the spring, but they’re exclusively supplied as bulbs. The only difference will be the bulb sizes, which vary from variety to variety.

Corms are quite similar to bulbs but can be different in shape, size, or appearance. However, they’re planted almost the same as a bulb, which makes your life that much easier.

Tubers are different from bulbs or corms in many ways. Typically, we sell summer-flowering plants like Begonias and Dahlias as tubers. Although spring plants like Irises can be sold as a bulb or a tuber, this will differ depending on their flowering season (Spring-flowering iris are usually supplied as bulbs and summer-flowering iris can be either bulbs or loose roots).

Loose roots and bare-rooted shrubs

loose roots and bare rooted shrubs

Image left to right: Loose roots, bare rooted shrubs

Loose roots are dormant plants that have been cut back to the base and lifted in autumn. This makes them quite hardy, allowing you to plant them on arrival (whether that’s in a pot and kept indoors, or planted directly outside – but this will depend on the plant you’ve bought, so we always recommend checking before planting).

Bare-rooted plants and shrubs are exactly that – bare-rooted plants and shrubs that are in their dormant state and lifted for easy planting. Winter is the perfect time to plant these plants, giving them time to establish before the spring. However, they could be planted at any time of year, if you give them enough water in warmer seasons. But double-check this before planting, as planting times will differ from plant to plant.

Potted plants and shrubs

potted plants with large leaves

Our perennials can be sent either as a loose root or as a potted plant. However, potted plants aren’t exclusively perennials. They can be shrubs too. The pot size will vary, again based on what plant you buy. But these plants are easy to grow, thanks to how they’re supplied.

Modules or plugs

garden ready, rapid, and maxi plug plants in trays

Image: Left - garden ready plugs, Top right - rapid plugs, Bottom right - maxi plugs

Annuals and bedding plants are supplied as modules, also known as ‘plug plants’. We have jumbo plugs, rapid plugs, maxi plugs, and garden-ready plugs. Rapid and maxi plugs are slightly smaller than the plugs you’d find at a nursery.

These plants can be potted up and started indoors before their flowering season, usually a few weeks before (you can double-check planting times on product pages). Garden-ready and jumbo plugs are bigger than maxi or rapids and can be planted directly outside on arrival.

Modules/plug plants are incredibly easy to plant, like our potted plants, and are perfect for containers, hanging baskets, or even just into the border.

Fruit and Vegetables

a lady holding a fruit tree and seed potatoes

Image left to right: Fruit tree how supplied height, seed potatoes

We supply fruit trees grown, usually 4-6 feet tall. Soft fruit shrubs or plants are supplied as potted plants or loose roots (depending on the variety).

Our seed potatoes are roughly 1.3-1.7kg in weight, with around 20 seed potatoes in each bag.

Our vegetables are usually supplied as pot-grown plants, as dormant shrubs, as loose roots, or as plug plants.

That covers how our plants are supplied. If you’re ever unsure of how our plants are supplied, check out the product description page, as the information will be listed there too!