Bring The New Look Back To Cypress Mulch

Q: Thrifty people unite! I have used more than a handful of thrifty tips and have never been disappointed. Does anybody have a tip on how to bring that 'new look' back to cypress mulch? After a couple of Florida summers it goes from orange-like to a grayish. YUCK! Please only send proven tips as the foliage would be too expensive to replace.
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Thanks folks,

Jim in FL

A: Jim,

Without spraying potent plant-harmful chemicals (like stains or dyes) onto your mulch, I know of no ways to restore the color. Because all mulch made from natural materials breaks down over time and need replacing, you might want to consider replacing it with something that will hold its color longer.

I would recommend cocoa mulch. It comes in a beautiful rust brown color that turns darker brown with age and gives off the faint aroma of chocolate. After being watered, it forms a sort of mat that is wonderful for keeping in moisture, preventing weed growth and keeping pests like slugs and snails at bay. This type of mulch can be potentially harmful if ingested by dogs or cats, however (just as all "chocolate" products can be), so caution should be exercised if you have these pets.

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Other good mulch choices are melaleuca, eucalyptus, pine bark or pine needles. Florida cypress trees are currently being harvested at a faster rate than they can be grown and are no longer being recommended by many nurseries as a choice for mulch.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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August 12, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Jim- I don't know if this would work, but you might try spraying the mulch with deck stain in the cypress color. I would think that if you can spray a deck you can spray mulch, even though it might only color the top layer. Anyway, deck stain runs about $17 a gallon for the good stuff, which is a ton cheaper than buying new mulch! Good luck!

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August 15, 20050 found this helpful

I use to work in landscaping and we had to always add a new top layer of cypress every year. I live in Michigan and between the hot sun and snow the color just doesn't last.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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