Blooming flowers are a sight to watch. Their bright colors and sweet scent not only attract humans but insects as well. Even if they are dead, flowers can be of some use.
While flower lovers would throw dead flowers away with a heavy heart, most of us would see dead flowers as entirely useless, but that is not the case.
The garbage is not the right place for them.
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Can You Put Dead Flowers In A Compost Bin?
Yes. You can put your dead flowers in the compost bin. This is where they should go, rather than throwing them in the trash. It only takes a few months for dead flowers to decompose into compost.
Compost bins can help decompose dead flowers that can later be used to fertilize your soil. It also helps the soil retain its moisture while minimizing the risk of plant diseases and pests.
Apart from enriching the soil, composting dead flowers decreases the need for chemical fertilizers, thus saving you money. Not to mention the increased production of beneficial bacteria and fungi.
Some people suggest mincing dead flowers before composting them. Although cutting them into small scraps would boost the decomposition of those dead flowers, some flower lovers might not have the heart to do it.
How Can You Add Dead Flowers To A Compost Bin?
Composting dead flowers is a great way of ensuring your garden soil stays nutrient-rich. Before starting the process, ensure that you have gathered all the dead flowers that have fallen to the ground.
If the flowers have long stems, trim them, or shred them using a shredder or scissors. You can combine many dead flowers along with some water to speed up the decomposition process. Then give the dead flowers a mix using a garden fork.
How Long Does It Take For Flowers To Decompose?
Dead flowers generally take 6 months to a year to fully decompose into nutrient-rich compost.
If you follow our recommendations above to cut things up and give it a little water, you will have your compost sooner rather than later.
Do Dead Flowers Fall Under Green Or Brown Compost Category?
Dead flowers cannot be truly categorized as green or brown compost. Instead, they are a mixture of both green and brown compost.
For materials to qualify as green compost, they must be rich in protein and nitrogen. Green compost materials tend to heat the compost pile as they assist in fostering microorganism growth.
On the other hand, brown compost is composed of organic materials that are rich in carbon and carbohydrates.
Most people believe that dead flowers fall under the green compost category. But since most dead flowers dry out before they die, they partially fall under the brown compost category too.
At the same time, regardless of being dead, these flowers do have some green elements in them, thus causing them to act as green compost.
In a nutshell, dead flowers offer a balanced blend of both green and brown compost material. Even if you just add dead flower petals to a compost bin, they will decompose to form natural compost.
What Should I Add To Dead Flowers When Forming a Compost?
Although dead flowers can turn into compost on their own, adding certain ingredients can make the compost more beneficial and safer to use.
Landscaping experts believe that water and limestone are the two key ingredients you should consider adding to dead flowers before creating compost.
Adding water to dead flowers when forming compost is situational. It might only be required when you add dead flower clippings that have dried out in the compost bin.
Meanwhile, adding moistened limestone promises certain benefits to the generated compost. One key advantage is that it neutralizes the harmful chemicals that might form when the compost is developing.
Although garden waste and trimmings decompose without the need of adding limestone, it might take a tad longer. Besides, it is most useful when creating compost from green waste materials.
Is It Ok To Compost Diseased Flowers?
Diseased flowers will eventually form a compost, but adding them deliberately to your compost bin is not a wise decision.
Diseased flowers or plants that suffer from blight can contaminate the compost. Consequently, it can allow the disease to sweep into the germinating seeds of the upcoming season.
If you end up with diseased flowers and plants in your garden, you can consider burning them. One thing to note while burning dead flowers is to do it at high temperatures. This will help you eliminate them quickly.
An alternative way of dealing with diseased flowers is to introduce earthworms to compost during its formation. The worms will feed on any harmful fungi that have diseased the flowers.
This process might take longer, and you may have to wait for some time before the compost is completely free from diseases. Since there is no way to know for sure, I recommend against composting any diseased plants.
Anything Else You Should Not Compost?
Be aware that there are certain leaves that you should not add to the compost. One of those leaves is that of a black walnut tree. Native to North America, it is renowned for its sweet-flavored fruits.
However, this allelopathic plant releases biochemicals that prevent other plants and flowers from germination, growth, and survival. Other leaves that must be avoided are beech, oak, and eucalyptus.
Experts believe that biochemicals produced from allelopathic plants can reside within their leaves even if they are dead. Adding those dead leaves to the compost can contaminate it and prevent seed germination.
The Bottom Line
If you love flowers, composting is an excellent way to ensure your dead flowers are not going to waste.
The compost formed from dead flowers can not only enrich the soil but also ensures that it retains its moisture. When added to the soil, it can help in the healthy seed germination of plants and flowers in the upcoming season.