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What Are the Best Cedar Mulches? 6 Great Options

wood chips mulch

For the last few years, gardeners and farmers have slowly but steadily embraced organic mulch instead of fertilizers. Cedar mulch is one type of mulch that has gained popularity in the recent past. This mulch is available in different forms and is obtained from the bark shreds of the cedar hardwood tree.

However, there are dozens of cedar mulch brands retailing in the market; frankly, not all are effective. The best cedar mulch should be tailored to your locality, obtained from a single cedar tree species, and have no chemical treatments.

In this article, we will highlight the best cedar mulch brands retailing in the market, their uses, and factors to consider before purchasing it.

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What Is Cedar Mulch?

Before we highlight some of the best cedar mulches available on the market today, it’s important that you first understand what cedar mulch is. Cedar mulch is simply mulch harvested from cedar trees growing in different parts of the world that experiences mild climates.

It is usually available in three different varieties:
  • Northern Cedar: Mulch extracted from this tree tends to have a stringy property and is light brown. It is mostly used on steep slopes for soil erosion control.
  • Western Red Cedar: This mulch has a stringy texture and is sometimes confused with the red-colored cypress species.
  • Eastern Cedar: Mulch extracted from this tree is also stringy in texture and dark brown. Its appearance also slightly resembles that of hardwood mulch.

Cedar mulch is a popular kind of covering among many gardeners because of several reasons:

  • It helps regulate soil temperature, increases plant longevity, and improves the aesthetics of your yard.
  • You can also use it to upgrade the look of your landscape with its orange hue, which is a nice contrast against the green foliage. This makes your plants stand out.
  • Cedar mulch is good for the environment because the hardwood tree is grown organically without fertilizer.
  • It is also an eco-friendly fertilizing option because cedar trees tend to overgrow and can be replanted once felled to maintain the tree’s population.
  • It is also a great alternative if you are the kind of person who seeks sustainability in their products.
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The 6 Best Cedar Mulches

1. 100% Natural Cedar Chips by Wood Smith USA

Natural Cedar

100% Natural Cedar Chips by Wood Smith USA is a popular mulching solution for indoor and outdoor applications. It is a high-quality mulch and offers more natural content than any other brand.

What differentiates the Natural Cedar Chips from other cedar mulch varieties is that it provides excellent ground cover without clinging together to allow the soil to breathe. Furthermore, it prevents evaporation, giving this mulch a dual functionality.

Whether used on your flowerbed or indoor plants, this mulch will transform your surroundings with vibrant natural looks. It also produces a woody smell loved by gardeners. Since it is 100% natural cedar mulch, it is safe to use near pets. You can even use it as kitty litter to absorb the bad order from your pets’ droppings. This makes it very eco-friendly as well.

Furthermore, when these natural cedar chips are applied to new plants, they help retain the soil’s moisture level. They also help protect young shoots from thirst shocks during the hot summer days. The mulch can even help repel harmful insects and pests from your yard.

  • Doesn’t compact together to allow the soil to breathe
  • Has a pleasant woody smell
  • Repels harmful pests and insects
  • Helps retain soil moisture content
  • Is not harmful to pets
  • Not a strong cedar scent

2. MIGHTY109 100% Natural Cedar Mulch


This type of cedar mulch is versatile in its applications. It is used for gardening, planting, landscaping, and more. It is a popular choice among many homeowners because it retails in a natural form. It is a 100% natural forest product that is extracted without using color additives or chemicals.

The MIGHTY109 100% Natural Cedar Mulch is recommended for use around trees. Since it is an organic mulch, it can also help increase soil nutrients as it slowly decomposes after application. Furthermore, it is not toxic to animals or pets, making it safe for use around pathways and walkways.

Like other mulching varieties, it is also used for temperature regulation and moisture retention. The mulch can also function as an insect repellent. It is a great mulch choice; however, you may have to pay extra for shipping costs.

  • Acts as an insect repellent
  • Made without the use of chemicals or dyes
  • It is made from 100% natural forest
  • Safer to use near pets and animals
  • Extra shipping costs make the mulch pricey

3. Cedar Mulch Granules

Cedar Mulch Granules

The Cedar Mulch Granules is also a popular and unique cedar mulch brand because it has insect-repelling properties. It repels bugs like flies, fleas, mosquitoes, and ants. However, it doesn’t deter moths, so you may have to use pesticides to get rid of them from your yard. Furthermore, the composition of this mulch allows it to protect your soil against bacteria and fungus attacks.

The Cedar Mulch Granules have good coverage, with an 8-pound bag capable of covering a 3,500-square-foot area. The granules that make this mulch do not compact together when in the bag. They are also easy to spread on the soil. However, you should be careful not to water this mulch. Once you do, the granules will compact, creating an airtight barrier that will consequently prevent soil nitrogen exchange.

The Cedar Mulch Granules are also safe to use around pets and animals. It releases a pleasant smell to the surrounding areas.

  • Has a pleasant smell
  • Not harmful to animals and pets
  • Easy to spread on the soil
  • Acts as an insect deterrent
  • Has good coverage per bag
  • Doesn’t deter moths from your plants
  • Compacts when exposed to water

4. Natural Cedar Bark Garden Mulch

Natural Cedar Bark Garden Mulch

This cedar mulch is popularly known for its water retention properties and wonderful smell. You can apply the mulch to your flower garden, and once it rains, you will appreciate its woody essence wafting in the air. It is suitable for use in large and small areas. Furthermore, it is even in its color profile and doesn’t fade over time like other cedar mulch varieties.

The Natural Cedar Bark Garden Mulch is also ideal for use in sloppy areas because its fibrous threads allow it to hold its ground when rainwater is wiping away everything from the soil. In this regard, this mulch also prevents soil erosion.

You can also use it to prevent weeds from taking over your yard. Just make sure it is placed at least three inches deep into the soil.

The mulch is very affordable and doesn’t feature any extra tax charges. Unfortunately, you cannot use it on acidic soil. It will increase the soil acidity and could potentially burn your garden plants. But, overall, it is a viable choice for your home garden.

  • Features a natural cedar color
  • Excellent choice for sloppy areas
  • It improves the soil’s nutrient content
  • Protects the soil in winter
  • High moisture retention capacity
  • Unsuitable for acidic soils

5. Timberline Cedar Mulch 2CF

Timberline Cedar Mulch 2CF

This cedar mulch from Oldcastle Lawn and Garden is a popular choice among gardeners due to its appealing look and freshness. Once you spread it in your flower beds, you can transform your yard with vibrant colors.

The only distinct difference between the Timberline Cedar mulch and other mulch varieties is that it’s made from shredded cedar. The small cedar pieces of this product combine to provide adequate cover for the soil. This way, it acts as a barrier against moisture, preventing it from evaporating during hot summer days.

Since it is shredded from a cedar tree, it can blend very well with your landscape colors, improving the aesthetic appeal of your landscaping projects. Overall, it is a great mulch choice, especially when working with small portions of your yard.

  • Gives a landscape a finished appearance and feel
  • Features all-natural ingredients, including the cedar tree
  • Can add a vibrance of color to your yard
  • Excellent ground cover
  • Moisture retention
  • Easy use for most landscaping projects
  • Weak cedar aroma

6. Cedarcide Granules Insect Repelling Cedar Mulch Granules

Cedarcide Granules Insect

This mulch type is made from cedar granules that are very easy to use. Simply scatter them around your patch, ensuring they are distributed evenly for effectiveness. Once placed on the ground, you need only spray water on top of them to anchor them to the ground and prevent mounding. The mulch produces a woody aroma and, when applied on a plant bed, deters mites, fleas, mosquitoes, and ants.

This mulch variety features cedarwood oil, which functions as a natural repellent to biting insects. Since it doesn’t contain chemicals, it is safe for your pets, yard, family, and the environment at large. It is also safe on the skin.

The Cedarcide Granules also have great coverage, with one bag (8 pounds) able to effectively treat up to a 3,500-square-foot plot of land. Also, the woody aroma given off by this mulch can help create a barrier around your property. You can reapply the mulch once every month or if you deem it necessary.

The mulch is suitable for use on trees, lawns, shrubbery, or any other outdoor space.

  • Safe for humans and pets
  • Made from natural cedar tree shavings
  • Produces a cedar aroma
  • Is eco friendly
  • Can repel a variety of harmful Insects
  • Powerful cedar smell that can irritate some people
  • Cats are sensitive to the cedar aroma

garden flower divider What to Look for in a Mulch


Organic and inorganic are the two main types of mulch. Organic mulch is made from natural materials such as compost, paper, wood, grass, and straws. These materials should be able to decompose over time. The materials that make organic mulch don’t necessarily have to be free from chemicals or pesticides, though some, like compost, are 100% natural.

Inorganic mulch is made from synthetic materials. Whether containing plastic weed cloth or rubber mulch, these materials don’t decompose and break down.

Image By: Jenny Johansson, Pixabay


The idea behind adding mulch to your plant bed is to create a barrier between the environment and the soil. The barrier can help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature, both of which are beneficial to the plant roots.

Furthermore, mulching can help prevent weeds from growing and taking over your yard. This is because the mulch prevents the weed shoots from getting enough sunlight exposure required for them to sprout and grow.

Pet Safety

Despite what different brands may say on their mulch packaging labels, not all mulch products are safe for pets and animals. For instance, cocoa bean mulch can easily kill your dogs because it contains theobromine and caffeine. These compounds can induce diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, and seizures in your furry friend. As a pet owner, avoid mulches that contain the two compounds. Instead, look for the pet-friendly mulch version made from materials that aren’t harmful to pets.

garden flower divider Conclusion

Mulch is an excellent organic addition to garden soil with various benefits such as nutrients, improved moisture retention, pest deterrent, and soil temperature regulation. However, before using cedar mulch in your garden, keep in mind that it is only suitable for specific scenarios. For instance, some cedar mulch varieties shouldn’t be used in overly wet areas, while some contain compounds that may be harmful to your pets. So, you should do some research to find one that suits your specific needs.

Fortunately for you, our cedar mulch reviews will provide you with the necessary information about their features, advantages, and disadvantages to help you make an informed purchase decision. It’s easier to decide between the myriad cedar mulch brands retailing in the market if you know your options and what to look for. We hope our six picks of the best cedar mulches will help alleviate your choice paralysis.

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Featured Image Credit: Olichel, Pixabay


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