How Long Does Burlap Take To Decompose?

There are two types of Burlap available. The synthetic Burlap lasts longer than the natural one. But if you are concerned about the environment then it is better to choose natural Burlap. Natural Burlap can decompose in 3 years if it gets a proper environment. 

If taken care of properly then the natural Burlap can last a decade. They are very environmentally friendly and have multipurpose use.

In the case of natural Burlap,  people often don’t have the confidence to use it as they think it will decompose very soon. But the truth is it can even sustain up to 10 to 12 years easily. 

Types Of Burlap: When One Will Decompose First

1. Synthetic Burlap

If you’re looking for long-lasting Burlap, then synthetic Burlap is your way to go. The main ingredient of synthetic Burlap is coal and petroleum.

The coal and the petroleum are manufactured to make polyester fiber which is both water and moisture-resistant.   

This fiber has gained popularity over the years due to its longevity. It is also a bit of fiction resistance that participates in long-lasting use.

If it is not properly used and protected from cuts and tears then it can sustain as long as you can keep it. 

But to enjoy its sustainability you must have to maintain it with proper care. And fortunately, this is not very difficult to do. Synthetic Burlap is mostly prominent due to its reusability. 

2. Natural Burlap

Natural Burlap is actually made of 100% jute fiber. The jute fiber is processed from jute plants. It’s a long process but very environmentally friendly. As this fiber is environment friendly that means it will decompose over time. 

The soft natural Burlap can sustain up to 2 to 3 years. It can sustain more if there is not much moisture around it all the time. On the other hand, the rigid natural Burlap can sustain up to a decade. 

But if you intend to decompose it then with a proper measurement it can be decomposed in a very short period of time. You will need to provide a proper environment, light, and temperature and the job will be done. 

The decomposable quality of natural Burlap makes it suitable for using it in the garden or farmland.

You do not want to put something that doesn’t decompose into the soil under the soil. That way you can ruin the fertility of the soil. 

Usages of Burlap

1. Artificial Burlap

The artificial Burlap is made of polyester like nylon. They are used in various sectors. Even though they are not very environmentally friendly,  they have some other uses in your garden or agricultural form. 

Water Resistant

In case of heavy rain or flood, artificial Burlap can be used as a great protector. Putting them on as a shade will reduce water in your agricultural field or Garden. This will help in controlling overwatering. 

Sometimes some seedlings need to be protected from any moisture or water. In such a case there is no other alternative to using artificial Burlap.  

Making Greenhouse

The moisture control efficiency of artificial Burlap is very high. Therefore in making a greenhouse for some sensitive plants artificial Burlap plays a vital role.

It holds the moisture inside and helps to control the temperature. 


For transportation in open trucks, artificial Burlap is very common. They work like protecting shade for the open truck. That way you can carry water-soluble materials in your truck without worrying about snowfall or rainfall. 

Weather Resistance

During the winter season when snow falls, artificial Burlap is used as cover. You can cover your car or any vehicle along with your garden with the help of this Burlap. This way there will be less snow in your garden.

2. Natural Burlap

Natural Burlap actually has more function than the artificial ones nowadays.

Especially with the environmental movement, people are getting more used to using natural products which made them lean towards using natural Burlap. 

Garden Use

Natural Burlap is biodegradable. Therefore they are used for pest control and moisture control for plants.

Especially, new seedlings are planted along with the natural Burlap in the soil which helps in the germination process. 

They hold water for a long time, therefore you do not have to water your germinating seeds continuously. In the overwintering process, natural Burlap is the main ingredient. It keeps the root warm and holds the moisture.   

Also in the case of transporting plants with soil in them, natural Burlap is used extensively.

During planting into the ground you do not have to cut off the Burlap. Which time they will get composed in the soil and work as a nutrient for the plant. 


If you are trying to create a sun shade that also has access to adequate amounts of airflow then natural Burlap is a great option.

It is not totally opaque, but enough to protect from direct sunlight. Placing them correctly will also help to balance the airflow. 


You can use natural Burlap as a decoration and a practical piece both indoors and outdoors. They are used as Photo frames, pillow covers, floor mats, wall hangers, and many more. 

Nowadays using natural Burlap as a wedding decoration has become a new aesthetic.

Especially if you are planning your wedding in a burn for a rustic look then natural Burlap is your thing. They are used for decorating flower verses and backgrounds. 

They are also gaining popularity as a pillow and cushion cover for your balcony. Using them in your plant pot helps to mean the overflow of water due to watering. They have great water absorption capacity. 

Is Natural Burlap Good for the Environment

Actually, natural Burlap is a very sustainable option for the environment. The fiber is collected from Jute. Then this fiber is manufactured to make Burlap which is used in different mediums.

  • The production of the jute doesn’t need much fertilizer which makes it good for the soil.
  • The residue of the production process is very less and doesn’t cause any harm to the soil.   
  • The roots that are left in the soil after cutting the jute help to fertilize the soil for further production. 
  • The reusability makes natural Burlap makes it cost-friendly. 
  • It gets decomposed in the soil so it increases fertility but doesn’t become a burden to the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is burlap toxic to plants?

Assuming the burlap utilized for the balled-and-burlapped stock has been treated with copper sulfate, the encased plants might be harmed by the copper that drains into the dirt ball. Overflow from copper pioneers and drainpipes has likewise been thought of as harmful to trees and bushes around homes.

Can I use burlap as mulch?

Burlap is perfect for mulch. Whenever you’ve collected a region of your nursery, you can set out a segment of burlap to cover that region. Setting down segments of burlap like this assists with restricting the disintegration of the dirt too and hold dampness

How long can a tree stay in burlap before planting?

A balled and burlapped plant can be held out of the ground for a considerable length of time for however long it is adequately watered. For periods longer than that, it’s ideal to briefly heel the root ball into a dirt or sawdust bed. However, even that particular situation ought to be brief. After around two months, untreated burlap starts to rot.

Will tree roots grow through burlap?

Treated burlap (the caring you’re probably going to experience) won’t rot rapidly (can require many years) and, however, roots might develop through it, those roots might be harmed or choked as they fill in breadth. Eliminate all treated burlap or engineered burlap (likewise liable to rot gradually) from root balls at establishing time.

Final Words

Learning how long does Burlap take to decompose helps you to decide which Burlap you should use. Hey, you will get a comparative difference between natural and artificial Burlap. 

At the end of the day, you will see that you will need both of these products in your day-to-day life.

But try to use the natural world as much as possible even though it has less longevity. They are super environment friendly and also healthy for your garden.

Latest posts by TAYLOR GALLA (see all)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *