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Is there any reason NOT to put citrus in compost? Someone recently told me that they heard the acid was bad for compost and could kill the bugs. Recently I had to remove numerous citrus from compost because I found they had gotten moldy in the compost . They were not moldy before they went in. 


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I have found citrus peels & unusable fruit to be a valuable addition to my compost because they break down readily (the mold is part of that process) and they acidify the compost a bit, which is really good when used in our alkaline native soil. I've never had any problem with citrus adversely affecting my (beautiful!) compost.

Thanks for your replies

The mold not being a problem actually surprised me that it is NOT a problem. 


I have heard that grapefruits shouldn't be composted because of their seeds.  Does anyone here use Grapefruit Seed Extract?  The product is amazing - antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial!  But because of these properties, a site on composting mentioned not to compost their seeds (ie, the whole fruit).


Anyone else experience this?

I compost all of our citrus (lemons, tangerines, grapefruit, oranges, pumelos including the seeds). I need to cut up the larger rinds to help it break down faster. I found that the citrus may mold if the pile goes anaerobic and does not heat up.


I have steam coming off the new compost. I think the addition of dry crumbles helps in heating up the pile.


The mold may only be a problem only if you are allergic to it.


what are dry crumbles. I do have a problem with lack of heat  from compost

Linda, It is the Bioflora organic fertilizer I purchased along with the bare root trees from the Jan sale.

No aeration,  too much moisture, or a bad mix of carbon to nitrogen components can cause the pile to go anaerobic and not heat up.

Here are two well-done videos which should help you out on composting:


Composting (Part 1)

Composting (Part 2)


Interesting videos. thank you for the link. I thought we were supposed to avoid putting soil in our compost here due to the alkaline nature of our soil. I could not help but wonder about this in the video. 


Soil is used to keep down flies In the pile and to add microbes to the compost for decomposition. Adding finished compost to the soil buffers the alkalinity.


True alkaline soils are clay soils with a high PH (> 9), poor structure, and have slow drainage.  Large amounts of organic matter and gypsum are needed to reclaim such soil.


Oh thank you. Nice to know I can put citrus in the compost. I've been sending it to the landfill.
Harold, I use Red Wiggler worms in my compost and keep my citrus compost separate from them as I've been told the citrus will "burn them up"....not sure if this is true but I have 6 bins so it is easy for me to compost the citrus separately.
 I've read that these plants may burn little wormies so they are excluded from my worm bins...these should be ok in a larger well balanced non-vermi composting situation.


  • onions and garlic
  • aromatic herbs
  • citrus fruits
  • tomatoes
  • anything very salty
  • anything very vinegary


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