how to start boxed plants inside

How to Start Boxed Plants Inside

You’ve just begun to see them…those boxed plants are showing up everywhere they sell gardening supplies!  But, what exactly are you supposed to do with these boxed plants when it’s far too cold to plant outside?  By learning “How to Start Boxed Plants Inside”, you get a jump on the gardening season and be ready to plant healthy, beautiful plants come Spring!

Many times, people purchase boxed plants and put them in the ground immediately.  My experience has been that the plant usually dies.  Keep in mind, those roots have been in stagnant conditions for months, without any new nutrients.  By starting boxed plants inside, they can be nourished and better conditioned for the season!

There are just a few tips and tricks to make sure your plants do well, but you’ll get the hang of this in no time!

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plastic potting plants

Round up some of those used pots from other plants and wash them up real well, with hot soapy water and let dry.  (You knew these could come in handy at some point!)

boxed loganberry plant

Now that your pots are ready, gently take your plant out of the box.  Keep the box for identification in the future!  We’re going to soak the plant in some tepid water for about 10 minutes to help prevent shock.

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putting potted plant roots in water

As you take the plant out of the bag, pour the potting soil into the pot you plan to use.  Be very careful with the young plant and carefully put into water while you work on the other plants.

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seed starting mix

Here’s my grape plant, notice the large root ball!  I’ll use a bigger pot for this one, what a nice healthy plant!

boxed plants

While your plants are soaking, go ahead and make labels for your pots.  You can’t label too much with plants, it’s just impossible to remember everything you’ve planted!  If you want to propagate, you’ll want to know exactly what species you have.  (No judging for using sewing scissors!)

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re-potting boxed plants

Now, with your hand, scoop out enough of the new potting soil to place your plant inside the pot without crowding the roots.  Put the soil (that came with the plant) back in, making sure all the roots are down inside and completely covered with soil.  Press with your fingers firmly.  I have my pots in a old aluminum tray to catch soil and water.

Then, water well but don’t soak them, they’ve been in water for 10 minutes already.

Since the plants have an established root system, I like to go ahead and give them a little plant food.  Use just a bit because I really don’t know what they’ve had, but I want to give them every opportunity to do well.  I like this brand.

organic plant food

Then it’s time for my new plants to join the plant nursery at my south facing window, as we all continue to wait for Spring!

You can learn how to start garlic or sweet potatoes too, quick and easy!

plants on shelf in south facing window




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Comments (6)

  • Jessie @ This Country Home Reply

    I always want to get some of the boxed varieties but here in Colorado it’s WAY to early to put them outside when the stores first get them in. Then when I go back at the right time, all the healthy ones are gone! Now thanks to your tips, I can get them early!

    March 16, 2018 at 7:58 pm
    • Kelly Reply

      Hi Jessie, I hope you get all the best selection this year! Thanks for reading and for your comment!

      March 17, 2018 at 2:18 am
  • Deborah Davis Reply

    Hi Kelly , I just hopped by from Homestead Blog Hop to check out your tips for starting boxed plants inside. I love your suggestions and I will be using your tips in my home. I’m sharing this post on social media. All the best, Deborah

    March 22, 2018 at 12:29 am
  • Summer Plum Reply

    This is so useful! I have some clematis just chilling in the other room right now, still in the boxes. Thank you!

    April 18, 2018 at 12:17 pm
  • sara johnson Reply

    I want try to grow plants inside now that l have time .

    February 20, 2019 at 4:09 am
    • Kelly Reply

      Hey Sara! That’s awesome, what do you plan on growing?

      February 20, 2019 at 2:45 pm

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