Cocoa hull is an excellent mulch and an effective seasonal fertilizer.
Catching the eye and offering incredible agronomic properties, it is the perfect mulch for any garden plant and also on your decks and balcony.
Widely used by professional landscapers, cocoa hull is considered to be high-quality mulch.
Advantages of cocoa hulls
- Remarkably ornamental, it decorates flower beds and garden boxes.
- Fertilizer slowly releases to the soil.
- Weed inhibitor.
- Wind-proof after it has been watered once.
- Root protection against frost.
Cocoa hulls highlight the beauty of your plants thanks to their rich chocolatey color.
- It even smells like chocolate for over a month after spreading!
Its agronomic value and its low 5.7 pH level make it the best among the fertilizer mulches.
Using cocoa hulls
Before spreading your cocoa hulls, everything must be planted.
Spread a layer more or less 2 inches thick (4 to 5 cm) and water so that the husks stick together and merge to make a water-retaining, air-circulating and fertilizer-releasing protective layer.
A few days later, thin white velvety strands appear and signal that the mulch is doing its thing.
- The cocoa mulch is slowly molding away, releasing its nutrients.
6 to 8 months later, mix the mulch up with the soil to fertilize it even more, and repeat the mulching every year.
Cocoa hulls and cats and dogs
Take note that cocoa hulls are extremely toxic for animals such as cats and dogs. Just like chocolate, they contain theobromine.
This substance can be poisonous for animals if ingested. Consulting a veterinarian is urgent if this happens.
Smart tip about cocoa hulls
You can also mix cocoa hulls into the earth or soil mix. This will help air circulate in the ground and will reinforce fertilization!
- Protecting your plants against the cold with mulch
- A great diversity of plant-based mulches
- Various mineral mulches
Can I use the cacao hulls for indoor potted plants? Thanks in advance for the help!
Hello Rebecca! Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s perfectly possible to use these for inside plants in pots. Two words of caution, though.
– If you have one or more dogs, they might be tempted to chew on this mulch (as they do most anything, in my experience!). This is a big no-no because the cocoa hulls are as dangerous to them as chocolate is. This has something to do with the liver functions. So if there’s a risk your pet might ingest it, better go for something else such as flax mulch or clay pebbles.
– Secondly, I’ve seen that for plants that require a lot of water (papyrus sedge, some types of begonia, pothos…), cacao hulls tend to start molding. They turn a gray color which isn’t so nice. So keep this kind of mulch for plants that only require occasional watering. Dracaena marginata, Sansevieria or the elegant ZZ plant are great low-water houseplants that pair very well with cocoa hulls (especially the Raven ZZ plant which is really black, the cacao hulls make it seem like a chocolate chip cookie gone wild!). But you can also keep the mulch from molding if you water through a small funnel (or cut-up plastic bottle), to bring the water to under the mulch.