What’s Growing in Your Mulch?

— Written By and last updated by Elisabeth Purser
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Mulch in Truck Bed, What is in Mulch, What is the Purpose of Mulch, Mulch Near Me, Facts About MulchThere are several decay organisms that will live and thrive in the hardwood mulch in your garden. Mushrooms are common, including stinkhorn fungus. Some mushrooms can be poisonous to children and pets. The stinkhorn will often emerge in fall or after spring rains and can emit a foul-smelling odor. Mushrooms are natural, decomposing organisms that feed on and break down the woody mulch and are just considered to be a nuisance.

Another nuisance that can also appear on hardwood mulch during warm, moist conditions is slime mold. Slime mold is not a fungus or a mold. It is actually a single-celled soil dwelling amoeba that takes its moisture from the air and nutrients from what it is living on. It can vary in color from white to yellow or orange and is commonly called dog- or cat-vomit fungus as it resembles stomach contents. As conditions become dry the organism progresses in color to a dark brown powdery mass from which reproductive spores are released. Mushrooms, and stinkhorns can be bagged for the trash and slime molds can be managed by simply raking it into the mulch or by scooping it up & bagging for the trash.

Artillery or shotgun fungus is to me the most interesting fungus that works at decomposition of hardwood mulch. There is one that is called bird’s-nest fungus because it resembles tiny bird’s nests with what looks like eggs in them which are actually spore packets. The spore packets are 1/10” in diameter or smaller, are usually black in color and are forcefully ejected up to 10’. The spore packets are very sticky and can stick to any surface including plants, cars, and the siding of your house. They are very difficult to remove. To avoid damage to cars and houses do not use mulches that contain cellulose (wood). Use pure bark mulches, especially pine, or if you may have hardwood mulch already in place, cover it with pine needles or leaf mulch.