There are different types of mulches and they provide various benefits to the garden.
Both organic and inorganic mulches insulate the soil, prevent weeds, and preserve moisture. But not both increase soil fertility and enhance the growth of plants.
Because perennials have a shallow root system and will have to find nutrients nearby, the best option is to use mulches that decompose quickly and provide nutrients to increase soil fertility.
This article provides a list of carefully selected mulches that are the best options for perennials.
Best Mulch for Perennials
Here are the best mulches you should consider using around perennials.
1 FibreDust CoCo Mulch
This is a dehydrated and compressed cocoa mulch that has been brilliantly packed for easy transportation. After the mulch is delivered to you, you have to soak it in water for some time to be able to use it effectively.
It is easy-to-use, long-lasting, and works great for landscape beds, pots, and raised beds. The mulch prevents weed and retains water even in hot regions. This makes it a very good fit for perennials. It stays put and doesn’t wash or blow away easily. This means that it’s a good mulching choice for slopes.
The mulch makes great protection for perennials like strawberries. It keeps them dry and doesn’t allow them to lay on the soil.
It is a versatile mulch that can also be used for other landscape purposes. The pleasant rust color gives it an added advantage. But note that this color darkens over time.
- It is long-lasting
- The mulch is good protection for perennials
- It is easy to use
- Water can easily pass through it without hassle
- The mulch retains water
- You have to soak it to expand before use
Related: Gorilla Hair Mulch Pros and Cons
2 SpongEase Coco Fiber Mulch
The SpongEase Coco Fiber Mulch is similar to the one listed above. It also comes dehydrated and has to be soaked before use. The mulch expands when soaked and you eventually get even more volume than the packed mulch.
A pack of this mulch covers approximately 4 square feet when spread 1-inch thick, and it covers approximately 2 square feet when spread 2-inch thick. The thickness you decide depends on what goal you aim to achieve. A thickness of 1-inch is enough to prevent the growth of weed. But if you want to conserve water, you should up the thickness to at least 2-inches.
This coco mulch is highly recommended if you want to mulch but you’re concerned about getting messy. It’s very easy and clean to use. And above all, it gets the job done as expected.
- With the mulch, you don’t have to worry about being messy
- It remains nice and fresh-looking
- It is great for small projects
- Not a great choice for seedlings
3 Blommer Cocoa Shell Mulch
Here’s a mulch that gives off a nice and pleasant smell; it is a lightweight mulch that smells like chocolate. It works well with potted plants and functions just as a mulch. You’ll have no issue using the mulch in areas with a dry climate.
As good as the mulch is, it has some downsides. The chocolate smell is an invitation to dogs to come and feed. You have to take precautions and keep your dog away from it if you have one. Another thing is that it has a tendency to grow molds, especially when used in a humid environment.
Overall, this is a good mulch that’s worth the money. It doesn’t float even though it is lightweight. And it lasts so long that you may not need to replace it for years.
- It gives off a pleasant chocolate smell at every watering
- It is lightweight
- The cocoa shell mulch lasts long
- It is rare and can’t be easily found in big box stores or regular gardening
- The mulch grows mold easily
4 PlantBest Mega Mulch
PlantBest Mega Mulch is a great protector against weeds and slugs. Using this mulch is a great idea for any gardener growing perennials like hosta, and is fighting against weeds and slugs. It is a heavy but easy-to-use mulch that’s often referred to as the miracle mulch because of its ‘miraculous’ performance.
Just like the mulches above, you also have to soak it for a while before use. You may choose to use a rake or something to mix it thoroughly so that the dry parts can quickly get in contact with water and hasten the process. This is just my suggestion, so you can use a better strategy.
- It’s a great mulch that smells nice
- The mulch is durable
- It keeps weeds and slugs away
- It is heavy
Related: Best Mulch for Wet Areas
5 Mulch Block
This is a tightly compressed and dehydrated mulch that lives up to expectations. You may decide to soak it all up at once or use a pitchfork to take out some parts. It is an organic mulch that’s safe for both you and your pet.
The nice-looking mulch comes with natural color. It holds up water very well and lasts long enough. You can confidently use it with your perennials without having to worry about replacing it after every short while.
You can use it as mulch for potted plants and also as ground covers. It’s an easy-to-use mulch that’s not often found in regular gardening.
- It is a long-lasting mulch
- It has a pleasing natural color
- You can install it with ease
- You’ll require several packs for big projects
6 Compost Mulch
Compost is also recommended as mulch for perennials. It has a lot of benefits to the soil and plants. Compost mulch constantly improves the soil by releasing nitrogen and carbon to it as it rains or as you water it. It is a good choice that eradicates the need for fertilizers.
For an effective result, you mulch normally using compost just as you’d mulch with the others. Apply a layer of 2 to 4 inches around your perennials to shade out sunlight and prevent weeds.
Overall, compost is also a good choice of mulch that will enhance the growth of your perennials.
Related: 10 Best Wholesale Mulch Suppliers
Benefits of Cocoa Shell Mulch
Cocoa shell mulch offers several benefits to perennials and plants in general. Below are a few benefits of using cocoa mulch.
1 It smells nice
Cocoa shell mulch is a nice material that gives off a pleasant chocolate aroma. This smell is often stronger after it rains or when you water your plant. The scent makes the environment conducive for as long as it lasts.
The scent from a fresh cocoa mulch can last up to a month before it wears off. You, however, have to be cautious if you have curious pets around as this could be an invitation to them. Chocolate is dangerous for dogs; eating this mulch could pose a risk to their health.
2 It is beautiful
The mulch has a brown rust color that’s pleasing to the eye. The color blends well with the soil to give a uniform appearance. The good thing about this natural brown is that it doesn’t fade off. It only gets darker after a while, which results in another unique beauty to behold.
Cocoa mulch is quite more eye-catching when compared with most mulch. This is one important feature that makes it a good choice for most gardeners.
3 It adds nutrient to the soil
Not only does cocoa shells give you the benefit of mulch, but it also provides nutrients that fertilize the soil. As the mulch decomposes over time, it releases nitrogen to the soil. This enriches the soil and in turn, enhances the growth of your plants.
Inorganic mulches like rubber mulch may only prevent weed and provide some other benefits but they don’t add nutrients to the soil like cocoa mulch. This is a great advantage cocoa mulch has over most types of mulches.
It is a highly recommended mulch for perennials because of the rate at which it decomposes.
4 It is easy to use
This is one of the easiest mulches to use. It doesn’t require a tedious process and you don’t have to get messy. The processed and dehydrated ones sold in portable packs are very light and easy to transport. Cocoa shell mulch is generally light.
The dehydrated ones only have to be soaked for some while before use. This will enable the mulch to expand and increase in volume. It lasts for a long time and won’t need to be replenished often.
Cocoa shell mulch is the choice of gardeners who don’t want to get messy and carry out tedious mulching tasks.
5 It invites friendly bacteria
Cocoa mulch invites friendly organisms like earthworms. These are organisms that positively contribute to the growth of plants. They aerate and provide nutrients to the soil. They do this by breaking down plant materials and converting them to soil rich in nutrients.
This is a natural process that greatly enhances the growth of the soil. You won’t have to worry about spending extra bucks on fertilizers anymore. This indirectly provides an economical advantage.
6 It prevents weed
The mulch is a great weed inhibitor. It hinders the growth of weed and allows you to weed less-often. Note that it may not completely eradicate weed but mitigates the growth. This is a good feature that every gardener loves.
The cocoa mulch materials bind together after you water it. This forms a barrier that stops weeds from showing up. In some cases where plenty of weed don’t grow too often, the mulch will completely prevent weed.
This article clearly shows that cocoa shell mulch and compost are the best mulch for perennials. Choose from any of the mulches listed above to give your perennials a treat and watch them grow healthy. The benefits of cocoa shell mulches outlined further helps you to decide the best mulch to use.