Can You Compost Citrus? How?

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Quick Answer: Can You Compost Citrus?

Yes, you can compost citrus fruits, peels, and rinds but with caution. They may take time to decompose but chopping them into pieces will fasten the process. Their strong scent may deter the unwanted scavengers away from the pile. It is recommended to use citrus peels in smaller amounts as the worms do not prefer an acidic environment.

This is a complete guide on whether you can compost citrus.

I have tried answering all the misconceptions about composting citrus along with other useful info.

Are you ready to know more?

Can You Compost Citrus?

Yes, you may compost whole waste citrus fruits, pulps, rinds, and their peels but with caution. The different citrus fruits that can be composted are lemons, oranges, clementines, limes, satsumas, and grapefruits. It is preferable to use organic fruit wastes.

The citrus peels tend to decompose very slowly in a compost pile as citrus oil on their skin has antimicrobial properties.

But, you may speed up the process by chopping the peels before adding them to the pile.

Don’t add too many citrus peels in a worm bin. It will make the conditions too acidic for the beneficial worms in the compost pile to work.

It is preferable to add them to a traditional compost pile.

How To Compost Citrus With Ease?

Citrus rinds are good sources of nitrogen and so, maybe composted when combined with shredded leaves and other high-carbon materials.

The thicker citrus fruits have more nitrogen content. But the nutrient content of the whole fruits will be lower due to high water content.

You may follow these steps to compost citrus scraps

1. Chop the citrus scraps

You may collect the citrus scraps. Chop them into smaller pieces using a blender or a food processor. Throw them into a regular compost bin.

2. Mix in with bulking materials

Add the bulking materials, including shredded leaves. Mix them well and bury them in the center of the compost pile.

Balance the wetness of citrus scraps using these bulking materials. Their strong smell may keep away the scavenger animals.

3. Allow them to decompose

Cover with topsoil and wait for the peels to decompose. The tough, leathery peels may take about six months to decompose.

If using the hot composting technique, maintain a temperature of 110-160 degrees Fahrenheit and stir the contents regularly to introduce oxygen.

Here is the video on composting citrus scraps:

Can You Compost Moldy Citrus Scraps?

Yes, rotten and moldy citrus scraps may be composted. They may have already started to break down and work well in the compost pile.

But, you may need to add additional wood chips or shredded cardboard to balance the moisture from the moldy citrus fruits. It helps to keep the compost pile in optimal condition.

You may bury them in the center of the pile to fasten the decomposition process. You have to keep the compost pile hot enough to kill the spores of the citrus fruits.

You should not add moldy citrus peels if working with a cool composting system.

Do Citrus Peels Harm The Worms?

can we compost citrus

No, the citrus peels do not harm the worms. The worms do not like the acidic environment provided by the citrus peels. It may disrupt the balance of your compost heap.

The citrus peels contain volatile oils, including d-limonene. It is not preferred by certain worms, including red wigglers in the compost pile. This substance will disappear as the peels rot.

So, it is best not to add large amounts of citrus peels in a worm bin (vermicompost). You may toss them in a traditional compost pile.

Tips To Compost Lemon Peels

You can compost lemon peels but in moderation. They fall under the greens category along with vegetable waste and animal manure. You may need to offset the acidity of the compost bin with additional grass clippings.

Many gardeners recommend cutting them into small pieces. Dry them on a rack in the sunlight to compost them faster in the cooler seasons.

Also, keep turning the compost pile every couple of weeks to keep them warm and prevent mold formation.

What Are The Benefits Of Adding Citrus To Your Compost?

The citrus helps in providing vital nutrients to the compost pile and deter the pests from attacking the pile. Also, they contain pectin which helps in the composting process.

The citrus belongs to green compost materials.

It is rich in nitrogen and helps to balance the carbon-heavy brown materials. It also provides phosphorus and potassium to the compost pile.

The citrus fruits have a strong aroma that will deter pests and critters from coming closer to the compost pile.

But, avoid adding large quantities of citrus at one time. It will increase the acidity of the compost heap.


Can you compost citrus seeds?

Yes, you may compost citrus seeds if using hot composting piles. The high temperature may prevent the seeds from germinating. You may remove the seeds and compost the citrus if using cold composting piles.

Can you compost grapefruits?

Yes, you can compost grapefruits but in moderate amounts. They must be cut in half or quarter and split open before composting. You have to mix them with a six-inch layer of browns on the top of the grapefruits. Adding too many grapefruit peels may disturb the balance of compost.

Bottom Line

I hope this guide has busted the myths about composting citrus.

You may follow the steps mentioned above to compost citrus in the right way.

Please do share your thoughts about composting them.