Applying mulch in your garden brings about huge advantages: it reduces moisture loss, moderates soil temperature, and helps control the growth of weed. It also makes your garden looks more beautiful, especially when you have just trimmed the grass.
You should use mulch for your garden, but what’s the best mulch for flower beds to get?
Here are the best mulch for flower beds:
- Best Overall: National Cocoa Shell BLCH001
- Best for Roses: FibreDust CoCo Mulch
- Best for Orchids: Clear Pots Rexius Douglas Fir Bark
- Best for Weed Control: Pine Bark Mulch, 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch
- Best for Moisture-Retaining: Hull Farm 50150 Cocoa Bean Shell Mulch
- Best for Acid-Loving Flowers: USA Pine Straw
|6 Best Mulch For Flower Beds|
| National Cocoa Shell BLCH001|
Best for Roses
| FibreDust CoCo Mulch|
Best for Orchids
| Clear Pots Rexius Douglas Fir Bark|
Best for Weed Control
| Pine Bark Mulch, 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch|
Best for Moisture-Retaining
| Hull Farm 50150 Cocoa Bean Shell Mulch|
Best for Acid-Loving Flowers
| USA Pine Straw|
Best Overall: National Cocoa Shell BLCH001
- A nice smell – made of the outside shell of the cocoa bean
- Give flowerbeds a professional look – an attractive brown color
- Not bleach out under hot water or become soggy
- Does create a haven for pests
The National Cocoa Shell BLCH001 is always our go-to mulch every winter on our flowerbeds to protect them from the extreme weather.
Made up of the cocoa bean shell, it has an attractive brown color with a wonderful smell (like chocolate) whenever you water it.
Unlike other kinds of mulch, it doesn’t bleach out in the summer or become soggy when added to the landscaping. It keeps nutrients and water very well, and immediately gives the plants a professional look.
We’re also pleased that it doesn’t float despite its lightness.
|National Cocoa Shell BLCH001 Specifications|
the outside shell of the cocoa bean
2 cubic feet
Will not bleach out
The National Cocoa Shell BLCH001 has just everything we need for the best flowerbed mulch. Highly recommended!
Best for Roses: FibreDust CoCo Mulch
- Enhance rose roots to thrive healthily – made up of 100% coconut husk
- Add aesthetics to the landscaping – “rust”-like color
- A bit pricey
The reason why we suggest this product for roses but nothing else is its ingredient – 100% organic coconut husk. According to commercial flower growers, this kind of mulch boosts the rose roots to thrive happily.
Each 11-pound bag of FibreDust CoCo Mulch is enough to mulch 5 roses planted in 22.5” diameter whiskey barrels.
Although it’s a bit pricey, the coconut husk is very durable, which can last up to 2 years and also remain its beautiful rust-like color without bleaching out.
Besides, it is easy to handle and able to control weeds efficiently.
|FibreDust CoCo Mulch Specifications|
100% Coconut husk
2 cubic feet
“Rust” like color
Made of 100% coconut husk, the FibreDust CoCo Mulch is our highest scoring model for roses.
Best for Orchids: Clear Pots Rexius Douglas Fir Bark
- Ideal for orchid growing – no additives and high-quality douglas fir bark
- Add a decorative cover for flower pots – come with a nice brown color
- Not dry out too soon
- Not ideal for commercial orchid growers – small size
- A bit expensive
The ingredient of Clear Pots Rexius is Douglas Fir bark that had been heat-treated, sterilized, and chopped into small ½” size. Their main benefits are to provide better air ventilation to the plant roots and add a decorative cover for flower pots.
The best thing is 100% no additives to meet the highest standards of nowadays orchids growers.
Each bag weighs around 4 quarts, which is the right amount for hobbyists’ needs.
Unlike other counterparts, it doesn’t dry out too soon whereas it holds a little more water than pine bark.
|Clear Pots Rexius Douglas Fir Bark Specifications|
Heat treated and sterilized Douglas Fir
2 1/2 cu ft
No additives and high-quality douglas fir bark
With its great quality bark, appropriately small size, and no additives, the Clear Pots Rexius Douglas Fir Bark is our recommendation for orchids.
Best for Weed Control: Pine Bark Mulch, 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch
- Eliminate moisture effectively – high-quality pine bark is already fan dried before bagged
- Remove weeds effectively – keep their seeds from sprouting
- Able to be used indoors
- Not only ideal for small projects - Costly
This mulch bag is made up completely from natural pine barks that are already fan dried to eliminate moisture before bagging.
Pine mulch has multiple advantages, the most outstanding of which is to eliminate weeds by keeping their seeds from sprouting. When added to the soil, it decomposes gradually, provides humus to soil, and as a result, offering your flowerbeds a crumbly and loose texture.
For that reason, pine bark mulch is particularly good for gardening or covering the house plants.
Don’t worry, the product is very easy to pour and utilize indoors without messing up.
|Pine Bark Mulch, 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch Specifications|
100% fan dried pine mulch
100% All Natural Pine Bark Mulch
Made up of high-quality pine barks, this product is an effective mulch for weed prevention.
Best for Moisture-Retaining: Hull Farm 50150 Cocoa Bean Shell Mulch
- 100% plant-friendly and non-toxin – made up of cocoa shells with 2 ½ - 1 – 3 fertilizer value
- Good at conserving water and weed prevention
- Last long – slow breakdown
- Overpriced a bit
- Prone to get mold when used on the ground
- After the rain, it’s sticky
For those who don’t know, cocoa shells are a byproduct of processing cocoa beans so they’re definitely green in other words.
This mulch gives the flowerbed many benefits, such as weed prevention, plant protection, and the best thing is it conserves the water.
The best time to apply this mulch is during the spring or summer.
In each nearly 20-pound bag of Hull Farm 50150 mulch, the fertilizer value is approximately 2 ½ – 1 – 3, which is very plant-friendly. Unlike other low-end counterparts, this won’t burn your flowers.
|Hull Farm 50150 Cocoa Bean Shell Mulch Specifications|
Cocoa shell mulch
Made from the outer shell of the cocoa bean
Our testers aren't always on the same page, but it was easy for them to agree that Hull Farm 50150 is the best choice for water retaining.
Best for Acid-Loving Flowers: USA Pine Straw
- Ideal for acid-loving plants – ingredient of high-quality pine straw
- Give more coverage than the ordinary mulch – 210-square-foot coverage
- Affordable for the weight and quality
- Lightweight and simple to set up
- There is occasionally some long grass all through it
If you’re growing magnolias, mountain ash, dogwood, willow, oak, and any other acid-loving flowers, this is the best product for them.
Its ingredient is high-quality pine straw, known for decent lightness and ease of installation.
Compared to the ordinary mulch, it gives more coverage per square foot. In detail, this product is 50 pounds and it works well on a 210-square-foot area, especially slopes and hills.
Not to say that it’s cheaper than bark mulch by nearly .10 cents per square foot while being more beneficial and plentiful for acid-loving plants.
|USA Pine Straw Specifications|
210 Sq ft.
Excellent mulch material
If you’re looking for the best mulch for acid-loving plants, check out this bag.
How To Choose The Best Mulch For Flower Bed?
To find the best mulch, you need to first consider the soil conditions in your garden.
For example, vegetable plants usually perform poorly in wet, heavy soil. But as the season progresses, this type of soil will dry out, meaning you shouldn’t cover the soil with thick, moisture-retentive mulch.
Meanwhile, you should not cover sandy, dry soil with plastic mulch as it would prevent the roots from getting irrigation and rainwater.
The second important factor to consider is the weather.
If the area where you live is hot, you should go with plastic mulches, for example. Soil-cooling mulch like shredded straw or leaves is perfect for crops. Meanwhile, if you live in a cold and wet climate, such type of mulch will ruin your crops.
So, when choosing mulch, remember to take weather into account to pick the type of mulch that will help your plants grow, not kill them.
Type of Mulch
There are several types of mulch, and you should know the advantages and drawbacks of each of them.
Easy to use
Can’t be applied alongside weed killers or nitrogen-heavy fertilizer
Can turn slimy if applied too much at one time
Wood or back chips
Neat and attractive
Stays where it’s put
If applied too deeply or a deep layer can develop a bark-damaging rodent
Good for smothering weeds
Maintains moisture in the soil
Not very attractive
Can become a weed problem if containing seeds
Adds nutrients to the soil
Fresh compost and burn plants
Neat and tidy
Can act as a soil amendment
Repels water if dry
Gets crusty over time
Easy to apply
May harbor rodents
Easy to apply
May harbor rodents
May contain weed seeds
Gravel, stone, or pebbles
Looks nice and neat
Easy to apply
Maintains for long
Not require replenished
Weeds may sneak through
Useless for the soil
Holds moisture and warmth in the soil
Hard to water and feed plants
Difficult to apply without doing everything at a time
Not very attractive
Not wash away
Not attract insects
Can be costly
Can release contaminants into soil
Which Brands Make The Best Mulch For Flower Bed?
National Cocoa Shell
This is the largest cocoa shell distributor in the US. Cocoa shell, through a roasting process, is recycled to create an excellent mulch. While this has long been used with rose growers, cocoa shell mulch is good for your garden as a whole and flower beds.
This brand is specialized in making coco coir, which is commonly used for seedlings, clones, cuttings, and cultivations of plants. Coco coir can also make a great growing media due to its desirable qualities.
This is another brand focused on cocoa mulch and has been around for three decades. It offers cocoa bean shell mulch in big bags of 56 liters. You can find its products on Amazon as well as other websites.
If you have decided to apply straw mulch in your garden or flower beds, USA Pinestraw is definitely worth a try. It offers two types of pine straw: premium long (14 inches) and standard short (9 inches). The mulch is packaged in different sizes so you can choose the right amount for your garden.
Which type of mulch is best?
As we said previously, the best mulch depends on several factors, including the type of soil. However, some of the best types include:
Compost: made from the garden, kitchen scraps, or well-rotted animal manure.
Leaf mold: partially decomposed leaves
Salt hay or seaweed
Cocoa shells or buckwheat hulls
What is the best mulch to prevent weeds?
Organic mulches are the best to keep weeds at bay while providing nutrients for plants. But if the weed problem is more serious, you should use inorganic mulches like black plastic or newspaper.
Is mulch good for flower beds?
Yes, it is. Mulch is as good for flower beds as it is for plants. Mulch prevents weeds and protects the roots of your flowers, shields the soil, maintains moisture, helping keep flowers healthy.
What can I use in flower beds instead of mulch?
There are several alternatives to mulch.
Pumice rock: retains moisture, provides extra aeration for soil, prevent mold, fungi, and insects.
Newspaper, cardboard: shredded newspaper is cheap and eco-friendly.
Leaves: helps save money, makes plants healthy, and eco-friendly.
Pine straw: it’s more pleasant and a more homely-looking choice than leaves and grass clippings.
Landscape fabric: retains water while letting air through, but doesn’t provide nutrients and cannot sustains strong weather.
What is better for flower beds mulch or rocks?
While mulch decays over time and provides more nutrients for the soil, rocks don’t. That’s just one reason why mulch is better than rocks:
If there are tall trees in your garden, their leaves will fall and stick on rocks.
You need to apply a fabric weed barrier to prevent weeds from developing through the rocks.
Flowers can be healthy, but will not grow.
Mulch is good for plants and flowers. It provides an extra layer that not only makes your flower beds look more stunning but can also boost the plants’ health.
To choose the best mulch for flower beds for your garden, you should consider soil type, weather, and types of mulch. Hopefully, with the provided guide, it’s easier for you to find the right ones.