Can You Use Ericaceous Compost for Begonias?

Begonias are one of the most sought-after plants in horticulture. They are known for their beauty, lush foliage, and stunning, vibrant flowers they produce.

Begonias come in various species and groups, each offering unique beauty and characteristics.

The blooming season of begonias typically lasts for a long time, often extending from early summer to late summer.

It provides a continuous display of stunning blooms for garden enthusiasts.

The combination of rich foliage and colourful flowers makes begonias popular for gardens, patios, and indoor spaces.

Begonias are typically picky about the type of soil they grow in; most begonias will grow best in an acidic environment with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.0.

This can be easily achieved by incorporating ericaceous compost into the soil.

This type of compost is specially formulated to have a lower pH, making it ideal for begonias and other acid-loving plants.

Is Ericaceous Compost Appropriate for Begonias?

For optimal growth in begonias, maintain a slightly acidic soil pH range.

Ericaceous compost provides an ideal growing medium for begonias due to its acidic pH of 4.0 to 5.0 and ability to adjust soil pH.

Ericaceous compost is a good source of essential plant nutrients and can help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and fungi in the soil.

It helps retain moisture levels in the soil and reduces the growth of weeds, pests, and diseases.

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Process of Composting Begonias

  • To germinate begonia seeds, fill a potting tray or pot with a mixture of soil. Ensure the soil is well watered and drained.
  • Mix the seeds with sand in a ratio of 2 to 3 tablespoons to aid in even distribution. Lightly sprinkle the seed/sand mixture over the soil surface and gently tamp down.
  • Mist the seeds with water and place them in an area with adequate light but away from direct sunlight. Maintain moist soil conditions, avoiding saturation.
  • Once the plants reach 4 to 5 inches tall, transplant them into pots using the same soil mixture, with each pot having a size of 6 to 8 inches.
  • To cultivate Begonias, it is recommended to use a suitable compost mixture.
  • Plant the Begonias by placing the tubers or corms 6 to 8 inches apart, with the concave side facing upward.
  • Hanging baskets, containers, or flowerbeds will provide the plants ample space to grow.
  • To control weeds and retain moisture, a 1- to 2-inch layer of organic compost should be added to the soil surface of the plants grown outdoors.
  • It is important to safeguard begonias from low temperatures.
  • When the temperature drops below 55°F, begonias should be relocated indoors to be grown as attractive houseplants.

Alternatively, the tubers or corms can be dug up, carefully cleaned of the potting mixture, and stored in a flat cardboard box covered with a newspaper in a cool, dark place until ready for re-planting in the spring.

Which Type of Compost is Optimal for Begonias?

Well-aged oak leaf compost is widely considered the most suitable compost for growing begonias.

This compost provides the nutrients and soil structure that begonias need to thrive.

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It is made from decomposed oak leaves, naturally high in organic matter, and is prized for its good water retention and well-draining properties.

Using well-aged oak leaf compost in a potting mix with equal parts of sand can help promote growth in begonias and improve the plant’s overall health.

Which Soil Type is Beneficial for Begonias?

For optimal growth, begonias require a specific type of soil. Growing begonias in light, nutrient-rich, and well-draining soil are best.

This type of soil will provide the necessary conditions for the plants to thrive. It is important to note that begonias are susceptible to roots and stem when exposed to cold and wet soils.

Proper drainage is crucial for the survival and health of the plants. To ensure that the soil is well-drained, it may be necessary to add additional components, such as sand or perlite, to the soil mixture. Adequate drainage will help prevent water from accumulating around the roots and causing damage to the plants.

Is Sodium Bicarbonate Beneficial for Begonias?

Begonias can be susceptible to disease, such as powdery mildew.

To prevent this disease from affecting the plants, a simple solution can be made by mixing 1 spoon of baking soda with 3 drops of organic-insecticidal soap in warm water.

This solution should then be sprayed on the begonias every 10 days during the hot summer. In addition to disease prevention, it is important to properly care for the begonias by fertilizing them every two weeks using a water-soluble fertilizer.

This will give the plants the essential nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong.

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What is the Fertilization Requirement for Begonias?

Begonias are known for their high nutrient requirements, and for optimal bloom production, it is advisable to provide them with regular fertilizer applications.

A recommended practice is to feed the plants every two weeks using a high-nitrogen plant food with a 10-10-5 formula early in the growing season.

This fertilizer will give the plants the essential nutrients they need to develop healthy foliage and promote abundant flower production.

What is the Optimal Method for Watering Begonias?

Watering begonias from the bottom is a common practice among gardeners as it helps avoid root rot caused by excess moisture around the roots.

To water from the bottom, fill the container or tray with water and let the soil absorb through the drainage holes.

It is important not to let the plant soak for too long, only until the soil is moist again. This method of watering helps ensure that the plant’s roots receive adequate moisture while avoiding over-watering.

Avoid beach sand with salt. Choose a nutrient-rich, well-draining potting mix for begonias.

A popular choice among experienced growers is a mix of equal parts well-aged oak leaf compost and sand.


Ericaceous compost can provide significant benefits for the growth and health of begonias. Its slightly acidic pH range of 4.0 to 5.0 supports the plant’s requirement for an acidic soil environment.

The compost enriches the soil, providing essential nutrients, and improves soil structure, promoting better drainage and moisture retention.

Additionally, it helps control weeds, pests, and diseases, making it a valuable resource for begonia cultivation.

Using Ericaceous compost for begonias is recommended to ensure optimal growth and a lush, vibrant display.



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