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How to Make Mulch Dye

pine bark mulch image by robert mobley from

Dye mulch a range of colors, including shades of gold, red, brown and black, when you make mulch dye. Colored mulches have a range of uses, beyond decorative, including absorbing the sun to heat animal pens. Colored mulches, through reflective properties, even benefit how plants grow, taste and smell, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Put on old clothing and garden gloves to protect clothing and hands from the semi-permanent dye.

Measure 16 oz. of colorant into a 5-gallon bucket. Pour 1 1/2 gallons of clean water into the bucket. Follow specific mixing ingredients included with your colorant; most mulch colorants specify similar instructions. Mix the colorant and water with a paint stirrer to make the dye.

Pour the mixture into a garden sprayer or other container used to apply the solution.

Dye Mulch

Cover hardscape areas including walkways, patios and rock walls or the corners of your house with plastic sheeting to prevent the dye from staining them if they are near the mulch. The dye-to-water ratio will vary based on the brand of dye, and whether the mulch was colored previously. Covering old dye takes a stronger solution than dying mulch for the first time. Fill a garden sprayer with the dye solution.


Purchase a mulch colorant from one of several online mulch colorant dealers or ask a hardware store if it sells mulch colorant.

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