cypress vs. cedar mulch

Cypress Vs. Cedar Mulch: Which IS Better?

As a gardening hobbyist, mulch varieties aren’t a thing you want to miss out on. You want to compare different mulch types and scoop what’s the best in the line. Cypress and cedar are the most common mulches for many gardening or landscaping jobs.  

They’re both excellent materials for dressing your garden or landscape bed. Besides, they add high-quality anesthetics to the soil to improve the appearance of your garden. 

The difference between cypress and cedar mulches is minimal. For starting gardeners, telling which is better might be quite some job.

However, there’s no need to worry. In this article, you’ll learn the critical differences between cypress vs. cedar mulch and their advantages and disadvantages. You’ll also know which one is better for which job.

Cypress Vs. Cedar Mulch: Comparisons

There is a slight difference between cypress and cedar mulches. Cypress mulch comes in the form of shredded wood from cypress trees.

The trees that produce this mulch are mainly native to North America. They’re deciduous conifers – mainly bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) and pond cypress (Taxodium distichum var. nutans).

Naturally, cypress mulch splurges an attractive blonde color that beautifies the garden and beds. When applied to the soil, it offers maximum protection and insulation properties.

Moreover, the cypress mulch is a powerful weed suppressor. It covers the ground well hence reducing evaporation.

When it breaks down, cypress mulch increases soil fertility for the benefit of your flowers or trees.

On the other hand, cedar mulch is obtained from the environmentally friendly western red cedar or eastern red cedar or white cedar tree.

It’s available in different forms, such as chips, shreds, or shavings. Cedar mulch provides a strong fragrance in the compound. Besides, it stays longer before wasting away.

The mulch forms a solid cover on the soil, conserving moisture better while suppressing weed growth. Plus, the mulch adds nutrients to the plants when it decomposes.

When used on landscape and flower beds, it forms an elegant sight. And it’s a repellant against harmful insects and bugs in your garden or beds.

Both cypress and cedar mulches don’t keep moisture for long. They repel it quickly after absorption.

Is Cypress or Cedar Mulch Better?

The two mulches offer excellent cover properties for many landscaping projects. But there comes a time when you have to choose which is better between cypress and cedar mulch.

Generally, cedar mulch is better than cypress mulch in that it provides all the benefits you can expect from a high-quality mulch without causing too much acidity in the soil. However, cypress mulch significantly increases soil acidity, limiting plants that don’t thrive in acid soils.

Cedar mulch delivers excellent longevity. When applied in established landscape beds, it takes time before breaking down. The same applies to cypress mulch.

Cedar mulch may be expensive, but that doesn’t help the overharvested cypress forests. The cedar tree can easily be planted and grows fast – making it an environmental-friendly tree species.

Cypress forests are a natural habitat for wildlife. People have preferred cypress mulch for its cheap price, but there are not many cypress trees to produce more mulch in the near future. Why? Its population is rapidly declining. 

Considering this situation, it would be better to use cedar mulch than mulch from the much-threatened cypress.

Cedar Vs. Cypress Mulch as a Bug Repellant

Thanks to its aromatic properties, cedar mulch is an excellent insect repellant. So, if there’s an insect problem in your landscape projects, cedar mulch can help control it. The mulch is applied around the base of the plant to keep away these insects, particularly termites.

Mulch from the variety of cedar trees called Thuja plicata produces thujaplicin, a chemical that effectively inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungus. If harmful bacteria and fungi have been a problem in your garden, this mulch could be a godsend.

Be advised, however, that cedar mulch can also repel beneficial insects. So, know exactly when to apply the mulch to keep everything in its proper balance.

Cypress mulch, especially from immature trees, attracts termites. Unless you’re getting cypress mulch from older cypress trees, it’s not the kind of mulch you can use when your landscape beds are infested with termites.

Cedar mulch isn’t an ideal solution for your garden or landscape beds if you have a problem with fragrance allergies. You don’t want to keep sneezing and having skin irritations if you can have an alternative mulch.

Also Check: – Does Cypress Mulch Repel Bugs?

What Lasts Longer Cypress or Cedar Mulch?

Both cypress and cedar mulches are relatively durable. But, in general, cedar mulch lasts longer compared to cypress mulch. It takes much time, about 3-5 years, for cedar mulch to decompose. However, cypress mulch lasts for 2-3 years and breaks down.

Either way, the decomposition of both mulches depends on the prevailing weather conditions. If the effect of the weather elements like precipitation is too much, the decomposition period can reduce significantly.

So, it takes more time to replace cedar mulch than it would take for cypress mulch replacement. After breaking down, the added benefits of both mulches are straightforward – extra nutrients in the soil.

There’s always a bigger cost implication for mulch that’s replaced more frequently. Thankfully, cypress and cedar mulches don’t need to be replenished regularly.

Mulch loses color as it decomposes. Therefore, be sure to check for any change of appearance and replace accordingly.

When using these mulches for your gardening or landscaping solutions, understand that nutrient release into the soil is slow. If you wanted your trees or flowers to utilize these nutrients in the short term, it would be better to have faster decomposing mulch varieties.

Is Cypress Mulch Better Than Regular Mulch?

Regular mulch consists of hardwood tree bark, straw, hay, yard waste, leaves, and more. With the great popularity of cypress mulch, does it mean that cypress mulch is better than regular mulch?

Cypress mulch is no doubt better than regular mulch – it’s the first choice for many gardening enthusiasts. The fact that cypress is more durable than most regular mulches gives it the edge. It’s also lightweight and easy to work with, which isn’t the case for regular mulch.

Cypress mulch is cheaper than regular mulches. In addition, its longevity makes it a versatile option for flower beds, gardens, and landscape beds. With regular mulch, you can only have it best used for gardens and flower beds that require urgent nutrient supply.

The problem with cypress mulch where the regular mulch does better is the high acidity it causes to the soil. If you aren’t growing acid-loving plants, cypress mulch can be a real problem.

Regular mulch generally doesn’t add acid to the soil. In fact, when it breaks down to humus, it buffers the soil pH to a favorable standard in which different kinds of plants can flourish.

For people using cypress mulch, the tree population is dwindling. Yet, cypress forests are the natural habitat for many wild animals and birds. These trees also help clean pollutants from the air, leaving the environment clean.

There are only a few forests of cypress stand remaining. Therefore, to help preserve the environment and natural habitats, the use of cypress mulch isn’t encouraged. So, it would be safer to use regular mulch anytime.

Is Cypress The Same As Cedar Mulch? The Pros And Cons

To help verify which is better, and help you make a sober choice of the best mulch to use, let’s review the pros and cons of each type right next.

Pros of Cedar

  • Cedar mulch emits a strong fragrance that freshens your yard. The scent can also be essential to repelling harmful insects and bugs from your plants.
  • Cedar mulch forms long-lasting beds. This is because it takes a very long time to decompose. And when it decomposes, it releases nutrients into the soil for the benefit of plants.
  • Cedar mulch does a better job as a bug repellant. As mentioned, this mulch contains chemicals that act as a natural fungicide and pesticide. It suppresses bacterial and fungicidal growth as well keeping away harmful insects.
  • Cedar mulch improves the appearance of landscape beds and gardens. Cedar wood comes in varying colors that are extremely attractive. For instance, red and orange hue cedar makes your beds look very neat and appealing to the sight.
  • It prevents weeds from growing. Cedar mulch provides a solid insulation layer and the perfect cover that prevents weed growth.
  • It’s safe. It’s environmentally friendly mulch.

Cons of Cedar Mulch

  • Cedar mulch releases nutrients slowly
  • It’s an expensive mulch
  • It repels water making it unavailable for plants

What Is The Advantage Of Cypress Mulch? The Pros!

  • Cypress mulch gives your garden a pleasant appearance thanks to its colors and scent
  • Cypress mulch is durable as it takes a long time to decompose.
  • It effectively suppresses weed growth
  • It forms a great cover for soil insulation
  • When cypress mulch breaks down, it adds nutrients to the soil, nourishing plants.
  • It’s very affordable compared to cedar mulches.

Cons of Cypress Mulch

  • It increases the acidity of soil that some plants won’t love.
  • Cypress mulch isn’t an environmental-friendly mulching solution.
  • It takes a long period to break down to release nutrients.
  • It’s easily washed away by running water

Final Thoughts

By and large, the cedar vs. cypress mulch comparison is a straightforward one. Yet, there’s only a thin margin separating the two types of mulch.

Both are solid options for landscape beds and gardens. They offer an excellent cover that’s long-lasting.

However, it’s essential to appreciate the environmental impact created by the extensive usage of cypress mulch. If other options like cedar mulch are considered more, our environment will be safer.

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