Mulching for Houseplants
Mulching is a must for many outdoor plants, from trees to vegetables, to grow properly. As mulch — which may be made from materials like grass clippings, sawdust and pine needles — decomposes, it releases a wealth of nutrients into the soil. Mulch also protects roots from the sun and promotes water retention. Indoor plants can benefit from a layer of mulch in much the same way.
The Appeal of Mulch
Mulching is a simple, easy way to make plants look great while keeping them healthy. Curious pets can be kept at bay by covering houseplant soil with mulch, which serves as a protective barrier between paws and dirt. Wilting stems can be propped up by mulch, and it conserves soil moisture. Mulch shields the soil and roots of houseplants placed in bright spots from the sun.
Mulches for houseplants, unlike outside mulch, can be made from both natural and artificial substances. Using alternative items for mulch, like marbles, pecan shells or pebbles, is also an easy means of reusing and recycling. Mulches made from heavier materials, like pebbles, won’t blow away if the plant is placed by an open window. Nutrients like nitrogen release into soil as mulches made from natural materials, like a mix of wood chips and leaves, break down, acting as a form of plant food.
Watering a mulched houseplant requires a few extra steps. When mulch covers the soil, it’s easy to overwater plants. To avoid this problem, move mulch aside for a moment, exposing the soil so you don’t overdo it with the watering can. Make sure plants have proper drainage too. Containers with holes in the bottom allow extra water to run out, so it doesn’t become trapped and result in waterlogged roots. Use indoor pots with drainage holes and saucers underneath.
While mulching has many practical and aesthetic benefits for houseplants, it may cause more harm than good if not done properly. To avoid rot, do not pack mulch high around houseplant stems, particularly in the winter. Layers of mulch for houseplants should be fairly thin, allowing for proper air circulation and preventing plants from becoming overly humid and moist, which allows bacteria to thrive.Mulching for Houseplants. Mulching is a must for many outdoor plants, from trees to vegetables, to grow properly. As mulch — which may be made from materials like grass clippings, sawdust and pine needles — decomposes, it releases a wealth of nutrients into the soil. Mulch also protects roots from the sun and …
Mulch, it protects and decorates your flower beds
Mulch is a trendy product that protects, decorates and supports plant growth for all your plantations. A natural product, mulching is very beneficial to your plants and your garden, all the while reducing that most cumbersome of garden tasks: weeding!
Feel free to mulch, because more than just a decorative element, this also boasts nature-friendly and wallet-friendly benefits!
Mulch reproduces nature’s way of working: never should soil stay bare. Always keep it covered!
Advantages of mulching
Mulch is one of today’s most trendy products, and it isn’t only because it looks great!
- It is an excellent “weeding agent” because it hinders weed growth.
Thanks to the thick opaque layer that mulch forms on the soil surface, it prohibits weed seed germination and thus indirectly avoids the use of herbicides – all of which are chemical-based.
- It is an amazing protection against winter frost spells and freezing cold!
A layer barely 1 to 2 inches (3 to 4 cm) thick is enough to protect roots from freezing, especially for potted plants.
It will keep the root system in top form to burst with life in spring.
- All plant-based mulches are a 100% natural fertilizer!
As they slowly break down, they will enrich the soil with important nutrients that will boost your plantation’s development.
- In avoiding water evaporation on hot summer days, you will save on watering and lighten the burden on the environment, which is pretty critical as regards water in the summer season.
There are 2 major types of mulch
- First type of mulch:Mineral mulch
Mineral mulch makes for an orderly, controlled garden. The mulch is mineral in the sense that it comes from rocks, gravel or other hard materials. It’s easy to choose striking colors. The appearance of the garden bed or pot will stay constant as time goes by.
This includes all types of mulch derived from plants. Abundant and renewable, these mulches always make the soil richer and plant-friendly as time passes. It must be renewed yearly or every two years, since it naturally breaks down with time. It provides nutrients and reduces the need for fertilizer.
Although not mulch in the actual sense, green manure is one way to perform the same functions as mulch, but only for a season.
Among the most nutritious plant-based mulches is wood chip mulch, and more specifically ramial wood chips.
You can make these yourself with a chipper-shredder from hedge trimmings or shrub pruning waste.
- Coronavirus lockdown gardening tip: waste must be kept in your garden since eco-centers and landfills are closed.
To sum it up
Each type of mulch has specific advantages. Mineral mulch excels at keeping weeds away. Plant-based mulch releases nutrients as it breaks down.
Quantities differ for each as well. For example, mineral mulch will usually require only 1 to 2 inches (3 to 5 cm) of mulch to be effective, whereas for plant-based mulch, the more the merrier! It’s even possible to stack up to a foot (30 cm) of plant material if you’re starting a growing bed in poor soil!
You’ll have understood by now that mulching boasts many advantages, and is among those products that can easily replace others that don’t necessarily respect our planet.
Mulch attracts birds in your garden
Since mulch creates a favorable environment within the ecosystem, such animals as worms, larvae, and insects will be attracted to it.
Birds will then come to feed on those.
Mulching thus enriches your garden’s ecosystem, and gives our bird friends a great nutritious pantry, especially in winter.
Some plants are not comfortable with mulch
Some plants actually suffer from the excessive moisture levels that are provided for by mulch, so there are precautions to consider when deciding where to mulch.
Among these mulch-rejecting plants are Mediterranean-native plants, that can benefit from some mulch during summer, but only a thin layer. Succulents or rock plants, need dry soil, sometimes even arid.
Smart tip about mulch
If you only have small batches of mulch material, you can pack it around a few plants and create a patchwork in your garden beds!
Mulch on social media
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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Pine bark mulch landscape (also on social media) by Florentaise
Mulch for pots and containers by Florentaise
Coconut fiber mulch by Florentaise
Mulch with strawberry plant (also on social media) by Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois, own work