I have heard from a friend that orange and in general citrus peel should not be put to the compost pile. This is due to the artificial ripening agents added to them.

If this really the case what is the reason behind it? What problem these artificial ripening agents could introduce to the compost?

2 Answers 2


Some sources believe that citrus peels deter worms and other organisms from breaking down the compost as usual, but its more to do with their natural acidity rather than any chemicals that may have been used. You can put citrus peels in the compost, but they are better chopped up small (they take a long time to break down completely otherwise); how you add them efficiently depends on the method of composting you use, see here: How to Add Lemons & Oranges to Compost.


Orange peel rich in phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. Adding citrus peels to the compost pile definitely increases the nutrition level. Recommend to cut the peels into small pieces. It increases the decomposing time.

Before peel, the citrus properly washes it. Then any chemicals or toxins will be washed away.

  • 1
    increases the decomposing time? Jan 2, 2021 at 21:58
  • 1
    Yes. When you cut the peels into a smallest piece it increase the peels decompose time.
    – Chathu
    Jan 4, 2021 at 3:00
  • Nope. I'd say that smaller pieces decompose faster, since there's a bigger area per volume exposed. It decreases the time. Jan 4, 2021 at 13:07
  • Maybe chopping increase rate of decomposing, maybe something was lost in translation :) Jun 11, 2022 at 21:21

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