mulch dye

Mulch Dye: How To Dye Your Mulch & Bring Your Beds Back To Life

My neighborhood is filled, and I mean filled, with all sorts of mulch beds. But it was all the same red mulch around the trees and brown mulch around the flower bed. I wanted to stand out, and stand out I did! I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg replacing my cedar mulch, so I found this awesome black mulch dye, and let me tell you, it is great! Mulch is a great way to beautify and protect your lawn. Mulch can also be used as a weed barrier, protecting the roots of your plants from disease and strong winds. It also helps regulate soil moisture levels and keeps soil temperatures cool in the summer months. If your mulch is dull or faded from the sun or  if you don't like the color of your mulch or want to change it up for fall, there are ways to dye your mulch!

How To Dye Mulch

What is Mulch Dye Made Of

Mulch dye is an effective way to add color to mulched flower beds, garden areas or paths. Mulch can be dyed in a variety of colors, allowing you to create unique patterns, designs and motifs. Dyeing mulch is fast and easy. Concoct your own custom blend using natural ingredients found at home or buy it ready-made from a local hardware store or most importantly from us! The dyes used in coloring wood mulch are primarily of two types: carbon-based dyes and iron oxide based dyes. 

Iron oxide, the most commonly used dye, is simply a compound of iron and oxygen. As the compound oxidizes, iron is released to the soil but is not considered to be toxic.

Carbon-based dyes are derived from ground bark, twigs and leaves of certain plants or other natural substances. Carbon-based dyes can make mulch look like many different colors depending on the plant used as the base for the dye. When using carbon-based dye, it's important to keep in mind that some plants yield only a temporary color while others will last for several months. Mulch made with carbon-based dye often has an earthy tone that works well with light colored mulches such as white cypress mulch or red cedar mulch. However, these same types of mulches turn dark brown when dyed using carbon-based methods so it may be best to use a darker mulch when dyeing with carbon-based methods. Carbon-based dyes often include ingredients such as cayenne pepper, green tea or curry powder to add a kick of color and some warmth to the mixture. 

Iron oxide is a milder but permanent dye for wood mulch. Iron oxide can be found in nature in mineral deposits and has been used since ancient times to dye fabrics red or brown, depending on how it was processed.

mulch dye

 In modern times, iron oxide is commonly used in everything from bathroom tile grout to food coloring. In wood mulch, iron oxide provides a mahogany color that stands out from the other colors in the bed without being too bright or overpowering. It also lasts much longer than other types of dyes, often lasting several years without fading or changing color. Iron oxide dye is the easiest to prepare at home and requires only powdered iron (ferrous sulfate) and an acid like vinegar or lemon juice.

 Simply mix in dry ingredients, stirring until you get the deep brown color desired, then add water to create a liquid dye mixture that can be brushed onto mulch. You can find mulch dye in any number of colors through big-box stores or smaller garden centers in your community. Just make sure to follow application directions when using store-bought products; some are intended for use only on shrubs while others may not be suitable for all plants. If you prefer to experiment with your own natural ingredients, consider using brewed teas or exotic spices to add some pizzazz to your mulched flower beds.

What Tools Do I Need to Apply Mulch Dye

Luckily you don’t need much to apply this product. All that’s needed is a sprayer (whether it be a backpack, hose end, or a pump sprayer), water and dye! Simply Mix with water to your desired color tint and apply with a pump sprayer, backpack sprayer, or hose sprayer. Take care not to spray on concrete, stone, or other permanent structures as it will stain. Clean with Citrus Cleaner when necessary.

Does Mulch Dye Work


Last But Definitely Not Least! 

We hope that this article has helped you learn how to dye your mulch, and the color combinations are endless! Give it a try today. Mulch is an easy way to add curb appeal in half the time for less money than other options like sod or flowers. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy colorful landscaping without spending all of your hard-earned cash on professional services. If you have any questions about our process feel free to reach out at any time so we can chat more about what type of colors would work best for your space. Our experts are happy to walk through each step with you one by one until you get everything just right!