How to Decorate with Rubber Mulch


Rubber mulch is an attractive option for gardeners looking to liven up their landscapes without using chemically-colored wood mulch. Rubber mulch is extremely durable, prevents erosion, and is odorless. It can be used to add color to areas of the garden that are difficult to design, or as the base of an outdoor play area for your children. Or, it can be used just as natural mulch is used: to stifle weed growth and retain moisture in the soil.

Step 1

Plan how you want to use the rubber mulch to decorate your landscape. Mulch can circle trees, edge driveways, or even create a border between the foundation of your house and the yard.

Step 2

Choose the color and size of the mulch. Large pieces last longer, but small pieces look more natural. Select bright colors to liven up dark and shady areas of your yard, and dark colors to set off light-colored plants and foliage.

Step 3

Prepare the area for decorating. Remove any large rocks or plant debris, and smooth out the soil with a rake.

Step 4

Lay down a piece of solid weed blocking material over the soil. Then, spread the mulch on top of it. This will help the mulch last longer and keep it looking neat.

Step 5

Clean out the mulch occasionally, removing spent plants or other debris. Rubber mulch, unlike wood, will not float away in a heavy rain or break down easily, so you probably won't have to replace it annually unless you want to change the look of your landscape.

Tips and Warnings

  • Rubber mulch burns more quickly, and hotter, than wood mulch, and ignites faster as well. Recycled rubber may also contain high levels of zinc, which can be absorbed by any plants in contact with the rubber, negatively affecting their health.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber mulch
  • Rake
  • Weed blocking material


  • Rubber Protecting Our Environment -- Recycled Rubber
  • Washington State University: Rubber Mulch

Who Can Help

  • How rubber mulch stacks up against wood, by Consumer Reports
Keywords: how to decorate, rubber mulch, mulch in landscaping

About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.