Is there any reason to avoid putting flowers purchased from the florist in compost?

The flowers were gifts but are now wilting. Would florists or growers use anything on the flowers to preserve them that might be bad for compost?

3 Answers 3


The only reason not to that I can think of is that commercially produced flowers can have a lot of pesticide residue. Some of these chemicals may break down during composting. And unless you're adding a large amount of flowers to your compost pile (in terms of the ratio to other material) it will be diluted greatly by the rest of your compost feedstock. So it seems unlikely to me that it would cause a problem with the end product, but if you want to be absolutely safe, add the flowers to a compost pile that you won't use on edibles.


We regularly put such flowers on the compost. Take care to remove any ribbon, wire, oasis, etc. None of that stuff will compost down.

Also a lot of cut flowers (eg. Roses) will dry to woody long material. They will break down much quicker if you cut them into 3-4 pieces first.

  • 2
    My trick to aid in breaking down materials is to run over them with the lawnmower with the bag attached, then dump the bag in the bin. Aug 30, 2011 at 13:28
  • 1
    Yes that would do it - works well with leaves, and a lot of weeds (without seed heads) get thrown on the lawn ready to be mulched by the lawn mower.
    – winwaed
    Aug 30, 2011 at 13:32

Unless they have disease, bad garden bugs, or unorganic pesticides there is no reason why they wouldn't be a wonderful addition to your collection!

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