Is black mulch bad for landscaping around ornamental plants? Does it draw nutrients from the soil?
Carroll County Maryland
We are assuming that by "black mulch" you mean natural mulch that is dyed black?
As long as it is not fresh and has been properly aged there is no concern about drawing nutrients from the soil.
Some people prefer the look of dyed mulch, be it red, black or whatever.
It is a personal choice.
Whatever you do, use only 2-3 inches maximum, and don't allow it to lay against the bark or crown of plants.
Here is our page on frequently asked questions on mulch, that answers more: