To Mulch Or Not To Mulch?
January 30, 2018
Protects & Enriches the Soil
Mulch works to protect plant roots from drying and weathering. Covering the soil surface with mulch will not only shield the plant from overexposure to the sun, depending on the mulch you choose, mulch can also enrich plant fertility by releasing an abundance of nutrients to the soil. Mulch materials that don’t compact will enable the nutrients to reach the roots easier than materials that do compact.
Promotes Water Retention
Mulch increases plant water retention by blocking the sun to minimize evaporation, conserve moisture and help the soil beneath stay cooler. Mulching your indoor plants will keep them hydrated and healthy longer.
Gives Plants a Clean Appealing Presentation
Mulching is the easiest way to make your plants look great while keeping them healthy. Mulching a plant can spruce up any room decor by covering soils and potting mixes, as well as prop up wilting stems. Not only will mulch enhance the appearance of your plants, it can also keep curious pets from digging up your favorite plants by serving as a protective barrier.
Types of Indoor Mulch
When mulching your houseplants, remember that typical outdoor mulch such as bark and rubber may be too heavy to use on indoor plants. Lightweight alternatives should be used in place. There are plenty of natural and synthetic options you can choose from.
Hemp: Hemp makes for an extremely versatile and beneficial mulching material. Hemp mulch, such as Hemp Mulch Pro™, provides your plants with optimal water retention and high performance protection against drying. Hemp does not compact, which allows for water and nutrients to reach plant roots easier. Hemp is a renewable mulching material that is naturally antibacterial, resistant to mold and decay and can be composted after use. Hemp mulch will give your houseplants a distinct natural finish while keeping them healthy.
Peat Moss: Peat moss is a lightweight non-compacting mulching material that will provide plants with high water retention and help aerate the soil to allow roots to get the proper amount of oxygen. However, moss is not an eco-friendly renewable resource and has relatively low nutrient levels. In addition, peat moss tends to change soil PH, making it more acidic, which may harm plants that prefer more of an alkaline soil.
Coconut: Coconut coir is a renewable alternative to use as indoor plant mulch. Coir, similar to hemp, helps the soil retain nutrients and moisture. The downside, coir is generally only available in large tightly compressed bricks for outdoor application. These bricks require soaking in water prior to use, resulting in the material molding easily. In addition, the large size of the bricks can be messy and not practical for many people who don’t have sufficient storage space.
Stones: Decorative stones, pebbles, and marbles make for attractive and clean presentation; however, stones do not provide plants with soil enrichment and water retention. Consider using stones as an addition with a natural renewable mulching material.