In Brief: Can We Compost Poinsettias?
Yes, we can compost poinsettia plants. You may throw flowers, roots, and soil in a compost pile and mix with organic matter to decompose. It is preferable to chop them into pieces to fasten the decomposition process. They are not poisonous but contain a milky sap that may cause skin irritation. Wear gloves while handling these plants to avoid unwanted reactions.
Are your poinsettias dropping their red petals after the holiday season and wondering if you can compost them?
Here is a comprehensive guide to help you out.
Let us read further!
Can We Compost Poinsettias?
Yes. We can compost poinsettias without harming the soil. They can be added to the regular compost pile. Composting is a sustainable way of getting rid of poinsettias instead of throwing them into the garbage bin.
They are perfectly safe to compost. They do not harm the soil or other plants.
Many gardeners prefer reblooming the poinsettia rather than composting. You may prune the leaves, water, and lightly fertilize to bloom them again.
How To Compost Poinsettias With Ease?
You may chop poinsettias and throw them into the compost pile. Mix with organic waste and aerate them by turning the pile. Collect the compost after they are degraded completely.
Poinsettias may be composted like other plants after their bracts begin to fall or lose color. The different steps in composting them are discussed below.
Chop the poinsettia plants – When poinsettia plants become weaker and drier after the festival season, collect them. Their flowers, roots, and soil may be composted. Chop them into small pieces before adding to the compost to fasten the process.
Add them to the compost pile – You may add them to the regular compost pile and mix them with organic waste. Maintain a ratio of green to brown materials.
Turn the compost pile – It is recommended to turn the compost once a week, as it may aerate the compost and encourage the growth of beneficial microbes.
Collect the compost – You may allow them to decompose. Collect the compost after they are completely decomposed. You may use them to amend the soil.
Is Poinsettias poisonous?
No. Poinsettias are not poisonous. Their milky sap may cause mild stomachache, itchiness, and eye irritation. Wear gardening gloves while handling these plants.
They were once believed to be deadly. But, research studies show they are not.
They have milky sap and are not meant to be eaten. Some people are sensitive to their sap.
They may experience a mild stomachache, vomiting, or diarrhea. They may cause eye irritation if they come in contact with the sap.
Some people with latex allergies may have a serious reaction. They need immediate medical attention.
Therefore, they are safe to compost. One tip is to wear gardening gloves while adding these plants to compost. Do not rub your eyes after touching these plants.
Can You Compost Poinsettia Plants With Powdery Mildew?
Yes. You may compost poinsettia plants with powdery mildew. But, it requires a balance between brown and green matter. Also, the compost pile needs to be heated and stayed for a longer time.
The mildew will survive only on a living host. The hot composting process may kill the fungus.
Many experts argue that they need a proper ratio of carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich materials to heat up and decompose.
The compost pile needs a temperature of at least 140F. Also, they should be aerated well and turned when it reaches 165F.
These conditions may be maintained for at least ten days to kill the spores.
Composting Poinsettias Vs Reblooming
It is easy to compost old poinsettias rather than reblooming them. They may decompose easily due to a narrow carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. Their potting mix contributes to richer compost.
Many gardeners prefer to toss them into the compost pile rather than reviving them.
Poinsettias have a narrow carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. This helps in the easy decomposing of the plants. If you are adding potting mix with plants, it will contribute to a richer compost.
Few try to rebloom poinsettias after the holiday season. It takes special care and attention to rebloom them.
They need a draft-free environment with a constant temperature of 65-75oF and thorough watering.
Also, they are inexpensive and so, many feel it is easy to compost rather than reblooming.
The poinsettias may last for two to three months in your home with proper care. It requires total darkness of 14 hours. Also, they need good ventilation but keep them away from the drafts. It is affected by waterlogged soil, drought, and drafts.
The poinsettia plants may start dropping their green leaves. The stems below may become naked with green sticks. The bracts may change color or begin to fall. In such scenarios, the plants may be decomposed.
I hope this article has provided you with an answer on composting poinsettias.
I would like to hear about your experiences in composting poinsettias!