Composting Citrus Peels: A Simple Guide to Reducing Food Waste

Hey there, fellow garden enthusiasts! Are you looking for sustainable ways to reduce your food waste and nourish your plants at the same time? Well, look no further!

In this article, we will explore the world of composting citrus peels. It’s an eco-friendly way to recycle kitchen scraps and enrich your garden. Turn citrus peels into valuable compost with our step-by-step guide. We’ll show you the easy steps to make it happen. With this simple guide, you can easily turn those peels into nutrient-rich compost for your garden.

Scattered citrus peels on white surface for composting citrus peels, contrasting green zest against white pith.

Image by Epic Gardening

Why Composting Citrus Peels is a Great Idea?

Are you throwing away all those citrus peels after enjoying your fruit? Did you know that citrus peels are full of valuable nutrients that can benefit your garden? Composting citrus peels is an eco-friendly solution that not only reduces landfill waste but also provides essential elements to enrich your soil. Embracing this natural process allows you to give back to the Earth while reaping the benefits of healthy plants. So, let’s dive into the world of composting citrus peels!

Types of Citrus Fruits That Can Be Composted2

You can toss citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, limes, and grapefruits into your compost bin. Also, their peels and the juicy parts can go in. Citrus fruits take a bit longer to break down because they’re a little acidic. To speed things up, chop them into small pieces. Leftover bits from juicing work well, too. Mixing them with other compost materials will help make good soil for your garden.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Composting Citrus Peels

When it comes to composting citrus peels, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure successful decomposition. Here are some do’s and don’ts to guide you along the way:

1. Do Cut the Peels into Smaller Pieces

By cutting the citrus peels into smaller sizes, you facilitate faster decomposition and ensure that they blend well with other compost materials.

2. Do balance the Carbon-Nitrogen Ratio

Citrus peels are considered high in carbon, so it’s essential to balance them with nitrogen-rich materials, such as grass clippings or kitchen scraps, to maintain an optimal composting environment.

3. Don’t overload your Compost Pile with Citrus Peels

While citrus peels are great for composting, an excess amount can slow down the decomposition process. It’s best to add them in small quantities to maintain a balanced mixture.

Don’t use only citrus peels in your compost: To create a well-rounded compost, it’s important to include a mix of different organic materials, such as leaves, vegetable scraps, and yard trimmings.

The Composting Process

Now that we know the basics, let’s take a closer look at the composting process for citrus peels. Follow these simple steps to turn your kitchen waste into black gold for your garden:

1. Prepare a Compost Bin or Pile

First, decide where you want to compost. You can use a special bin or make a compost pile in your backyard. Make sure it’s in a place where air can flow through and you can easily reach it to turn the compost.

2. Cut and Add Citrus Peels

Cut your citrus peels into smaller pieces. This makes them break down faster. Put them in your compost bin or pile along with other stuff like leaves and kitchen scraps. This mix helps your compost work well.

3. Moisten the Compost

Citrus peels can be dry, so they need water to break down. Think of it like making a sponge damp. Your compost should feel similar – not too wet, not too dry.

4. Turn the Compost Regularly

Every few weeks, use a tool like a garden fork or shovel to mix or turn the compost. This helps air get in and spreads the water around. It also speeds up the breakdown process.

5. Patience is Key

Composting takes time. Depending on various factors like temperature and the mix of materials, it can take several weeks to several months for your citrus peels to fully decompose. Be patient and allow nature to work its magic!

Tips For Efficient Composting of Citrus Peels

Image by WhyFarmIt

1. Maintain the Right Temperature

Keep your compost between 90°F and 144°F. This range helps things break down quickly. Too cold is slow, and too hot can harm the helpful microorganisms.

2. Keep It Moist

If you add citrus peels to your compost, make sure it stays moist. Dry compost can smell bad and attract pests.

3. Direct Contact with Soil

When composting citrus peels in your yard, place them in contact with the soil. Over time, they break down and release nutrients directly into the ground.

4. Balance with Brown Material

To avoid high acidity and nutrient imbalances, mix equal parts of citrus peels with brown materials. This helps the compost work well.

Benefits of Composting Citrus Peels and Using the Resulting Compost

Composting plays a vital role in promoting sustainability on our planet. Putting citrus food scraps in the compost bin is a significant part of this effort, but there are also additional advantages to composting citrus.

Apart from reducing food waste, composting citrus peels offers numerous benefits for your garden:

1. Improved soil structure

Compost made from citrus peels improves soil texture, allowing for better water retention and aeration. It also enhances the soil’s ability to hold onto essential nutrients for your plants.

2. Increased microbial activity

The organic matter in citrus peels encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the soil, promoting a healthy ecosystem for plant roots.

Nutrient-rich soil amendment: Citrus peels contain valuable nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. These nutrients are slowly released into the soil as the peels decompose, providing a natural and sustainable source of nourishment for your plants.

Image by HOTBIN Compost Bins


Composting citrus peels is a simple and effective way to reduce food waste while providing a nutrient-rich compost heap for your garden. By following the do’s and don’ts, mastering the composting process, and being patient, you can turn those discarded citrus peels into a valuable organic resource. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your compost bin or create a compost pile, and give your garden the gift of nourishment with composted citrus peels!

Our most frequently asked questions on composting citrus peels.

Can I compost orange peels along with other citrus peels?

Absolutely! Orange peels are just as suitable for composting as other citrus peels. Remember to cut them into small pieces to speed up decomposition and ensure a well-balanced compost mixture.

Can I compost citrus fruits other than peels?

Yes, you can! While citrus peels are the primary focus for composting, you can also compost the whole fruit in moderation. However, be mindful of any seeds or pulp that may take longer to decompose.

Can I add citrus peels directly to my plants?

It’s best to compost citrus peels before adding them to your plants. Fresh citrus peels may contain oils and compounds that can be harmful to some plants. Composting ensures that these substances break down, rendering them safe for your garden.

How long does it take for citrus peels to decompose in a compost pile?

The decomposition time for citrus peels can vary depending on several factors such as temperature, moisture, and the overall mix of composting materials. On average, it may take several months for citrus peels to completely decompose in a well-maintained compost pile.

Are Citrus Fruits Considered ‘Green’ or ‘Brown’?

Citrus is categorized as a green material due to its rich nitrogen content. To create effective compost, you need to maintain the right balance of greens and browns. A general guideline is to use one part of green materials for every two or three parts of brown materials, although you can adapt this ratio based on your specific compost bin conditions.

How to Compost Citrus with Subpod

Subpod is a vermicomposting system that handles citrus with ease. Its design lets worms move away from what they don’t like, leaving microbes to break down the citrus. The subpod is durable, odor-free, and stylish, doubling as a garden seat.


  2. Citrus in Compost: How To Properly Add Citrus Peels in Compost Bins (
  3. Can You Compost Citrus Peels (Lemon and Orange)? | Gardenine

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