What Is Gorilla Hair Mulch and Is Gorilla Hair Mulch Good For Landscaping?

Last Updated on October 22, 2020 by Kimberly Crawford

Before you conjure distracting images in your head, best know that no actual gorillas are harmed in making gorilla hair mulch and no one is picking out the gorilla hairs directly from these lovable primates.

Gorilla hair mulch comes from finely shredded bark and they are used widely in gardening projects. 

But what exactly is gorilla hair mulch? How do you use it for your garden? What are its pros and cons? In this post, we will cover everything about gorilla hair mulch so read on. 

What is gorilla hair mulch?

gorilla hair mulch
Image credit: Myles Grant

Gorilla hair mulch is basically made out of finely shredding the barks of redwood and Western red cedars. The result is a very coarse and fibrous mulch highly resembling gorilla hair, hence, the name. 

Through the commercialization of gorilla hair mulch, the scrap lumber of redwood and red cedars no longer go to waste. As a matter of fact, these woods found new ways to extend their function as through this organic mulch used in any garden terrain with a color fit for any landscape design. 

Gorilla hair mulch pros and cons

Of course, gorilla hair mulch also has its own set of pros and cons. For you to have a clearer picture as to why it has become a popular organic mulch, here are the pros and cons of gorilla hair mulch. 


Slow decomposition

Not all people like mulching every now and then but this one lasts very long so you won’t have to worry about regular mulching. One of the major upsides of gorilla hair mulch is that it decomposes very slowly.

It will take several years before you replace it. And because of its fibrous texture and unfading brown-orange color, the garden will look like it is freshly mulched every day. 

Dense cover

The primary function of mulch is to cover the ground so that the moisture is maintained and pests are kept out.

With the dense cover that gorilla hair mulch forms, it will keep the moisture efficiently, it is commendable to use in sloped, uneven areas, it will not allow birds and other critters to creep in the lawn and it will not be easily dispersed by the wind. 

Pest control

Cedars are generally resistant to pests and even when their barks are already shredded into fine pieces, they are still resistant to rodents, roaches, moths, fleas, and some types of ants. 



One of the downsides of this organic mulch is that it easily catches fire. As such, it should not be placed in areas where it might be exposed to flame or too much heat and friction as it could catch fire. 

Water trapping

When applied too thickly, the very dense mat will not allow the water to penetrate in. This is one of its disadvantages because you will never know if it’s time for watering again.

Aside from that, natural water sources like rainfall will not benefit your plants’ roots too due to the very dense mulch. 

Gorilla hair mulch used for

This type of organic mulch is used for many reasons in any gardening project. If you have been wondering about what this mulch has to offer, here is a rundown of its many uses. 

  • It is used to block off the buildup of weeds that compete with the nutrients from the soil. 
  • It wards off pests and insects from munching on the roots and stems of plants. 
  • It keeps the soil compact and in place because its dense cover is not easily blown by the wind. 
  • It keeps the water and moisture intact in the soil which is very beneficial for locations with long dry months and very hot summers. 
  • It encourages plant growth thanks to its slow yet ample release of nitrogen as it decomposes. 

Gorilla hair mulch vs regular mulch

Regular mulch is made out of shredding wood scraps from random trees and dried, decomposing leaves.

It does not only work to keep the moisture but it also nourishes the soil in itself. But if you are eyeing for better insulation, gorilla hair mulch would be a better choice.

It has higher water retention, greater insulating properties, and block off weed build-up. And since gorilla hair mulch decomposes very slowly, it has a better capacity to enrich the soil. 

How to apply gorilla hair mulch

Basically, gorilla hair mulch is applied in similar ways as other organic mulches would be applied. But to be sure, some homeowners usually consult with an online mulch calculator to get an exact figure as to how much. 

If it is your first time to apply organic mulch, here are the three steps that you should keep in mind. 

  1. 2-3 inches of gorilla hair mulch is the best range for any type of landscape. You can go further to 4-6 inches in areas with high foot traffic. Going further than this range will totally block the water from entering the soil. You should also leave at least 3inches of open ground for air circulation. 
  2. Keep the mulch in a significant distance away from bushes and fruit-bearing trees in your landscape. Remember, it is dense and will retain high moisture. You are putting your bushes and trees in compromise with rotting if they get too close with this mulch. 
  3. Netting the terrain before applying mulch in steep or sloped areas might be necessary. Through this, you are giving the soil a better hold of the mulch. 

How long does gorilla hair mulch last?

Depending on climate conditions, gorilla hair mulch is said to last for 3-4 years. The upside is, within this timeframe, its color will not fade significantly looking like it is freshly mulched in that stretch of time, 

Is gorilla hair mulch toxic for cats or dogs?

Gorilla hair mulch may be organic but it can be dangerous for pets like cats, dogs, and livestock animals. We cannot easily deter these animals when they play around where the mulch is applied and in some instances, they might chew on the mulch. Because of this, choking incidents can happen. 

Where to buy

The good news is, gorilla hair mulch is practically accessible. You can order it online through Amazon and eBay or you could visit the nearest home improvement store in your area, garden and agricultural supplies store, or Home Depot. Or if you have redwood or cedar barks and a shredder, you could make your own. 

Get it here on Amazon


Probing on the gorilla hair mulch, we have affirmed that it comes with more pros than cons. With this alone, we could already understand why it has grown to be a popular choice for gardeners and homeowners through the years.

The main characteristics that make it a standout mulch from the rest are its durability, longevity (slow decomposition), high insulating properties, high water retention, and how it keeps weed and pest overgrowth. 

Just a word of caution for homes with pets; gorilla hair mulch could cause choking among pets if they happen to nibble on it so make sure that they do not go around chewing on this mulch.

Overall, this organic mulch is indeed in a league of its own and you can find it in any garden supplies store near you.