Natural mulch is a great way to keep your roses healthy and beautiful. However, it is difficult to decide which mulch to choose from the hundreds of mulches available on the marketplace. This is why we researched, tested, and reviewed the 5 Best Mulch For Roses to help narrow down your selection. These are described further below.
Note that pine bark is our top choice. However, we also describe PlantBest Mega Mulch, which is made of crushed cocoa beans. It is a great option if you want a natural-looking mulch that retains moisture well. Hull Farm Cocoa Bean Shell Mulch is another great option if you want something that is both natural and smells good.
5 Best Mulch for Roses Reviews in 2023
When it comes to mulching roses, there are many different types of mulch to choose from. Organic mulches such as homemade compost, bark chips, and Coco are a great choice because they not only provide nutrients to the soil but also help to retain moisture. Inorganic mulches such as gravel or landscape fabric can also be used, but they don’t provide the same level of nutrients or moisture retention.
In general, the best mulch for roses is one that is organic and has a high level of nitrogen. Mulches that fit this description include compost, aged manure (horse manure – see further down), and green waste, all of which are good for roses. These mulches will help to improve the soil quality and keep the roses healthy. Inorganic mulches can also be used, but they don’t usually have as much of a positive impact on the soil. Here are our selected five organic and nourishing mulches.
#1. 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch For Roses
When it comes to the best mulch for roses, we highly recommend that you try out the 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch For Roses.
This mulch gives your soil and roses plenty of love and care.
It is great at regulating temperature, retaining soil water, and preventing weeds from growing.
You can get a pretty good deal on this as well so we think it is a pretty good bargain.
So, look no further than our 8qt bag of pine bark mulch.
This mulch is perfect for use in gardening projects, as well as in terrariums.
It’s easy to use and helps keep plants healthy and looking great.
So, for those who are interested in the best mulch for roses, we highly recommend that you try out the CountryMax Natural Hardwood Mulch For Roses.
This is one of the top brands in the industry. Most people really like this mulch because it is made of shredded hard pine wood and is an all-natural mulch that is incredibly long-lasting and decomposed slowly over time.
What it does best is retain plenty of moisture and make sure that there are no weeds growing around in the soil, which can certainly be a serious weed killer.
Additionally, it is just nice to know that this stuff really is shredded and there are definitely no large chunks of wood in here, making it much easier to spread evenly.
- Retaining moisture
- Regulate soil temperature
- Aerate the soil
- Provide a winter protection
- Suppress weeds
- Looks good
- Not a substitute for a fertilizer
#2. Hull Farm Cocoa Bean Shell Mulch For Roses
If you are looking for a wholly organic mulching material, Hull Farm Cocoa Bean Shell Mulch is a great option.
This mulch has an approximate fertilizer value of 2.5-1-3, meaning it will not burn vegetation (or your cherished rose plant as the concentration of fertilizer is not too high – it is just perfect).
In addition to its nutrient value, cocoa shell mulch is also very effective at suppressing weeds and retaining moisture in the soil.
This is why the Hull Farm Cocoa Bean Shell Mulch is the best mulch for roses if you want a mulch that will slowly break down in the soil and not just disappear into the soil immediately.
Out of all of the mulches that we have tested out, we like this one for longevity as it decomposes really slowly.
It is also pretty much maintenance-free, while with other brands you have to replenish the mulch quite often.
Again, I want to bring this mulch’s hidden characteristics. These cocoa bean shells have an appropriate fertilizer value of 2.5-1-3 that does a really good job of retaining proper temperature during extreme cold and heat.
Basically, it provides a unique way to balance between hot and cold weather conditions while the Rose plant does not suffer.
By the way, this mulch is great for roses and increases yield, and can certainly be used for other types of vegetation and flowers around your garden as well.
- Good water retention
- Weed suppression
- Improves soil texture
- Does not strip nitrogen
- May smell like chocolate
- A bit expensive
- Toxic to dogs
#3. PlantBest Mega Mulch For Roses
Another really nice option when it comes to the best mulch for roses is the PlantBest Mega Mulch which is made of 100% premium coconut fiber and a colored chunk blend.
We like it because it comes nice and compact so it doesn’t take up too much space. All you need to do is to add some water and watch it expand in just under 5 minutes.
So if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly and long-lasting ground cover, look no further than Mega Miracle Mulch.
This all-natural beautifying mulch is made of great fiber and lasts up to 2 years. It also retards weed growth and reduces watering. Mega Mulch is safe for use around flowers (roses), shrubs, and vegetable gardens.
It goes without saying that this stuff does a wonderful job of making sure weeds don’t grow and it also prevents things like soil erosion. It retains water pretty well so less watering for you.
Overall, we think that it is just really easy to use and like that it is nice and compact. It prevents slugs and all sorts of bugs from eating away at your roses and just looks nice in your garden.
- Bulk solution
- Good water retention
- Weed suppression
- Improves soil texture
- Does not strip nitrogen
- Toxic to dogs
#4. Harris Coconut Coir Pith Mulch Block For Roses
When it comes to growing healthy plants, you need to start with healthy roots.
Harris Coconut Coir Pith can help with that by providing a steady flow of nutrients to your plants.
It also helps to retain moisture, which is important in preventing your plants from drying out.
In fact, Harris Coconut Coir Pith can absorb up to 10x of its weight in water.
This makes it an excellent additive for soil and potting mixes, as well as an ideal material for creating your own homemade mix.
In essence, we’ve always liked the Harris Mulch Block and think that it is very comparable to the PlantBest Mega Mulch mentioned above.
As said, it is also made of coconut husks. When it is delivered to your door, it weighs in at just 9 pounds and is nice and compact. But when you fill it with water, it expands to 2 cubic feet of mulch, which is more than enough for your roses.
We really like the Element Mulch Block because it provides better water retention than traditional bark.
Also, it greatly helps reduce temperature and moisture fluctuations. Overall, we certainly approve of the quality and it is a must-have for those who want to greatly increase the yield of your roses.
- Environmentally friendly alternative
- Control the temperature of rose beds
- Conserve water and retain soil moisture
- Easy to use
- Not expensive
- May contain some salt
#5. Scotts Organic Bark Mulch For Roses
Scotts Organic Bark Mulch is an excellent choice for organic gardeners.
The mulch can be used to produce nice organic roses and is made of 100% bark. And guess what, the bark is rich in nitrogen, which plants and flowers love.
This Mulch does help to retain moisture in the soil, which is essential for roses.
This is why we chose the Scotts Organic Bark Mulch For Roses. I can’t stop saying this: “it is just a great all-purpose ground cover mulch that dresses up garden beds and roses”.
While it is a little expensive, we really just like the fact that it really helps retain and improve soil moisture content better than most of the others in the industry.
Besides insulating soil, it also helps aid root growth and prevents nasty bugs and critters from attacking your precious rose buds and roots.
Scotts has a proven formula that definitely works and we can fully stand behind it. They are a huge company with excellent quality control, so rest assured you are getting nothing but amazing quality.
- Provide a protective layer for rose roots
- Keeps the soil moist
- Easy to use
- Can be used for most plants
- Not expensive
- Need to be replenished often
It is evident that there are many different types of mulch that can be used for roses. Each type of mulch has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to choose the one that is best suited for the individual garden.
The pine bark mulch is our favorite choice for roses. But cocoa bean shell mulch, PlantBest Mega Mulch, Harris Mulch Block, and Scotts Organic Bark Mulch are also good choices. Our advice is to look at the color and the type of terrain you have. If you have a dry terrain, then go for the cocoa bean shell mulch as it retains a huge amount of water.
Note that, in this article, we have not spoken about grass clipping because these may have herbicides, which could kill your rose plants.
The magical recipe for healthy roses – Buyer’s Guide
Here is a simple recipe for success that will literally transform the rose plants in your garden. So, when it comes to taking care of rose plants, water, mulch, and fertilizer are the magical recipe for success.
1. Water your roses
Roses need at least 1 inch of water per week, whether it be from rainfall or irrigation. If your roses are in containers, they will need to be watered a little more frequently. Be sure to check the soil before watering to avoid overwatering.
2. Fertilize roses
Fertilize your roses regularly with an all-purpose fertilizer, following the package directions. For best results, apply fertilizer early in the season before new growth begins. Note that it is best to fertilize your plant first and then apply mulch.
3. Use the Best mulch for roses
Mulch helps to conserve moisture, keeps roots cool, and suppresses weeds. Apply a 3-inch layer (absolute maximum of 4 inches) of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or compost, around the base of each bush.
Applying balanced water, fertilizers like garden compost, and mulch will help keep roses healthy and looking their best.
What are the two main types of mulches to use for roses?
Mulch is a layer of material that is spread over your soil. Its main purpose is to protect your soil from erosion, help retain moisture, and keep the ground cooler. There are two main types of mulches that you can use for your roses:
- Nourishing mulch (also called organic)
- Protective decorative mulch (also known as non-organic)
1. Organic mulch
Organic mulches, such as bark chips or compost, release nutrients into the soil as they decompose. That is why an organic type of mulch is also called nourishing mulch. This type of mulch is highly beneficial for roses, as they are heavy feeders and require a lot of nutrients to thrive. In addition, organic mulches help to improve the structure of the soil, making it more aerated and easier for roots to penetrate.
2. Inorganic mulch
Non-organic (inorganic) mulches, such as gravel mulch or stones (some are called Colorado rose stones), do not release nutrients into the soil. That is why they are called protective decorative mulch. Their main purpose is to decorate your garden. However, don’t get us wrong on this. Decorative mulches are effective at suppressing weeds and keeping the ground cooler. In hot climates, rose bushes benefit from the extra heat protection that non-organic mulches provide.
Both organic and inorganic mulches have their advantages and disadvantages. So, it is important to choose the right type of mulch for your particular roses, based on your climate and the needs of the plants.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
What are roses?
A rose is a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over three hundred species and tens of thousands of cultivars. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing, or trailing, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colors ranging from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa.
Species, cultivars, and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and often are fragrant. Roses have acquired cultural significance in many societies. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach seven meters in height. Different species hybridize easily, and this has been used in the development of a wide range of garden roses.
The majority of garden roses are propagated from cuttings and will form a bush. A few types, such as Hybrid Tea and Grandiflora, are commonly grafted onto understock. Rose growers use a number of techniques to propagate roses, including taking softwood, semi-hardwood, or hardwood cuttings, root cuttings, layering, and suckering.
How and When to Mulch Roses?
Mulching is an important part of rose care, and you should do this in the spring (early is best, but it all depends on your local weather conditions). A layer of mulch around the base of the plant helps to keep the roots cool, moist and also helps to prevent weeds from growing. A thick layer of mulch (about 3 to 4 inches maximum) should be applied around the base of the plant. You need to take care not to cover the crown/stem of the plant. Be sure to remove any old mulch before applying new mulch (if at all possible).
Is pine bark type of mulch good for roses?
New gardeners often ask if pine bark or wood chip are good mulch for roses. The answer is both yes and no. Pine bark is definitely the best organic matter to add on top of your soil. Too little of this mulch is not good, and too much too. So applying the right layer of mulch is critical. Mulching roses with pine bark need about a 2 to 4-inch layer. Then you should be fine. It is best to use fresh mulch around roses in the springtime.
Is Horse composted manure good for enriching poor soil for roses?
Manure is often used as a natural fertilizer for plants. It is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are essential for plant growth. There are many different types of manure, but horse manure is a popular choice for roses.
Horse manure can be used as mulch for roses or it can be composted and used as a soil amendment. When fresh, horse manure is high in nitrogen and should only be applied to the soil in small amounts. It can be composted with other organic materials to create a balanced fertilizer that is lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorus and potassium.
Note that horse manure can cause problems if used in high quantities. So always use this manure in moderate quantities.
Are Egg Shells Nutrient Good for Roses?
Eggshells are a great addition to your rose garden. They make an excellent mulch around the base of your roses, and they also help to keep the soil pH balanced. Basically, Eggshells are a great source of calcium. 100 grams of eggshells contain 2000-2100 mg of calcium. That’s about 20% of the recommended daily intake (don’t eat them – this is just to give you a measure). In addition, eggshells are a good source of other minerals including magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous. They also contain small amounts of zinc, copper, and selenium. All of these minerals are beneficial for the health of your rose plants.