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An important condition for the successful cultivation of any indoor plant is the correct choice of soil in which it will grow and develop.
You can prepare an earthen mixture for begonias yourself, or you can purchase a special ready-made substrate in the store.
What should be considered when selecting components for a mixture? How exactly to cook it? Is it worth buying a finished product or is it better to cook it yourself?
Which companies should you pay attention to? You will find the answer to these and other questions in this article on the selection of soil for begonia.
Earthen mixture is a nutrient medium for the plant's root system., so it must meet all of its micronutrient needs. Each flower requires its own soil composition, depending on the characteristics of its growth and development. Only in a suitable soil, containing all the nutrients, is it possible to healthy formation of strong roots that nourish the rest of the plant. When selecting the soil, be sure to pay attention to the acidity indicators, correlating them with the numbers necessary for begonias.
Recipes for preparing the earth differ depending on the type of begonias: for ever-flowering, royal, tuber and root begonias, different substrates are prepared with the addition of exactly those chemicals that are needed for a particular variety. For example, some substances cause active budding and prolonged flowering, while others provoke the growth of a lush green mass.
If you choose the wrong soil, you can disrupt the whole process of healthy development of the flower and significantly impair the decorative qualities of the plant. For this reason, soil designed for flowering varieties is completely unsuitable for decorative deciduous begonias.
What kind of land is needed?
Begonia has a weak root system, which is sensitive to excessive soil moisture. The plant feels comfortable in loose soil enriched with nutrients. The soil must be breathable and permeable. The optimum pH is between 6.1 and 7.5.
When composing the substrate yourself, it must be borne in mind that there should be no tannins in the leafy ground, which are contained in willow and oak leaves. Heavy clay soils are not suitable for growing begonias.
It is imperative to use drainage, which is placed on the bottom of the pot before laying the soil layer.
Experienced gardeners often prepare the ground themselves.considering all the needs of begonias. Despite the fact that the recipes for preparing soil for different species differ, almost all lists of ingredients contain leaf and sod soil, humus and peat.
Special additives such as perlite, vermiculite and river sand will help to make the soil loose. The soil becomes moisture and air permeable by adding sphagnum moss and coconut fiber. They regulate the acidity level by adding humus, peat and lime.
For germination of begonia tubers, the soil is prepared from equal shares of sphagnum moss, leafy earth and perlite. To root the cuttings of a plant during cuttings, river sand and crushed peat are mixed. Royal begonia thrives in an earthy mix, consisting of one part of sod land, two parts of leafy land, two parts of peat and the same amount of humus.
For growing tuberous begonias, a substrate is prepared from two parts of leafy land, river sand and one part of sod land. Evergreen begonia grows well in peat, leafy soil, humus and river sand, mixed in a 1: 2: 1: 1 ratio.
Buying soil makes the task easier, since you do not have to spend a lot of effort on obtaining components for self-preparation.
Basically, the store substrate contains low peat mixed with mineral additives. Such soil is suitable for growing many plants, but using it implies an increase in the number of irrigations, since moisture evaporates much faster from clean peat.
All nutrients are easily and quickly washed out of the substrate, so begonia growing in purchased soil needs frequent feeding.
Finding a suitable substrate in the store is easy: the packaging will indicate in large letters that it is suitable for begonias.
- Popular substrates from the company "Garden of Miracles"... The soil consists of high quality peat mixed with river sand and agroperlite. Biohumus and mineral fertilizers are used as nutritional supplements. For a package of 2.5 liters, you will have to pay 30 rubles.
- Firm "The world of soils" produces soils composed of high and low peat, chalk, dolomite flour, sand and vermiculite.
- Company "Respect" sells substrates for begonias with a complex fertilizer called Sapropel, which consists of peat, sawdust, river sand and organic additives.
- Soil produced by the company "Vermion", is made from peat, gravel and vermicompost. One package containing 2 liters of earth costs about 27 rubles.
Advantages and disadvantages of self-made soil
Preparing the soil at home is not so difficult, especially if there is a forest or field nearby. Self-mixed soil has its own pros and cons.
- you can prepare the soil that fully meets the requirements of begonia;
- self-preparation gives confidence in the quality of the components used;
- an opportunity to save the family budget.
- the soil from the forest can contain weeds, pests, worms and infections that will cause the development of diseases;
- waste of time collecting components.
Step-by-step instructions for making a mixture at home
First you need to collect all the components of the future earthen mixture.
- Leafy soil is taken in forests, parks or under a growing tree, paying attention to the variety of trees (avoiding willows and oaks). To prepare the soil, an illuminated area under the tree is chosen, from which the top layer of leaves fallen in the last leaf fall is removed.
- The exposed soil layer is collected in a container.
- Sod land is taken from meadows and clearings, which are located at a considerable distance from industrial facilities. This type of land is called "mole", so the ideal option is to harvest the soil directly from the mound of the animal's burrow. If it was not possible to find the mole's hole, the earth is collected from a well-lit area overgrown with small grass, removing a layer of turf ten to fifteen centimeters.
- Compost or humus is replaced with nutritious soil from the garden or prepared independently, bearing in mind that humus makes the soil more acidic and contains a large amount of nutrients.
Important! The collected soil must be passed through a sieve to get rid of large fragments and pests.
- When everything is assembled, start mixing, measuring the exact amount of each component.
- The resulting earthen mixture is thoroughly mixed in a large container.
Preparing the land for planting an indoor flower
The soil collected in the forest, in the field or in the meadow must be disinfected.to get rid of pathogenic bacteria and kill live microorganisms trapped in the soil. Together with the earth, you can take with you worms, beetles and other pests, which will begin to feast on the root system. It is also recommended to disinfect a ready-made potting soil mixture bought in a store in order to neutralize the earth one hundred percent. Several methods of disinfection are known:
- Calcining in an oven at a temperature of one hundred degrees. The soil is spread on a baking sheet in a layer of five centimeters, the oven is heated, after which the baking sheet is placed there for thirty minutes.
- Freezing in the freezer. The soil is wrapped in a cloth bag and placed in the refrigerator for five days, after which it is returned to a warm place for a week. This is done in order to "wake up" the eggs of the parasites. The cold exposure is repeated by placing the earth back in the refrigerator.
- Warming up in a microwave oven.
- Spilling with boiling water.
- Warming up in a water bath for one and a half hours. A bucket of water is placed on the fire, over which a grate is placed. Earth, wrapped in cloth, is placed on the lattice.
The disinfected soil must be cooled, after which you can safely start using the land. Drainage must be poured at the bottom of the pot to prevent moisture stagnation and root rot. A layer of prepared substrate is laid on top of the drainage, after which begonias are planted.
In order to successfully grow begonia, you need not only to be able to choose the right soil, but also to know all the nuances of the propagation of this plant, including leaves and seeds.
A weak root system of a flower requires careful treatment, therefore, it is necessary to choose an optimal soil for the plant in which it will actively grow and delight with flowers or decorative leaves.