Can You Compost a Poinsettia?

Dead poinsettia at Happy Simple Living blog
Photo by stevendepolo

Dear Ms. Homesteader,

Now that the holidays are over, my poinsettia is dropping its red petals and becoming less attractive by the hour. My wife suggested throwing it in the compost pile, but I thought I remembered reading that poinsettias are poisonous. To compost or not to compost?

Sincerely yours,

Poindexter Settya

Dear Mr. Settya,

You will be happy to hear that poinsettias are not poisonous, so yours can be safely added to the compost heap. Some people are sensitive to the milky sap that comes from the poinsettia’s branches; it can occasionally cause an itchy rash. Wear your gardening gloves when you add the plant to the compost, and be careful not to rub your eyes after touching the plants. Here at the urban homestead, we composted our very own poinsettia plant just yesterday, and it immediately transformed the compost heap into a festive and colorful montage:

poinsettia.jpg

Sincerely,

Ms. Homesteader

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

5 thoughts on “Can You Compost a Poinsettia?”

  1. In composting, chemical compounds break down – even chemical compounds. So it should be safe to include some poisonous plants into your compost bin. I guess, if you would use ONLY poinsettias for composting, there should be a slight problem. But if you wait long enough, everything will finally break down.

    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

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