6 Best Mulch For Flower Beds of 2020

Last update: Oct 24, 2020

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 you can buy in 2020:

  • 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
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

              Best Overall: National Cocoa Shell BLCH001

              National Cocoa Shell BLCH001
              National Cocoa Shell BLCH001
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • 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
              Cons
              • 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

              Package Size

              22.6 pounds

              Ingredients

              the outside shell of the cocoa bean

              Coverage

              2 cubic feet

              Highlight Features

              Will not bleach out
              An attractive brown color
              Made up of the outside shell of the cocoa bean

              Verdict

              The National Cocoa Shell BLCH001 has just everything we need for the best flowerbed mulch. Highly recommended!

              Best for Roses: FibreDust CoCo Mulch

              FibreDust CoCo Mulch
              FibreDust CoCo Mulch
              9Outstanding
              Pros
              • Enhance rose roots to thrive healthily – made up of 100% coconut husk
              • Add aesthetics to the landscaping – “rust”-like color
              Cons
              • 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

              Package Size

              11 Pounds

              Ingredients

              100% Coconut husk

              Coverage

              2 cubic feet

              Highlight Features

              "Rust" like color
              100% Coconut husk

              Verdict

              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

              Clear Pots Rexius Douglas Fir Bark
              Clear Pots Rexius Douglas Fir Bark
              8.8Great
              Pros
              • 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
              Cons
              • 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

              Package Size

              4 quarts

              Ingredients

              Heat treated and sterilized Douglas Fir

              Coverage

              2 1/2 cu ft

              Highlight Features

              No additives and high-quality douglas fir bark

              Verdict

              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

              Pine Bark Mulch, 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch
              Pine Bark Mulch, 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch
              8.6Great
              Pros
              • 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
              Cons
              • 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

              Package Size

              4qt

              Ingredients

              100% fan dried pine mulch

              Highlight Features

              100% All Natural Pine Bark Mulch

              Verdict

              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

              Hull Farm 50150 Cocoa Bean Shell Mulch
              Hull Farm 50150 Cocoa Bean Shell Mulch
              8Good
              Pros
              • 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
              Cons
              • 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

              Package Size

              19.96 pounds

              Ingredients

              Cocoa shell mulch

              Coverage

              2-Cubic Feet

              Highlight Features

              Made from the outer shell of the cocoa bean
              Fertilizer value of 2.5-1-3

              Verdict

              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

              USA Pine Straw
              USA Pine Straw
              8.4Good
              Pros
              • 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
              Cons
              • 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

              Package Size

              50 pounds

              Ingredients

              Pine Straw

              Coverage

              210 Sq ft.

              Highlight Features

              Excellent mulch material
              Covers approximately 210 sqft

              Verdict

              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?

              Soil Type

              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.

              Weather

              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.

              Type

              Advantages

              Drawbacks

              Grass clippings

              Cheap

              Readily available

              Easy to use

              Decays quickly

              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

              Decays slowly

              Fairly acidic

              If applied too deeply or a deep layer can develop a bark-damaging rodent

              Decaying leaves

              Good for smothering weeds

              Maintains moisture in the soil

              Not very attractive

              Can become a weed problem if containing seeds

              Compost

              Inexpensive

              Adds nutrients to the soil

              Develop weeds

              Fresh compost and burn plants

              Peat moss

              Neat and tidy

              Can act as a soil amendment

              Costly

              Repels water if dry

              Gets crusty over time

              Straw

              Cheap

              Easy to apply

              Too lightweight

              May harbor rodents

              Not attractive

              Hay

              Cheap

              Easy to apply

              May harbor rodents

              Not attractive

              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

              Plastic

              Avoids weeds

              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

              Shredded rubber

              Not wash away

              Not attract insects

              Can be costly

              Highly flammable

              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.

              FibreDust

              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.

              Hull Farm

              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.

              USA Pinestraw

              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.

              FAQs

              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.

              • Shredded leaves

              • 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.

              Conclusion

              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.


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