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How Many Flowers Are in a Flat? (Quick Answers)

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Nursery flats are commonly used to facilitate the transportation of large groups of plants. These large, black containers are typically made of plastic and also aid in watering a number of plants at once.

When using these trays, knowing how many flowers a single flat can accommodate also comes in handy for gardeners when determining how many plants are needed to fill a certain space.

What is a flat of flowers?

A flat of flowers is a shallow, black pan filled with one specific type of flower in smaller, individual cells.

Since flowers grown in flats have smaller root systems, the plantings are typically only kept temporarily for transportation or watering purposes. They are then later transplanted in garden beds.

Gardeners prefer using these rectangular trays to grow flower seedlings as it is convenient to scoop out multiple saplings at once, and plant them together in one large hole.

This prevents the need for untangling all the roots which makes the process of transplanting much simpler. Flats also serve the purpose of aiding in watering multiple packs of flowers at once.

How many flowers are in a flat?

According to the NGA (National Gardening Association), the average flat used in nurseries can hold up to 50 plants or flowers. However, the exact number of any type of plant that a tray can hold differs depending on the plant’s size and the size of the individual cells within the flat.

Flats are available in several standard sizes which is why it is advised to ask for specific measurements in order to ensure that they will accommodate enough plants.

For example, the most commonly used trays can hold up to 18 4-inch pots or cells. These are long and narrow, and excellent for water drainage due to their broad bottom grids.

However, if you are searching for trays with more cells, then Anderson flats are the way to go. These wider flats hold up to 25 or even 38 4-inch pots and come with a small bottom grid for drainage.

Aside from the dimensions of the container itself, the size of the plant should also be considered when purchasing a flat.

This is generally not a significant factor in most cases, as flowers are usually planted in flats as small seedlings and transplanted in garden soil later on.


Impatiens, commonly known as touch-me-nots, grow in moist and shady areas. Their name indicates the flower’s ‘impatient’ nature as they burst open to spill their contents when ripe.

For these flowers to thrive,1-2 saplings should be planted in each 4-inch pot. So, a flat with 20 pots can hold on average 35-40 Impatiens.


Begonias bloom all summer and are typically used as ornamental houseplants. They thrive in partial shade and prefer moist soil.

In order to flourish in containers, Begonias should be grown in 6-pack flats, 4-6 inches apart. The seedlings should be planted in the pots by early spring.


These bright and lively flowers are one of the most popular annual flowers, coming in with various colors and patterns. They thrive best when exposed to full sunlight and prefer sandy soil.

These flowers should not be crowded together since they spread, hence 3 should be planted per 12-inch pot.


Marigolds are annual plants and are considered very easy to grow with little maintenance. They often resemble daisies and prefer loose, fertile soil along with full sunlight.

As these plants require plenty of air circulation, they should not be crowded together. A maximum of 2-3 Marigolds can be grown in 12-inch pots.


These colorful flowers can last up to 8 months when planted in fall or spring. Pansies flourish the most in well-drained soil full of organic materials, and under full or partial sunlight.

Pansies are advised to be grown in clusters of 3-6 in 12-inch pots for them to prosper. The pot’s soil should be watered well, preferably with the addition of a few snails and slug pellets.

Vinca plants:

Vinca, commonly known as Periwinkles, are annual plants needing full sunlight to thrive. They require moist, well-drained soil with a supply of enough organic matter. Often, Periwinkles may be prone to fungal issues if they don’t receive sufficient air circulation.

For growing in flats, Vincas must be planted 8 inches apart with a good drainage system within the pots.

How big is a flat of flowers?

Since nursery flats come in a variety of sizes, the dimensions of a flat of flowers should be asked before purchase to know how many are required for your plants.

However, the standard flat used in flats, commonly known as ‘standard 1020s’ measures 21 inches long with 9 inches wide by 21 inches deep.

Daisy flats are also widely used among gardeners, being able to fit 18 4-inch pots. They can hold on average six 6-packs of 2-inch starter flowers or plants.

Portland flats are the biggest trays available, being able to carry up to 25 4-inch pots. These are also more heavy-duty than conventional nursery flats and significantly wider to accommodate a large number of pots.

How many packs of flowers are in a flat?

Standard rectangular flats in nurseries that carry 18 3 ½ or 4-inch flats, can hold 6 six-packs of 2-inch starter plants or 12 six-packs of 1-inch starter plants.

Packs are also frequently referred to as cells. A single flat generally consists of either 4 packs or slightly smaller 6 packs. Each pack contains smaller units of ‘pockets’ where 1-2 starter plants can be planted.

Starter plants are smaller seedlings that can be germinated and grown in each individual cell before transplanting them to a larger pot or a garden bed.

Transporting these seedlings from packs avoids having to untangle all the roots since each plant has its own space in a cell.

How many square feet does a flat of flowers cover?

The area that a flat of flowers covers depends on the number of plants or that it can yield and the spacing between each plant.

For example, a standard nursery flat that can hold six 6-packs of seedlings will cover an average area of 9 square feet. This is assuming that the spacing between them is an ideal 6-8 inches.

Similarly, you may also need to calculate the square footage of your planting space or area. The square footage here implies the total flat area occupied by the planting ground.

To calculate this, simply measure the width and length of the space, both in feet. Multiplying the two values will give you the square foot area which is expressed in square feet.

How much does a flat of flowers cost?

The average price of a typical nursery flat is $39.This price can vary depending on the brand, durability, and quality of the bottom grid.

For example, standard 1020s or Daisy flats that hold 18 4-inch pots will cost you around $40. However, several factors may contribute to raising or lowering this price tag regardless of the brand.

Durability is usually the primary component of a flat that contributes to raising its average price.

A heavy-duty 1020 tray can be labeled as $13.05 whereas the same tray in ‘Extra Heavy Duty’ is labeled $20.79. The price can even double to $41.55 if you were to purchase the ‘Mega Heavy-Duty’ edition.

Aside from sturdiness, two flats with identical measurements may also differ in price due to the quality of the drainage grid underneath.

The function of these square grids is to facilitate in water draining of the soil. This is crucial for the health of flowers that prefer well-drained soil such as Pansies and Periwinkles.

How far apart should flower beds be?

A general rule is to keep 12-18 inches of space in between flower beds, regardless of the plant species. However, it is advised to find out the preferred spacing for the specific plant or flower as it may differ.

Planting flowers close together gives an impression of a fuller garden in a short amount of time. However, this restricts air circulation among the plants which can be detrimental to the health of certain plants.

Flowers, such as Marigolds and Periwinkles, may become prone to fungal diseases very quickly for this reason, unless sufficient spacing is provided. For perennials on the taller side, wider spacing ranging from 18-24 inches is preferred for healthy growth.

On the flip side, certain flowering plants benefit from being grown in clusters. Pansies, for example, are advised to be planted with 6-8 inches of space in between.

Final thoughts

A standard nursery flat can therefore carry up to 50 starter plants according to the NGA. However, it may yield more plants if the seedlings are small and can be crowded. On the other hand, an identical flat may only be able to hold 24-26 plants if the saplings are large and require wider spacing.

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