We simply love mulch. It definitely feels a little bit weird to actually mention that, but we have lots of mulch and we want to share some of our experience and expertise.
Just to give you a quick example, last summer we planted plenty of flowers in pots to put around our house. We added mulch to each pot to ensure they grow fast and strong. And the results were astonishing.
The flowers look great, and our cats love them too as they play around the pots. So do you want the same results? If, so read on. Below, we put together a quick guide on mulch for pots and summarized 6 of the top mulch products you can use for your pots.
6 Best Mulches For Containers Reviews
Below are the 6 best types of mulch for potted plants you can find on the market.
- #1. Window Garden Fiber Mulch For Potted Plants – Best Overall
- #2. Orchiata New Zealand Pinus Radiata Bark – Best For Orchids
- #3. Organic Vermiculite Mulch For Potted Plants – Best Vermiculite
- #4. Mosser Lee Spanish Moss Mulch – Best For Soil Moisture
- #5. Pillowganic Rice Hulls For Potted Plants – Best Organic
- #6. The EZ-Straw Seeding Mulch – Best Mulch for Beginners
#1. Window Garden Fiber Mulch For Potted Plants – Best Overall
The Window Garden Fiber Mulch is pretty amazing and in our opinion is the best mulch for potted plants.
It is incredibly easy to install and layout, as it comes in a compact form and expands with water. So you don’t have to deal with moving around bulky bags of mulch. Next, it has amazing weed and temperature control and definitely augments and enriches your soil more so than other brands.
It is fairly affordable and comes from fresh quality newly harvested coconut husks and fiber. In short, it will do wonders for your potted plants.
So, if you are thinking about getting the best mulch for potted plants, we think that the Window Garden Fiber Mulch is without a doubt one of your best options out there.
A window garden is a form of organic agriculture that uses the window sill as a planter to grow vegetables and herbs. The plants are not in soil but in a water and plant food solution.
The vegetables and herbs that can be grown this way are lettuce, parsley, chives, tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, and blueberries. Herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, and mint can also be grown.
- Fast growing
- Easy growing
- Plants live longer
- Can be used by beginners and professionals
- Low in nutrients so you need to add a fertilizer
#2. Orchiata New Zealand Pinus Radiata Bark Wood Chips – Best For Orchids
Pinus radiata bark mulch is a popular choice for gardeners because it is affordable, easy to find, and has a variety of uses. Orchiata brand bark mulch is made from 100% New Zealand pine bark and is available in both bagged and bulk form.
It is an excellent choice for suppressing weed growth, retaining moisture in the soil by reducing evaporation, and adding organic topsoil matter to the garden.
That’s why it is our next recommendation. The Orchiata New Zealand Pinus Radiata Bark is one of the best mulch for potted plants for growing orchids. We find it amazing for all potted plants and think that others agree.
The idea behind these New Zealand Pinus Radiata barks is that they are stable and hard when compared to other species of pine. It allows this mulch to hold more water and also to provide your plant with more nutrients they need by preserving them from the elements.
We really like the fact that these chips come in different sizes as well so you can choose the size you like as you see fit. Additionally, it is nice to know that this mulch can last and doesn’t need repotting.
So all in all, people like the Orchiata mulch for its excellent high quality, stability, as well as being environmentally friendly toxin-free profile that lasts longer than others.
It is worth noting that bark from the New Zealand pine, Pinus radiata, has been used as traditional medicine by the Māori people of New Zealand for centuries. In recent years, scientific research has begun to explore the potential health benefits of this bark. This is an aside information, but there are preliminary results that suggest that Orchiata bark may help improve blood sugar control and reduce inflammation. More research is needed to determine the full extent of Orchiata’s potential health benefits on human beings, but there are a number of food additives you can buy out there with Orchiata.
- Very long-lasting
- Promote healthier roots
- Comes in different sizes
- High quality
- Great for Orchids
- Does not hold moisture as well as other products
#3. Organic Vermiculite Mulch Around Plants – Best Vermiculite
Organic vermiculite mulch is a great way to improve the soil texture in potted plants. It helps to retain moisture and nutrients, while also providing aeration.
Unlike traditional mulches, vermiculite does not break down over time, so it can be used multiple times.
So this is why this Vermiculite is another really great product for those looking for the best mulch for potted plants. This is an amazing soil additive and reacts with soil to release essential ingredients.
It is pretty much specifically designed for potted plants and containers that don’t have any drain holes. This mulch is designed to make plenty of space for roots to grow out.
Also, since this mulch has a lot of porosity, it allows the extra water to drain away from the roots. And believe us, this is definitely a game-changer as other mulches tend to make your soil too hydrated.
One of the other standout features is that it does a really good job of not breaking down and will certainly last longer than most other brands and soil additives.
- Can absorb 3 to 4 times its weight in water
- Highly durable
- Safe for organic gardening
- Takes a long time to dry out
- If the plant does not like being wet for a long time, then vermiculite should be avoided
#4. Mosser Lee Spanish Moss Mulch – Best For Soil Moisture
It has a light, spongy texture and is often used as a top dressing for gardens and flower beds. Spanish moss mulch is also good for suppressing weeds, retaining moisture, and adding organic matter to the soil.
While Spanish Moss is one of those products that we don’t usually think of in terms of mulching potted plants, many people swear by it and we are definitely on board here.
Normally, people use Spanish moss as a nice decorative item, and can pretty much last forever as it has been dried out and processed. Also, the strands can be easily pulled apart.
We actually find that this moss is pretty amazing at keeping pests and other bugs out as well as keeping your soil properly covered so it stays moist and full of nutrients.
It is very safe to use in any plant pot and non-toxic so also safe for children and pets. And if it doesn’t work for you as a mulch, it is always a nice decorative item.
- Easy to use
- Moss may contain leaves and sticks
#5. Pillowganic Rice Hulls For Indoor Plants – Best Organic Mulch
Rice hulls are a great alternative to perlite or vermiculite because they are renewable, biodegradable, and non-toxic. They also help to improve drainage and aeration in potting soils.
That’s why we recommend the Pillowganic Rice Hulls, which you mix with soil and it does a great job of breaking up hard clay soil. This is a nice alternative to the Vermiculite we mentioned above.
Many people like this because it pretty much improves drainage as well as root development. Needless to say, it also improves soil moisture so you get to water it less often.
While it is not the best looking out of all the mulches out there, it is certainly more effective than many other brands, including some that we talked about before.
But then again, some people may actually like how it looks. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the value here as you definitely get a whole lot of it for cheap.
- Can increase the water retention
- Increase nutrient holding capacity of soil
- Improve soil aggregation
- Enhance porosity and infiltration
- Needs to be mixed with fertilizer for better results
#6. The EZ-Straw Seeding Mulch – Best Mulch for Beginners
It turned out that this EZStraw Seeding Mulch is the best for beginners. It’s an organic mulch that’s processed and packaged to make mulching and seeding as easy as possible. It comes in a bag that contains a 2.5 cubic foot bale. It has definitely been made for easy handling.
When you open a bag, the role goes on and on and on. By the way, this is not like getting a bag of ordinary straws. It covers an area of approximately 500 square feet.
If you had some environmental concerns, then rethink these since the mulch biodegrades. As it is environmentally friendly, it is unnecessary for you to clear the mulch after your plant is fully grown. That’s what we like about this mulch as it decomposes easily, unlike plastic mulch.
By the way, the mulch has a tack bonding feature, that makes the seeds adhere to each other, leading to accelerated germination and requiring less watering (it reduces water evaporation by about 50%). It guarantees 99% weed-free.
- Easiest mulch made of straw to delicately improve your plant roots and your pot soil’s moisture
- Processed straw is incredibly easy to apply. Just unroll and apply about 1.5 to a max of 3 inches of mulch.
- Its tackifier properties improve the germination and growth of your seeds.
- Comes with a UV-resistance plastic bag so that you can store your bag outside
- The mulch decomposes through time and is biodegradable.
- Help control soil temperature
- It could provoke problems with weeds as these will also feed from the mulch (though this seldom happens).
Final Verdict On The Types of Mulches For Potted Plants
It is important to choose the best mulch for potted plants in order to protect them and keep them healthy.
If you prefer a natural look, the Spanish moss or EZ-straw both make a great mulch. Note that the EZ-Starw is also a really good mulch for planting seeds. You may want to consider this mulch if you are about to plant your flowers. What we like about the Straw is that you can put it in your pot to decompose and the mulch will release some fertilizer to help your plant grow.
The Orchiata New Zealand Pinus Radiata Bark is excellent if you want to bring some style to your pots with weed suppression and water retention. The color and the finishing will be great.
By the way, in some cases, it may be necessary to use more than one type of mulch in order to achieve the desired results. For instance, you can use the EZ-straw for planting your seeds. When the plant or flowers grows, you can use the Orchiata Bark to give the top of the soil a nice and trendy looking.
What To Consider Before Mulching Potted Plants – A Quick Buying Guide
Mulch is an important part of any gardening plan, and it’s especially important for plant containers (or plants planted in containers). There are a few things to consider when choosing the best mulch for your plants.
- Choose a material that is suitable for the climate and location. Do you use organic or inorganic mulch? Is it a hot, or cold climate? Do you need a mulch that protects your plant’s roots from the sun?
- Do you need a mulch for outdoor plants? Or do you want to apply mulch to potted plants that are installed inside your home?
- Think about how much coverage you need. How many pots do you need mulch for? How much mulch do you need per pot?
- Consider the durability of the material. Do you want mulch that is also fertilizer and decompose quickly? Or a mulch that does not decompose (like stones).
- Be sure to read the instructions provided with the mulch. That may sound trivial, but you won’t believe how many people do not read these.
The above is quite a lot of questions that need answers. And then you have to decide among the thousands of mulch types.
A must-watch video on mulches
Here is a nice video for some outdoor gardening with mulch. Our friend from Self-Sufficient Me clearly illustrates how to use mulch around your garden. Just apply the same ideas. He also shows what are the different types of mulches so that you get a good feel of what to expect.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Why mulching potted plants for water retention?
When it comes to gardening, there are a lot of different techniques and strategies that you can use in order to get the most out of your plants. One question that often comes up is whether or not potted plants should be mulched.
In general, the answer is yes – mulching your potted plants can help them to grow better and look nicer.
There are a few reasons why you might want to mulch your potted plants. For one, mulching can help to keep the soil in the pot moist (as a water retention solution), which is important for plants that don’t have a lot of room to spread their roots.
Mulching also helps to protect the plants from extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, and it can keep weeds from growing in the pot. Lastly, mulching can make your potted plants look nicer by adding a layer of color or texture to the soil.
Can I put mulch in the bottom of my planter as nutrients in the soil?
We all agree that mulching is a great way to protect plants from the elements and add some color to your garden. But can you put mulch in the bottom of your planter?
The answer is yes, you can put mulch in the bottom of your planter. However, you should make sure that the type of mulch you use is appropriate for the planter.
For example, if your planter is made out of plastic, you should use lightweight mulch like pine needles or straw. If your planter is made out of clay or terracotta, you can use a heavier mulch like compost or leaves.
The depth of the mulch will depend on the type of mulch you are using.
What is a good layer of mulch for potted plants?
Mulching your potted plants is a great way to conserve water, protect the soil from erosion, and keep the potting soil cool. When mulching your potted plants, you should use a layer of mulch that is about two to three inches thick (absolute maximum). You can either use organic or inorganic mulch materials for your potted plants.
If you are using an organic mulch material, such as bark chips or straw, make sure that the material is compostable and will decompose over time. If you are using an inorganic mulch material, such as gravel or stones, make sure that the material has good permeability so that water will reach the plants.
Will organic mulch decompose quickly in potted plants?
When using mulch in potted plants, it is important to use a type that will decompose quickly. Shredded bark is a good choice for organic mulch because it decomposes quickly. There are also many types of inorganic mulches that can be used in potted plants. These do not decompose, so best to stay away from them if you want some of the nutrients in the organic mulch to slowly transfer to your plants.
Do pine needles decompose quickly?
When you are potting a plant, it is important to use a type of mulch that will not decompose fast. Though we did not add pine needles in our choices, they do make an excellent choice for this purpose. They, however, will not decompose quickly and can be used in the winter. In addition, pine needles provide a good drain for pots, which is important when you are potting plants.
Do I need to water more often your plants after mulching?
Mulching is an easy way to add organic matter and help retain soil moisture, but it’s important not to overdo it. A thick layer of mulch can prevent water from reaching the plant’s roots, causing them to dry out. It’s usually best to apply a thin layer of mulch (1-2 inches) and then water the plants properly so they have proper drainage. If you’re using dried leaves as mulch, make sure to keep an eye on the plants and water them if they start to look dry.
When should you apply mulch to potted plants?
In order to keep your potted plants healthy, you should apply mulch at least twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. Mulching in the summer is not recommended unless it is absolutely necessary, as it can overheat your plants if applied wrongly.
How close to the plant base shall I lay my mulch?
When it comes to mulching potted plants, there is some debate over how close to the base the mulch should be applied. Some people say to leave a few inches between the mulch and the plant, while others recommend applying the mulch right up against the base of the plant. There are pros and cons to both methods.
We prefer to lay mulch inches away from the base to reduce the risk of fungus and the risk of rotting the trunk.
Mulching your plants helps keep the soil cool and moist. It also helps create a healthy environment for your plants by suppressing weed growth and retaining moisture. If you apply mulch too far away from the base of the plant, it can wash away in heavy rains or windstorms. On the other hand, if you apply mulch too close to the base of the plant, it can cause root rot and other problems.
What are the benefits of pot window gardening?
The main benefits of mulching potted plants or window gardening are psychological and self-esteem.
What I mean by this is that working with plants and flowers increases your psychological state and improves your self-esteem. The reason is that even working on little potted plants and flowers can bring a great sense of achievement when they are green or flowering.
Second, indoor plants are an easy way to get started in organic gardening. There is no weeding or tilling required; the plants are close to the kitchen so they are easy to access, and the plants get plenty of sunlight.
Third, this could be the only option you have if you do not have a garden. And it works.
That’s why we feel that this window garden fiber will help you in developing pure quality and very affordable container gardening inside your home or apartment.
This stuff is made of a unique blend of coconut husks and fiber, which gives it quite porous and lightweight. It easily covers the soil of your potted plants without weighing it down.
The result is just way better hydration and temperature control as well as superior weed control and reduced compaction of potting soil.
So this also greatly reduces the amount of watering that you have to do. It is nice to know that this mulch comes in a small compressed form but expands to 5 quarts once you hydrate it with water. Definitely worth the hassle if you order in bulk.