Cedar Mulch: May Harm Your Garden – The Surprising Truth

Cedar Mulch

Cedar mulch is great for retaining moisture, suppressing weeds, and adding an attractive touch to your garden beds. However, there have been some concerns raised about the potential harm that this type of mulch can cause to your plants. In this blog post, we’ll uncover the surprising truth behind mulch and its impact on your garden. So sit back, grab a cup of tea, and let’s explore together!

Introduction to Cedar Mulch

As any gardener knows, one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy garden is mulching. Mulch helps to suppress weeds, maintain moisture levels in the soil, and protect plants from extreme temperatures. There are many different types of mulch available on the market, but cedar mulch is a popular choice due to its attractive reddish-brown to black color and pleasant smell.

However, there is some debate over whether or not cedar can actually be harmful to your garden. Some experts believe that the chemicals released by cedar can be toxic to plants, while others contend that the benefits of using cedar outweigh any potential risks. So, what’s the truth?

Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of using cedar mulch in your garden:


  • Attractive appearance
  • Pleasant smell
  • Suppresses weeds
  • Helps retain moisture in the soil
  • Protects plants from extreme temperatures


  • May release toxins that can harm plants
  • Can be more expensive than other types of mulch
Benefits of Cedar Mulch

Mulching your garden with cedar can offer a number of benefits for your plants. As already mentioned, mulch can help to suppress weeds, retain moisture in the soil, and protect plants from extreme temperatures. Additionally,  natural or colored cedar can add a beautiful visual element to your garden.

Potential Downsides of Cedar Mulch

Mulch is an important part of any garden, but it’s important to choose the right type of mulch for your plants. Cedar  can be a great option for some gardens, but there are some potential downsides to using cedar that you should be aware of before making a decision.

Cedar is be acidic, which can be harmful to some plants. If you’re using cedar mulch in an area where you’re growing acid-loving plants, such as rhododendrons or azaleas, make sure to test the soil before adding the mulch to make sure the pH level is appropriate.

Cedar can also contain toxins that can be harmful to pets and children if they ingest it. If you have pets or children who play in your garden, consider using a different type of mulch.

Another potential downside of cedar mulch is that it doesn’t break down as quickly as other types of mulch, so it will need to be replaced more often. This can be a pro or a con depending on your preference – if you like the look of fresh mulch in your garden, then this won’t be an issue. However, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance option, cedar may not be the best choice.

Does Cedar Mulch Really Harm Gardens?

Cedar mulch is a type of mulch made from the bark of cedar trees. It is often used in gardens because it is attractive and has a pleasant smell. However, some gardeners worry that cedar can harm their plants.

THE GOOD NEWS? There is no evidence that cedar mulch harms gardens or plants! In fact, cedar mulch can be beneficial for plants because it helps to repel pests such as slugs, snails, and ticks.

Alternatives to Cedar Mulch for Gardening

There are many alternatives to cedar for you garden. Some of these include:

  • Bark chips: These are a great alternative to cedar and can be found at most garden centers.
  • Pine straw: Pine straw is another excellent alternative to cedar and can also be found at most garden centers.
  • Compost: Compost is a great alternative that can be made at home from kitchen scraps and yard waste.
  • Grass clippings: Grass clippings make a great alternative that can often be found for free from your local lawn care company.

In conclusion, cedar mulch can be a great addition to any garden. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and take steps to ensure that your plants are safe while using it. Cedar can harm your garden in some cases, but with proper care and maintenance, these risks can be minimized – allowing you to enjoy its many benefits for years to come. 

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