Common questions about colored mulch

Posted by ChromaScape on Jan 6, 2020 11:13:16 AM
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What is colored mulch?

Colored mulch is wood, often scrap wood or recycled wood product, that is dyed with iron oxide or carbon-based pigment to produce vibrant reds, browns, blacks or other unique colors. Colored mulch is safe, environmentally friendly and can provide a boost of color to any landscaping design.

How long does the color last?

The answer to this question depends on how the colored mulch was produced and the quality of mulch colorant used. Some low-quality colorant will fade and wash off quickly, maybe in days or a few months. But colored mulch made from Chromascape's premium Amerimulch colorant can easily retain its full, striking color for an entire season, if not longer. A season generally means from spring to fall.

Is colored mulch toxic?

Colored mulch made with colorant that contains environmentally safe and regulated materials are non-toxic and pose no health or safety risks to humans. ChromaScape only uses safe and environmentally friendly materials in our colorants, so homeowners and landscapers can handle colored mulch just as they would any other mulch product.

Is colored mulch safe for plants?

Yes, products made with Amerimulch colorants are safe for plants.  Mulch pigment dispersions are made from iron oxide and carbon, both of which are present in all soils to various degrees and pose no added risk to most plants. However, some plants are extremely sensitive to any changes in their environment. If your plants respond poorly to new mulch or you have concerns, consult with a landscaping or gardening professional. They will be able to identify plants that may be susceptible to change and can recommend proper environmental controls to help your garden thrive.

Is colored mulch safe for pets?

Yes. For the same reasons our colorants are safe for people, the Amerimulch colorant used to create colored mulch does not pose any risks for pets or other animals. However, certain kinds of wood can cause problems for dogs if ingested. So, you’ll still want to keep your pets from eating mulch as much as possible. 

Does the coloring stain sidewalks, driveways or clothes?

It’s possible, but there are easy precautions you can take. Amerimulch colorant is similar to a wood stain. When it dries, it bonds to the wood surface and is there for good. But until properly dried, the color can rub off and bond to whatever surface it dries on. So, before laying mulch that might still be wet on your driveway or sidewalk, it’s a good idea to lay down a tarp. You should also spray the driveway or sidewalk with water before and after dumping the mulch so that any color that does get on the surface has less chance to dry. Then, while the surface is still wet, use soap, water and a broom to brush away any remaining color.

Be aware that colored mulch made from the use of straight dry pigment or lower quality colorants will have zero drying and bonding ingredients.  These products will have a high tendency to wash off and stain.

How do I calculate how much mulch I need?

Typically, you want your mulch to be 2 to 3 inches deep (any deeper and you can have problems with fungi, mold and diseases affecting your plants). Mulch is most often sold by the cubic yard, which will provide between 12 and 18 square yards of surface coverage. Each square yard is nine square feet. So, measure the area you want to cover by multiplying (in feet) the length and width. Divide that by nine, and then divide that number by 12. That will tell you how many cubic yards of mulch you need to buy.


For any other questions, contact ChromaScape and our experienced professionals will be happy to provide the information you need.

Topics: mulch colorant, mulch beds, mulch calculation, mulch safety


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