Should You Put Citrus Fruits On Compost?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:59 pm

Citrus fruits are not only popular fruits in autumn and winter, but can also be used all year round in juices, smoothies or fruit salads.

But where to put the peels of the whole citrus? This article clarifies the question of whether citrus fruits can go on the compost and what to consider when composting orange, lemon and tangerine peels.

Zitrusfrüchte auf den Kompost_Zitrusfrüchte kompostieren

Should You Put Citrus Fruits On Compost?

Citrus fruits can be composted without any problems, provided they are first shredded and mixed with moist materials or lightly incorporated into the compost. The heat and moisture of the rotting process ensure that possible fungicides are completely broken down and the peels are completely decomposed.

Can citrus fruit be composted?

The peel of citrus fruits can be composted without problems, because it decomposes just like any other organic material. To simplify and speed up the composting process, citrus fruits should be thrown into the compost as small as possible.

When composting citrus, however, there are some points that should be considered or that are often misunderstood.

I have summarized all these points or the most common questions regarding the composting of citrus peels below:

Citrus fruits contain sprays or fungicides (even organic citrus), which should be avoided in the garden

True, even some organic citrus fruits are treated with fungicides. However, these are usually only used for transport, so the skin of the fruit is protected during this time.

See also  Does Your Compost Bin Give Off Foul Odors In Hot Weather?

However, most fungicides only last for a short period of time and then become ineffective.

At the latest during rotting in the compost, at high temperatures and high humidity, the fungicides decompose completely with the citrus fruit.

Citrus fruits contain acid and essential oils, which is not good for compost worms

That’s right, citrus fruits contain many essential oils, some of which make it difficult for compost worms to compost the peels.

A simple remedy is to always mix citrus in the compost with enough other materials so that the essential oils are attenuated.

Citrus fruits have too thick a peel, which is very slow to compost

Despite their thick peels, citrus fruits can be composted. To do this, it is best to cut the peels into small pieces and bury them in the compost. This protects the pieces from drying out, they remain moist and directly begin to mold and thus rot.

Tips for the correct composting of citrus fruits
In the following I have summarized again the most important tips how to compost citrus fruits properly:

  1. crush citrus peels well.
  2. mix citrus with other (moist) compost materials
  3. do not leave too many citrus fruits in a pile at once
  4. bury citrus and do not let it dry out on the surface

Can you compost orange peels?

Orange peels can be composted, preferably by chopping them up well and either covering them with moist materials or lightly burying them in the compost.

Despite the fact that orange peels contain many essential oils and plant pigments, they can be composted without any problems.

Since orange peels are quite thick, they should be well chopped with a knife before composting, then spread on the compost mixed with moist materials or lightly buried in the compost.

Can orange peels be put in the organic waste?

Orange peels can be thrown into the organic waste or the organic waste garbage can without hesitation, where they will decompose just like other compostable materials.

See also  What Can Happen If You Compost "Wrong"?

Since orange peels are organic material, they can also be disposed of in organic waste.

Since organic waste involves much larger quantities than can be disposed of in your own compost, orange peels can be thrown in the organic waste in one piece, without first being reduced in size. The large amounts of organic waste also do well with whole orange peels and could decompose them.

Why can’t citrus fruit be put in the compost?

There is often a misconception that citrus fruits are not allowed in the compost. However, this idea is not entirely true! On the contrary, citrus fruits can be composted without any problems – as long as some basic rules are followed.

Of course, ideally you should only compost peels from organic fruits, but even these could contain small amounts of fungicides on the peel if necessary. However, this is usually not a problem, because at the latest the high temperatures and moisture in the compost will cause the fungicides on the peels to decompose.

Furthermore, if you crush the peels and mix them with other materials, you can compost citrus fruit without any problems 😊

Can you compost lemon peels?

You can compost lemon peels without problems on your home compost. Ideally, you should use organic lemon peels for this purpose and work them into the compost or cover them with moist materials.

If it is rather thinner lemon peels, they do not necessarily need to be shredded. However, if the peel is thick, it is better to shred it before composting.

Smaller peel parts start to rot faster and therefore decompose faster.

Can I put lemon peels in the organic waste?

Lemon peels can also be thrown into the organic waste or the organic waste garbage can without any problems. Since lemon peels are relatively small, they can even be thrown into the organic waste in one piece.

See also  What To Do About Stinky Compost? These 8 Tips Prevent Compost Stink!

Can tangerine peels be composted?

Just like orange or lemon peels, tangerine peels can be composted. Since tangerine peels are the smallest and thinnest, and they are usually already chopped up when the tangerines are peeled anyway, slightly larger amounts of tangerine peels can be composted.

If tangerine peels are mixed into the compost or mixed with moist materials to keep them from drying out, they will very quickly begin to mold and thus rot.

Because of the thin peels and usually already very small pieces, tangerine peels rot the fastest in the compost compared to other peels of citrus fruits.

Can tangerine peels be put in the organic waste?

Tangerine peels, even in large quantities, can be thrown in the organic waste or the organic waste garbage can without any problems. Since tangerine peels are thin and usually already crushed, they decompose all the faster, which is even faster between large quantities of organic waste.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

Leave a Reply

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