What Kind of Soil is used for Begonias?

Begonias are the perfect choice of flowering plant for shady places with their massive appearance and vibrant flowers. The Begonias need less attention and care while growing if you keep the plant happy by choosing the right soil. With a little knowledge about the soil for the plant, you can buy or better make your own soil for the plant. 

 So, read thoroughly to learn more about the soil, and how to make your own soil for Begonias.


Also Read: What Type of Soil Is Used for Roses?

Types of Begonias

Begonias belong to the genus of perennial plants with more than 1500 species in the world. They are native to subtropical climates. These shrubs make the largest genera of flowering plants. Begonias can be grown indoors or outdoors depending on the variety of the plant. These shrubs make the largest genera of flowering plants. Let us discuss each type of plant:

  • Angel Wing Begonias – Angel Wing Begonias belong to the fibrous variety of begonia. They have leaves shaped like angel wings. They grow up to 10 feet tall. The leaf colour changes depending on the variety of the plant.
  • Wax Begonias – Wax Begonias belong to the bedding variety of begonia. They have leaves that look like waxed ones. They grow upto in 12 feet tall. The leaf colour is dark and waxy with flowering.

How to Test the Soil for Begonias?


If you want to grow Begonias, the first thing you should do is test your soil. Testing the soil at every stage of growth will make sure the soil is acidic enough for the plant. Starting from before planting a plant to the Flowering period, keeping a regular check on soil pH is a must. To do the soil pH test:

  • Litmus Paper Test– This traditional paper test is used to find if the soil is acidic or alkaline. Mix the water and soil in a container and dip the paper. If the Litmus paper turns red, then the soil is acidic. 
  • Digital Tester– The Digital Tester is used in the soil to find the soil pH. This electronic device is made of metal which also shows the mineral levels that are present in the soil.
  • Lab soil Test– Send your soil sample to a nearby soil lab or extension office to know about the soil. They also give more information to grow the plant along with the soil pH and contents in soil.

What is the Soil pH for Begonias?

The ideal soil pH for Begonias should be around 6.0 ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. Begonias plants like slightly acidic soil. If the soil is too alkaline, it may affect the plant. The plant won’t produce and grow well in alkaline soil. Add Compost in every season to the soil to maintain acidity in the soil.

pH stands for the potential of hydrogen and uses a chemical scale to identify the nature of the substance. Any soil with a pH higher than 7 is alkaline and less than 7 is acidic. Opt for a pH test to find the soil pH level. Begonias plants like slightly acidic soil. If the soil is too alkaline, it may affect the plant. The plant won’t produce and grow well in alkaline soil. Add Compost in every season to the soil to maintain acidity in the soil.

What Type of Soil is used for Begonias?


Begonias needs soil that holds moisture as well as nutrients, such as Sandy Loam soil. One should avoid succulent soil for Begonias in any situation as it does not have the right water retention for Begonias. Also, avoid peat soil as it breaks the plant with too much draining of water. Potting soil which is used for other plants can’t be directly used for Begonias. Special soilless potting mix with nutrients should be used for Begonias. Using soil that gives the right drainage, is loamy and aerated as well moisturized one is the best soil for Begonias.

How to Prepare Potting Soil for Begonias?

To prepare the potting soil for the Begonias plant, add Two parts of Organic matter such as peat moss, perlite, potting soil, coconut coir, and barks to One part of the Mineral matter. Depending on the clay in potting soil, add one or two parts of coarse sand to it. This sand will help to make better aeration.

The next part is adding perlite (volcanic rock) and peat moss or gravel or marbles to increase the drainage of the soil. Coconut coir and barks from wood are also added to improve drainage and aeration in the soil. Rather than adding potting soil directly for Begonias add the minerals and mend the soil to improve drainage and aeration which make the potting soil doable for the plant. 

How to make the soil acidic for Begonias?


To make the soil acidic for Begonias plants, use some acidifiers in the soil. Soil acidifiers should be applied one time per year. These are some of the natural acidifiers for your plant. Let us learn about some:

  • Acidic Fertilisers– Acid or acidic fertilizers will provide acidity directly to the soil. This is best used for half-grown plants which need a boost of acidity for healthy growth and fruit production. Acid fertilizers are sprayed around the soil and work very slowly in the plant.
  • Sulphur– Elemental sulphur is very effective in acidifying the soil naturally. This is one of the common treatments to acidify the soil for any type of plant. This slow-release and the long-term solution will keep the soil pH down right for the plant. The Sulphur is easy and safe to use but needs more caution in adding the right proportion to the soil.
  • Compost– Compost is made of waste from plants, fruits, vegetables, and yards. Using the microorganisms this waste will be broken down to provide nutrients to the soil. Compost provides all essential minerals and NPK to the soil. 
  • Mulch– The mulch is spread on the soil which contains both organic and inorganic materials. They contain leaves, lawn clipping, wood, and other such products. Mulch prevents weed growth in the soil and keeps moisture in the soil.
  • Tip: The right amount of NPK ratio is 10-10-10 for Begonia.

DIY Tips to make soil for Begonias at Home (Complete guide)

Soil for Begonia plants can be made by mixing potting soil or some minerals and organic matter. But for Begonias, it needs a soil-less mix. Begonias are very picky about their choices to grow with a very light mix with no compaction. So, making a Do-it-yourself soil is your best choice. To make your own DIY soil for your Begonia plant:

Tips to prepare

  • Collecting all the ingredients before making the soil.
  • Take time to mix the ingredients.
  • Learn other items like reading a pH tester, types of nutrients, and their uses.

Now you can start making the DIY with the below-given ingredients and follow up.


  • Gear up with gloves to avoid dirt from the soil.
  • Measuring cup or instrument to measure the ingredients.
  • Bucket or vessel to make space to mix the soil.
  • A small shovel/ Trowel to mix the soil.
  • Dust mark (must).


  • Potting soil– The potting mix with the soil makes the potting soil. Potting mix has peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and many others. 
  • Perlite– Perlite is formed from volcanic emission. They make the best aeration for the succulent soil.
  • Pumice– Formed from volcanoes when they erupted explosively. The liquid explosion is formed to pumice rock making the aeration for the soil.
  • Coconut Coir– The coconut fiber is an all-rounder made from coconut husk used for many purposes. They are used in soil to improve soil texture, drainage, and aeration.
  • Peat Moss is made of decomposed organic matter from peat bogs. For sandy soil, it helps to retain moisture for the plant.
  • Coarse sand– The sand is added to give a loose texture to the soil. The coarse sand is added to reduce the clay content in the soil.
  • Volcanic rocks– These are rocks from volcanic lava. The rock contains many minerals which help in plant growth.
  • Gravel– Gravel are rock fragments that are formed from the breakdown of rock. They are used in decorative and to provide aeration to the soil.
  • Pine or Orchid Bark – Pine bark is typically more acidic than fir bark, which can be beneficial for certain types of orchids.
  • Vermiculite – Vermiculite is a hydrous phyllosilicate mineral that undergoes significant expansion when heated.


My recipes for the best Begonias soil:

Mix 1

  • 2 Parts Organic matters of your choice
  • Perlite, Peat Moss, Coco Coir, and Potting soil
  • 1 Part Mineral matters of your choice
  • Sand, Stone

 Mix 2

  • Half Part Sand
  • Half-part peat-based compost
  • One Part Orchid Bark
  • One part Perlite


After collecting all the required ingredients and tools add the measured organic matter or potting soil to the bucket with the help of a trowel. Add one part minerals such as sand first and 1 part peat moss, coco coir and potting soil and mix it well so both are mixed. Add the required part of mineral and organic matter of your choice to the soil and mix it well to make the best soil for your Begonias plant.  Add an equal amount of sand to any soil if they have more clay content in the soil. 

Where to Buy Soil for Begonias?

Soil for Begonias can be bought in a commercial store or online. In stores, you can get opinions from expert people in the field to explain and give soil according to the plant. But the chances are there will be added chemical fertilizers in the soil. Online, you can make your choice based on the review, rating, and the right mix mentioned on the label. With whatever way of buying the soil, adding some soil conditioner will help for the betterment of the plant as well the soil.

Best Commercial to buy soil for Begonias



The miracle-gro indoor potting mix is best for any indoor plant. This light and drain-fast mix contain coconut coir, fertilizers, and other products. The product is certified by the mulch and soil council for the standard. Adding perlite and decoratives to the pot with this mix is required to grow the plants. Miracle-gro gives value-for-money products at a reasonable rate with premium quality. They also provide various other types of potting mixes, all-purpose soil, and fertilizers at affordable prices for the garden.

Fox Farm 


The Fox Farm organic potting soil is all natural ready to use a potting mix with worm casting. This product from Fox Farm is mentioned as ideal for seedlings and plants. The pH level in this soil is adjusted to make the most of the soil for the containers or potted plants. The soil is lightweight and well-aerated which makes it also suitable for all naturally mix grown plants. The nutrients in this soil make it perfect for both indoor and outdoor gardening. The soil is mixed to adjust the ph levels of the potted plants which helps in the growth of the Begonias plant healthier.


No Name of the product Quantity




1 Miracle-gro Indoor potting mix  24
2 Fox Farm organic potting soil  4 29

Can I use Cactus soil for Begonias?

Yes, You can use cactus soil to grow Begonias plants. Keeping a check on the sand in the soil will only make the difference. Cactus plants need sandy soil like Begonias plants. Often the term cactus and succulent are used indifferently. You may find labels in soil bags stating cactus and succulent soil. As the characteristics of both cactus and succulents are common, their need can be different from one another. Since this Begonia plant needs a similar soil, cactus soil can be used but for better results use cactus soil with loam nutrients in it to make the soil perfect for potted begonia.

Can Begonias grow in an Orchid mix?


Yes, Begonias can be grown in an Orchid mix. Orchid soil tends to have the right acidity, drainage, and porous which make it the best suitable for Begonias. Orchid mix or soil is best for the Begonias. Add some loam compost or vermiculite to make the soil best for a variety of plants. 

Tip: Water your begonias, every alternate day when grown outdoors. Indoor, water only when soil is dry. 

Selecting the Right Place and pot for Begonias

The right place to grow a Begonias is in Low to bright but indirect sun. Begonias prefer a shady place and are temperature tolerant as long as they have moist soil.

Picking the right pot is essential for every houseplant. The right pot for a Begonias plant is categorized with the size and material of the pot. 

The pot for the plant can be plastic, ceramic, or wood. But the best one for Begonias is ceramic because of its nature. This will help to keep the plant moist even at high temperatures.

The Size of the pot for Begonias can not be fixed. There is no perfect size pot for plants. But begonias prefer a smaller pot rather than other plants that ask for a pot that is two sizes bigger than the plant. But most of the Begonias prefer to grow in a smaller plant even though they grow moderately.

Potting and Repotting Begonias


Repotting a Begonias every two years once during summer will enrich the plant with nutrients in the new soil. Repotting can be done at certain times:

  • When the plant has outgrown the pot or container in which it grows.
  • When its plant is externally damaged due to any cause like animal accidents and many such.
  • Fungal or bacterial infection can damage the soil during such times there is a need to repot the Begonias.
  • Root rot is not a major problem and the plant can recover on its own. But at times, when it gets severe repotting should be done to save the plant and root.

Repotting should not be done in yellow leaves, dropping leaves, dryness, sunburn, and insect-invaded soil.

To report Begonias, selecting a container or pot regarding the size of the plant is the first step. The two factors which determine the pot size are Water requirement and growth space. Also it, 

  • Loosen the plant from the pot with a shovel and dug it out. 
  • Remove the soil rock and remove any debris from the root to add it to the new soil.
  • Place the plant in a new pot with ⅔ new soil and fill in the sides to make the plant straight.
  • Add water and potting mix to make up for the lost nutrients.

Pest problems in Growing Begonias

Some of the pests that are found in Begonias are Mealybugs, Spider mites, and aphids. The Begonias pest-affected leaves will show changes and signs. If they are leaf unnoticed, they may lose strength and die. The immediate remedy is to spray high pressured water in the plant as they wash off and then eliminate the infected leaf. Use an insecticide to remove the pests or natural neem oil. 

Signs that the Begonias is in the wrong soil


Every plant will show certain signs when the soil mix is wrong. Some of the symptoms that Begonias will show are:

  • Yellow leaf– The cause of yellow leaf is too much drainage in the soil. It also indicates the bacterial problem in soil.
  • Dry leaves– This sign is for the dehydration of plants. Providing enough water will solve this issue.
  •  Dropping leaf– This could be the reason the root is getting too much or little water. Keeping a check on soil texture will help prevent the problem.
  • Curling Leaves– This indicates that the plant is receiving too much sunlight. They need to be moved to a shadier place.


Begonias needs a soil mix that gives proper drainage and moisture retention for the plant. Giving the Begonias what it needs will reward you with peaceful blooms and greenery leaves. After reading this article, you will know how to make your own soil for your Begonias. Keep a constant check on the soil and plant to enjoy the plant for the years to come.


1. What is the lifespan of begonias?

The Lifespan of begonia is 2 years.

2. Do Begonias like coffee grounds?

Yes, they like coffee grounds as they act as fertilizer for the soil.