The Q&A Archives: Mulching Around Newly Planted Ground Cover Roses

Question: I recently planted Monrovia ground cover roses, and I was wondering if I can put cedar mulch or pine bark mini nuggets around the plants for decoration, or will this inhibit the plants from spreading and allowing new growths to come up to the surface? Since each rose bush was planted 3 feet apart, I would like to make the garden look nice in between each plant.

Answer: Using a natural mulch such as those you mentioned would be a good idea. Apart from looks, the mulch will help the soil retain moisture and moderate its temperature and will help suppress weeds. It will also help feed the soil as it breaks down over time. It is suggested that you maintain a layer several inches thick year round. When you apply it, do not allow the mulch to actually touch the stems, leave several inches of air space for them.

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