How to Compost Flowers & Nursery Plants


According to the University of Missouri, compost is a collection of partially decayed organic material created by the warm environment of the compost pile to decompose more quickly than it would in the soil. Compost turns into humus eventually, which is why it is so good for the soil. Compost aids the soil by improving its drainage and making a richer environment for plants to thrive in. All organic material, including flowers and nursery plants, can be composted.

Step 1

Ensure that flowers and nursery plants are disease-free before you compost them. Plant diseases are often soil borne and difficult to get rid of. Place any diseased flowers or plants into a plastic bag and leave it in the sun until the plants are dry before you add them to your compost pile.

Step 2

Tear up flowers into small 1-inch-by-1-inch sections. Break apart the nursery plants; Tear off the leaves, rip apart the stems and remove the roots. Be sure no piece is bigger than 3 inches by 3 inches.

Step 3

Place the torn-up flowers and nursery plants into your compost pile.

Step 4

Add a 1- to 2-inch-thick layer of manure or soil on top of the flowers and nursery plants.

Step 5

Stir your compost pile with a stick or turn it over with a shovel or the handle, if it is a rotating compost bin.

Tips and Warnings

  • According to the EPA, you should not add flowers or nursery plants to a compost pile that have been treated with herbicides or pesticides.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost pile
  • Shovel
  • Manure or soil


  • University of Missouri: Making and Using Compost
  • University of Illinois: Materials for Composting
  • EPA: Composting
Keywords: composting flowers, composting nursery plants, composting plants

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.