The Best Mulch Glues of 2024 to Keep Your Yard Pristine, Tested

Can spraying an adhesive on mulch keep it from blowing or washing away? We tested and found out.

Best Overall

A jug of PetraMax Mulch Glue Max on a white background.

PetraMax Mulch Glue Max

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Best Bang for the Buck

A jug of Shabebe Mulch Glue and rubber gloves on a white background.

Shabebe Mulch Glue

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Best for Pea Gravel

A jug of TTDMK Mulch Glue Concentrate and rubber gloves on a white background.

TTDMK Mulch Glue Concentrate

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If you’ve never heard of mulch glue, you’re not alone. This relatively new product is designed to help various types of mulch keep from blowing or floating away. Some are even made to keep small pea gravel in place. We carefully researched more than 15 mulch glue products and then tested seven in our own yards. In general, these products are similar, but we did have a favorite—PetraMax Mulch Glue Max—because of its easy application and overall appearance. 

Mulch glues are not a perfect solution for all mulch types, but when used as directed, they can help protect the mulch in your flower bed or landscape from going astray. Ahead, learn more about these liquid adhesive products and find out how the following ones earned a spot in this lineup of the best mulch glues. 

  1. BEST OVERALL: PetraMax Mulch Glue Max
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  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Shabebe Mulch Glue
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  3. BEST FOR PEA GRAVEL: TTDMK Mulch Glue Concentrate
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  4. BEST READY-TO-USE: Vuba Easihold Mulch and Rock Binder
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  5. BEST FOR WOOD CHIPS: NorthRock Landscape Loc Mulch and Rock Bond
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  6. BEST COLOR-ENHANCING: Black Diamond Coatings Dominator Mulch Anchor 
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The Best Mulch Glue Options
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

How We Tested the Best Mulch Glues

When selecting the mulch glue spray products for testing, we primarily focused on consumer ratings and reviews. The big lawn and garden product manufacturers, such as Scotts Miracle-Gro, are not yet making mulch glues, so the brand wasn’t a consideration for this test. 

Once the mulch glues arrived, we started testing. All of these products are applied by spraying them directly on the mulch. Many required two or three coats to reach maximum protection. We followed the manufacturer’s instructions for each one, noting how uniformly they went on and whether they changed the appearance of the mulch. When dry, we used a leaf blower and a sprinkler to mimic high winds and rain, which are common mulch-displacement culprits.

We awarded points based on a rubric: The better a product performed on a test, the higher the points. After testing, we averaged the points to determine the best performers. We also rated each mulch glue based on ease of application, adhesion, appearance, and whether we felt it was a good value.

Testing Stats
Products tested7
Time spent testing3 weeks
Tests performed3
Average price$60 to $90 per gallon

Our Top Picks

Six mulch glue products made our list of the best mulch glues, but each has pros and cons. Mulch glues aren’t perfect for all mulching situations, but they offer a degree of stabilization depending on the mulch you’re using. The following products fared well in our tests, and one could be a good pick for your flower bed or landscaping. 

Best Overall

PetraMax Mulch Glue Max

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Our Ratings: Application 5/5; Adhesion 3.5/5; Appearance 4/5; Value 3.5/5

Product Specs 

  • Application method: Spray
  • Dilution ratio: 2:1 (product to water)
  • Mulch types: Mulch, wood chips, shells, sand, pine straw, small pebbles, hay and straw, small gravel, and leaf piles

Pros

  • Product doesn’t noticeably change the appearance of the look of the mulch
  • Held up well during 3-week testing, indicating potential for longevity
  • Concentrated liquid is easy to mix and apply via a garden sprayer

Cons

  • Doesn’t hold up well to human foot traffic, which tends to break the adhesive bond

Our top performer, PetraMax Mulch Glue Max, is a concentrated liquid that must be diluted with water at a ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part PetraMax liquid. We mixed up a batch, poured it into a sprayer, and then applied two coats to various mulch types, including hardwood chips, pea gravel, and lightweight shredded cedar. 

We were pleased that the solution didn’t noticeably change the look of the mulches, and it held the shredded cedar and hardwood chips in place when we used a leaf blower. However, it didn’t hold quite as well on the pea gravel, as a few of the tiny pebbles blew away. Our sprinkler test didn’t bother the adhesive—it stuck to the mulches even after watering. 

On the hardwood chips and pea gravel, the mulch glue held up to our cats walking over it, but it didn’t have enough strength to hold the lightweight shredded cedar in place—their paws sunk through. The adhesive didn’t hold up to humans walking, but it’s not really designed for that. We tested over 3 weeks, so we can’t guarantee the mulch glue will hold up longer than that, but we suspect it will. A bit of advice: Don’t leave leftover solution in the sprayer—it will harden and clog the spray nozzle. 

Get the PetraMax mulch glue at Amazon, Walmart, or PetraTools.

Best Bang for the Buck

Shabebe Mulch Glue

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Our Ratings: Application 5/5; Adhesion 3.5/5; Appearance 4/5; Value 3/5

Product Specs 

  • Application method: Spray
  • Dilution ratio: From full strength to 10:1 (product to water)
  • Mulch types: Mulch, wood chips, gravel, sand, shells, pine straw, pebbles, and stones 

Pros

  • Product costs less than competitive brands, making it a budget-friendly option
  • Can be diluted up to a 10:1 ratio or used full strength
  • Easy to apply; mix or pour full strength into garden sprayer

Cons

  • Not intended to keep mulch from shifting under human foot traffic

Locking down the mulch in your flower bed or landscape bed doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Shabebe’s landscape adhesive costs less than competitive brands, and depending on the dilution rate, it can go a long way. It can be used at full strength or diluted up to 10:1 (water to product). We used a 2:1 dilution ratio, similar to the ratio of some of the other products we tested.

We applied two coats via our garden sprayer, letting the coats dry completely in between and before testing for wind and water resistance. 

When we tested its wind resistance, the Shabebe landscape glue held the shredded cedar mulch well, but it wasn’t quite strong enough to lock down the hardwood chips or the pea gravel. We reapplied the product, this time spraying it on full strength, and the hold was much better, although it still could not withstand human foot traffic. It didn’t seem affected by watering at either strength.

We recommend diluting the product only if you apply it to lightweight mulches to protect them from wind damage or rain. For the best mulch stabilization on garden mulch, chips, or pea gravel, use full strength.

Get the Shabebe mulch glue at Amazon

Best for Pea Gravel

TTDMK Mulch Glue Concentrate

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Our Ratings: Application 5/5; Adhesion 3.5/5; Appearance 3/5; Value 3/5

Product Specs 

  • Application method: Spray
  • Dilution ratio: 1:1 (product to water)
  • Mulch types: Stones, bark, gravel, mulch, leaves

Pros

  • Effective as a mulch glue for landscape rocks, stabilizing small pebbles and stones
  • Resistant to wind, making it possible to blow leaves off without pebbles blowing
  • Easy to dilute with water at a 1:1 ratio and sprays on uniformly

Cons

  • Creates a shiny plastic look on wood chips and shredded cedar that doesn’t appear natural
  • Not suitable for heavy human foot traffic, which may limit its use

If you’re looking for an adhesive to keep mulching rocks, pebbles, and pea gravel in place, check out TTDMK’s mulch glue, which is made for all types of gravel. TTDMK should be diluted at a 1:1 ratio—we found this mulch glue for rocks mixed easily with water and was easy to apply with our garden sprayer. We used two coats, allowing the product to dry completely between each coat.

We tested the product on wood chips, shredded cedar, and gravel. When the sun hit the chips and cedar, it gave those mulch types a shiny appearance that we didn’t find flattering—it looked a bit like plastic. On the rocks, some shine was still apparent, but it gave the rocks more of a wet look that didn’t detract from their visual appeal. It was quite nice, actually.

When we tested with the leaf blower, the TTDMK mulch glue for gravel seemed to hold the gravel in place well. It also stabilized the other two types of mulch, but due to the extra shine, we preferred it for the gravel. Likewise, watering didn’t seem to faze the product. It still won’t hold up to human foot traffic, but it could be used as pea gravel adhesive for small pebbles used as fill between pavers on walkways as long the pavers are used for walking and not the pea gravel. 

Get the TTDMK mulch glue at Amazon

Best Ready-to-Use

Vuba Easihold Mulch and Rock Binder

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Our Ratings: Application 4.5/5; Adhesion 3.8/5; Appearance 4/5; Value 3.5/5

Product Specs 

  • Application method: Spray
  • Dilution ratio: Apply full strength
  • Mulch types: Mulch, gravel, stone

Pros

  • Included sprayer attaches to the bottle for convenient application
  • Good for treating small areas, such as in flower boxes or other limited beds
  • No mixing is required—product is ready to use right out of the bottle

Cons

  • Trigger sprayer doesn’t offer the uniform coverage that a pump sprayer can

If you don’t have a garden sprayer and you’re looking for mulch glue you can apply without having to buy anything else, check out Vuba Easihold. It’s a liquid mulch adhesive that comes in a bottle with a trigger sprayer that’s included. With Easihold, there’s no mixing, no mess, and nothing to wash out when you’re done.

We tested it on three different types of mulch, and it didn’t take long before our hands became fatigued from using the trigger sprayer. We eventually poured the solution into a garden sprayer so we could apply it more quickly and uniformly. 

Easihold offers mulch stability that keeps the mulch from blowing away, and it also holds up well after watering. It performed well on the wood chips and shredded cedar, but it didn’t do as well on pea gravel, and we found that many little pebbles blew away when we tested with the leaf blower. Still, if you want to stabilize wood mulch in flower boxes or other limited spots, this is a good ready-to-use product. Don’t confuse it as a barrier against weeds, however. We saw plenty of weeds poke through during our tests.

Get the Vuba mulch glue at Amazon

Best for Wood Chips

NorthRock Landscape Loc Mulch and Rock Bond

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Our Ratings: Application 5/5; Adhesion 3.8/5; Appearance 4/5; Value 3.5/5

Product Specs 

  • Application method: Spray
  • Dilution ratio: Apply full strength
  • Mulch types: Sand, gravel, leaves, other porous mulches (not rubber)

Pros

  • Good product for stabilizing hardwood mulch chips without changing their appearance
  • No mixing and no mess—this solution can be applied full strength out of the container
  • Good adhesion—especially when applied to hardwood mulch chips

Cons

  • Didn’t perform as well on gravel and shredded cedar as it did on wood chips

Wood chips are one of the most popular types of mulch due to their natural wood appeal and the fact that they biodegrade to add nutrients to soil. One of the best wood-chip mulch glues in our tests was NorthRock’s landscape mulch, thanks to its ability to stabilize hardwood chips in our tests without noticeably changing their appearance. 

This is a full-strength adhesive spray for mulch that doesn’t call for diluting, so we filled our pump sprayer and applied two coats to our various types of mulch. At first, we were a little concerned as the NorthRock liquid went on looking milky white. However, it dried clear in a few hours, and the natural mulch look returned. It adhered to the wood chips very well and stood up to blower and sprinkler tests. It also adhered to the shredded cedar, but in our blower tests, the top layer blew right off as if it were a blanket. The product didn’t saturate evenly to the lower layers of the cedar.

It adhered to gravel to some extent, but we still found many loose pebbles. This was our favorite pick for treating hardwood mulch chips, but it didn’t fare as well on the other types of mulch.

Get the NorthRock mulch glue at Amazon (5 gallons) or Menards (2 gallon).

Best Color-Enhancing

Black Diamond Coatings Dominator Mulch Anchor

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Our Ratings: Application 5/5; Adhesion 3.8/5; Appearance 3.5/5; Value 3/5

Product Specs 

  • Application method: Spray
  • Dilution ratio: Use full strength
  • Mulch types: Rubber, pine, pea gravel, cypress

Pros

  • Enhanced the color of wood chips and shredder cedar, keeping them looking fresh
  • Ready-to-use product that does not require mixing or dilution
  • Showed no signs of breakdown in our tests; company claims it lasts up to 2 years
  • Can also be used as a glue for rubber mulch, according to manufacturer

Cons

  • Per gallon of applied product, this mulch glue is pricier than some of its competitors

In our 3-week testing period, the Dominator Mulch Anchor mulch glue—a Black Diamond Coatings product—didn’t show any signs of breaking down on any mulch type. More than that, this product actually enhanced the color of our wood chips and shredded cedar, giving both a richer, deeper hue that didn’t fade, even after 4 straight days of rain followed by bright sunshine.

This is another ready-to-use product that does not require diluting, so we filled our pump sprayer and started applying it to all three test mulch types. Dominator Mulch Anchor didn’t leave a shiny look on the mulch; it just kept it looking as fresh as when we’d dumped it out of the bag. Will it keep the mulch looking that good all summer? We don’t know since our tests didn’t last that long, but the company claims it will last up to 2 years. 

It didn’t change the appearance of our gravel mulch, but it did seem to hold more of the pebbles in place than some of the other products we tested. We really like this one for use on highly visible landscape beds because it keeps the mulch looking fresh while stabilizing it against wind and rain. This dominator product is also suitable as a rubber mulch glue, but as we didn’t test it on that type of mulch, we cannot say how well glued rubber mulch withstands the elements. 

Get the Black Diamond Coatings mulch glue at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.

ALSO TESTED

PetraMax SuperMax Mulch Glue

While one of PetraMax’s products made our best overall pick, another, PetraMax SuperMax, didn’t make the cut. Maybe we got a bad batch, or the container got too hot or too cold somewhere along the way, but the SuperMax version didn’t seem to hold the mulch in place.

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What to Consider When Choosing a Mulch Glue

Mulch glues are the new kids on the block, so there are currently only a few options available, but those are increasing as more manufacturers start putting out their product formulations. This spray adhesive for mulch is designed to help keep lightweight mulch from blowing or floating away, but it may not be the right solution for all situations. Mulch glues are not rated as highly as other lawn and garden products, but some may be due to buyers not understanding the product’s limitations. Consider the following factors before selecting a mulch glue for your flower or landscape beds.

Type of Adhesive

Currently, mulch glues are loosely regulated, and manufacturers do not have to list their ingredients. However, our research led us to believe that most products contain some type of polymer adhesive. Many types of school glue also contain polymers, such as polyvinyl acetate, that dissolve in water. Could you mix a bottle of school glue into a gallon of water and create a mulch glue? Maybe; we just don’t know, but the feel of the liquids and the way they adhered to the mulch reminded us of watery school glue. 

Ease of Application

Virtually all mulch glues we found are applied via spraying. Some are concentrated and should be diluted with water before applying, while others are ready to use right out of the container. Some also come with trigger sprayers, which can be handy, but we found it easier to pour the solutions into pump sprayers to get a more uniform application. In most cases, we found it best to apply at least two coats of mulch glue for optimal protection.

Weather Resistance

Mulch glues are designed to resist being blown about in windy conditions or floating away in heavy rains. We used a leaf blower to test for wind resistance and used a sprinkler to mimic rain, although we got plenty of real rain during some tests. In most cases, the mulch glues held strong throughout the tests, although it really did seem to depend on how well we applied the coatings. 

Environmental Friendliness

The mulch glues we tested are all designed to be nontoxic and safe for pets when used as directed. However, like many household and lawn care products, letting pets drink the liquid is still not a good idea. Follow manufacturer directions carefully, and you shouldn’t have any problems. 

FAQs

If you’re interested in more information about mulch glues, you’re in good company—we are, too. As these products continue to hit the shelves, they will undoubtedly be tweaked, and their formulations will improve. We’ll be updating this guide as more information becomes available. For now, here is a bit more. 

Q. Is mulch glue safe for plants and the environment?

Mulch spray glue appears to be among the safest lawn and garden products around, although not all manufacturers list their ingredients. They do, however, claim they are nontoxic and will not harm plants, animals, or the environment. 

Q. How long does mulch glue take to dry?

In our test, some products dried in a couple of hours, while others took nearly a day to dry.

Q. Does mulch glue prevent drainage?

No, because the glue does not form an impermeable surface. It adheres to the mulch but does not fill the cracks between bark, chips, or gravel. Unlike landscape fabric, it does not protect against weeds. 

Meet the Tester

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.

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Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a BobVila.com staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries. 

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