Can I compost citrus?

Can I Compost Citrus?

Something we are often asked, indeed we just recently were asked the question via Twitter is – Can I compost citrus?

The simple answer is – Yes!

Although of course, as with all things, it isn’t quite as simple as that. To get the best results you should make sure it is part of a well balanced heap. ie not too much at once – and there are other considerations too.

When asking yourself ‘can I compost citrus?’ it is really useful to understand how to get the best and most effective compost from it. All the details of this tricky subject are in the e-book by Sarah Cowell ‘Everything you want to know about how to Compost Everything’. It is available here at Compost Everything. It deals, in more depth, with how to deal with citrus fruit and citrus rind both in composters and vermi-composters (wormeries to the rest of us!). To give a juicy flavour of Sarah’s advice here are some of her top-tip tips:

‘Although citrus fruit waste is sometimes cautioned against it will break
down, albeit slowly.  It helps to shred the rinds and a hot heap will speed
things up.  Citrus oils do have insecticidal properties but the oils evaporate
quickly and won’t delay the composting process.  Some citrus such as the
Seville orange will not decompose unless the peel is broken to allow the
decomposers entry.  Too much citrus may make the final compost acidic but
it’s a question of balance with other ingredients.
Rinds may contain chemical pesticide and herbicide residues although hot
composting, or a slow compost left sufficiently long, will break down and
eliminate most toxic organic residues.
Citrus peel is not suitable for vermicomposting due to its acidity although if you
let it go mouldy the worms may reconsider, and they seem to quite enjoy grapefruit.’

With a long weekend of gardening ahead of us this is the sort of information which will be invaluable as we all get our new-season composting underway. For all this great info, and other brilliantly researched and insightful composting advice Sarah Cowells e-book on ‘Everything you want to know about how to Compost Everything’ is available here.

It is a really valuable heap of information to help you overcome those bin-hover moments!


  1. Joceejo says:

    Wow – thank you for blogging an answer to my question… and also for proving that I am right! 😉 I shall download Sarah’s ebook and read it for more top tips.

  2. No tiffs now please! It’s a great book and very educational. We hope you enjoy it!

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