The Q&A Archives: Mulching Around Plants

Question: I have two large areas of Hostas, Rhododendron, and Azaleas in my front yard. Do I mulch after the Hostas have come up or can I do it before? If I do it before, blocking the sun penetration, will they grow through the mulch?

And, after the season, in fall, do I have to remove all the mulch? Or, can I just leave it to decompose and cover with new mulch in Spring?

I guess, in a nutshell, my question is-- can I just lay the mulch out and watch the plants grow through?

Answer: You can mulch your perennials before, during, or after they come up. They will grow through the mulch. I usually wait until the plants a peeking through, then mulch around them.

In the fall, just leave it there to decompose as you suggest. You can add more to help protect them from winter frost, heaving, etc.

You're definitely on track to having a good garden. Keep up the good work!

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