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Why Mulching Near Plants With Creeping Stems Is A Big Mistake
Plants that propagate through creeping stems have a distinct growth mechanism that allows them to spread horizontally, which can be problematic when mulch is added.
Typically, mulch acts as a physical barrier between the stem nodes and the soil. However, when you apply mulch around plants with creeping stems, they may still try to spread.
While the mulch slows down the process, it isn’t an impenetrable barrier. Over time, the plant can creep across the surface, pushing down roots wherever the nodes reach the soil.
There is also an increased risk of disease if the stems come into direct contact with the mulch. Mulch retains moisture, creating a damp environment that breeds fungi and pests.
Instead of using mulch to control your plants with creeping stems, try edging, a technique that involves forming barriers that curtail your plants’ lateral expansion.
If you prefer a more active role, consider creating a trench around the edges of your garden beds. This can serve as a buffer zone between your plants and the surrounding area.