Are Orange Peels Good For Garden Soil? (Answered)

Curious about the potential benefits of using orange peels in your garden soil? Our latest blog post delves into the advantages of incorporating this citrusy waste into your gardening routine.

Learn how orange peels can enrich your soil and promote the growth of your plants, while also discovering the benefits of other natural soil enhancers like pine needles and pecan shells.

Turn your kitchen waste into a valuable resource for your garden and embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. Don’t miss out on these eco-friendly tips—read on and discover the power of orange peels in your garden soil!

Orange peels can provide essential nutrients and improve soil structure in your garden soil.
Orange peels can be used as a natural pest deterrent by scattering them around the base of your plants or burying them in the soil.
Orange peels are a great addition to your compost pile as they can help to enrich the soil.
Orange peels should not be used with acid-loving plants such as blueberries, as they can alter the soil pH.
Orange peels can take up to six months to decompose in garden soil, depending on factors such as soil temperature and moisture levels.

Do Orange Peels Decompose?

Orange peels have a high carbon/nitrogen ratio, meaning they do not decompose as quickly as other organic materials. The cellulose in orange peels is particularly slow to break down because it contains no lignin and is therefore very digestible by fungi.

Orange peels are high in nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium all good things for plants! However, because of their density and moisture content, orange peels take longer to break down than some other materials such as hay or grass clippings.

How Long Will Orange Peels Take To Decompose?

The decomposition time of orange peels depends on the variety, age, and condition of your garden soil. 

On average, it takes approximately two months for an orange peel to decompose. However, if the conditions in your garden are right and there is plenty of organic matter in the soil, you can expect them to break down much faster.

Orange peels can be composted or added directly into your garden as fertilizer; however, they must be fresh when added to help speed up the decomposition process.

“Adding crushed eggshells to your garden soil can be an inexpensive and natural way to boost the nutrient content and improve soil structure. Learn more about the benefits of using eggshells in your garden soil in our article on are eggshells good for your garden soil?

Is Orange Peel Acidic Or Alkaline?

Orange peel is slightly acidic, as it has a pH of about 5.0 to 6.5, so it’s not going to have any significant effect on your soil’s pH level.

The acidity of orange peels contributes to their effectiveness as a compost ingredient; they counterbalance the alkaline nature of many materials used in composting, such as coffee grounds and shredded newspaper. 

Adding orange peels to your compost helps keep things balanced and aerated by breaking up clumps of material and keeping air circulating throughout the pile.

What Other Citrus Peels Are Beneficial For The Garden?

Lemons and limes are also beneficial for the soil. Lemons are more acidic, so they’re great for acidic soils. Limes are more alkaline, but only slightly so they can also be used in both types of soil. 

When using lemons it is important to remember that they contain oils that could make them harmful if eaten by animals. 

However, they’re still good to use as mulch or compost because you will be able to plant vegetables nearby without any problems due to the toxicity of these oils being contained within the peel itself rather than on its surface like with citrus fruits.

“Leaves can be a great addition to your garden soil, as they can improve soil structure and provide essential nutrients. Check out our article on are leaves good for garden soil explained to learn more about the benefits of using leaves in your garden.”

What Kind Of Pests Are Kept Away By Orange Peels?

Orange peels are an effective pesticide and they can help prevent these pests:

  • Fly larvae, including house flies, blow flies, and fruit flies.
  • Fleas and ticks.
  • Moths, especially webbing clothes moths.
  • Ants (ants will not eat orange peels but the acid in orange peels will kill them if they come into contact with it).
  • Termites (termites don’t have a taste for oranges but when they ingest orange peel oil it stops their growth).
  • Mites (mites won’t eat oranges but their eggs will die from contact with the acid in the peel).

Slugs, caterpillars, aphids, and larvae which feed on plants like squash bugs through to cabbage moths and fruit flies are susceptible to orange peel oils too so these little pests are kept away when you use your leftover citrus rinds as a natural garden pest repellent! 

This is why you’ll find this technique recommended by many gardening experts around the world too!

Can Orange Peels Be Used In The Garden More Than Once?

Yes! Orange peels have many uses in your garden. If you have lots of orange peels, they can be used to make compost and fertilizer. You can also use them to make tea or potpourri.

You may be wondering: Can I use orange peels more than once?

The answer is yes! Orange peels can be used for many things in the garden.

“Did you know that burnt leaves can be a useful addition to your garden soil? In our article on are burnt leaves good for garden soil?, we explore how burnt leaves can provide essential nutrients and improve soil structure.”

How Should Orange Peels Be Used In Gardening?

Orange peels can be used to add nutrients to your soil in a variety of ways. They contain generous amounts of magnesium, calcium, and potassium all three of which are essential for healthy plant growth. 

Orange peels also contain a high amount of phosphorus and zinc, as well as trace amounts of copper and iron.

The high concentration of vitamin C in orange peels means they’re particularly good at attracting beneficial insects to your garden such as ladybugs and lacewings allowing them to feast on the pests that might otherwise damage your plants (and eat them).

On top of all that, orange peels have been shown to repel aphids (a common pest among citrus trees) while attracting predator wasps that feed on those same aphids! 

In addition, they act as an excellent moisture barrier when sprinkled around any container plants you grow indoors or outdoors during winter months when watering isn’t necessary but humidity levels tend to drop significantly anyway.

Does Composting Need Orange Peels To Work Faster?

The compost pile indeed needs a balance of carbon-rich materials, like brown leaves and straw, with nitrogen-rich ones, like kitchen scraps. 

But orange peels aren’t necessary for the composting process to work faster. Orange peels are not biodegradable they don’t break down easily in soil or water.

This doesn’t mean you can never put orange peels in your garden soil; they’re quite good at suppressing weed growth! 

Just be sure not to put them directly on top of other plants’ roots or stems because they can cause damage and even death if ingested by certain animals such as rabbits or deer (or humans).

“Using pine needles in your garden soil can provide a variety of benefits, including improving soil structure, adding nutrients, and repelling pests. Learn more about the advantages of using pine needles in our article on are pine needles good for garden soil?

Can I Use Oranges Instead Of Orange Peels?

If you don’t have orange peels, can you just use oranges instead?

Well, it depends. The best way to answer that question is this: If you have a lot of oranges and aren’t planning on eating them, then yes! Use the oranges instead of the peel. If not, then no! Don’t waste your time; composting is hard enough as it is!

Orange Peels Are Good For Your Soil, But Not Everyone Uses Them In The Same Way

Orange peels are good for your soil, but not everyone uses them in the same way. Some people just add the peels directly to their compost bin, while others prefer to bury them beneath the surface of the soil and leave them there for several weeks before digging them up again.

The latter method is known as “cold composting,” and it allows you to use all of an orange’s nutrients without having to worry about any mold.

Or bacterial problems that might occur in your regular compost pile (though we recommend covering your orange peel-filled holes with plastic sheeting if you’re leaving them alone for any period).

Accordingly, if you’ve got a lot of oranges on hand and want to give this method a try yourself, here’s what we recommend doing:

Cut off each end from the orange so that it can stand upright unassisted (this will make removing the seeds easier later on). 

Remove all remaining white pith from inside each half by scraping gently with a paring knife or vegetable peeler you should be left only with flesh. If desired, cut out some sections where seeds are present; these might come out easily when feeding time arrives later on! 

2) Now chop each half into small pieces that measure no more than 1” long x ¼” wide x ½” deep these chunks should look something like little meatballs once they’re ready! 

3) Place those pieces into one big bucket or baggie filled halfway full with dirt (any kind will do), cover loosely with plastic wrap (so air can still get through), then set aside somewhere warm like near an open window during wintertime months.

Until spring comes around again when temperatures rise above freezing every night outside overnight you’ll know when this happens because the snow starts melting away around town instead juicing up lawns everywhere else nearby during daytime hours instead.

“Looking for a natural way to improve your garden soil? Consider using pecan shells! Our article on are pecan shells good for garden soil? explains how pecan shells can add nutrients and improve soil structure, among other benefits.”


Orange peels can be used as mulch, compost, or fertilizer. They’re also good for your garden because they deter pests and attract pollinators. If you have extra oranges lying around, go ahead and throw them into the dirt! 

The best way to use orange peels is by burying them under an inch or two of soil in a shallow trench or pot filled with potting mix. This will help keep pests away while improving the quality of your garden soil over time.

Further Reading

How to Use Orange Peel to Naturally Deter Pests: This article provides tips and tricks for using orange peel as a natural pest deterrent in your garden.

6 Creative Ways to Use Orange Peels in Your Garden: This article offers unique ideas for using orange peel in your garden, including making DIY fertilizers and repelling pests.


1. Are orange peels good for garden soil?

Yes, orange peels can be a beneficial addition to your garden soil as they can provide essential nutrients and improve soil structure.

2. How do I use orange peels to deter pests in my garden?

To use orange peels as a natural pest deterrent, simply scatter them around the base of your plants or bury them in the soil.

3. Can I compost orange peels?

Yes, orange peels are a great addition to your compost pile as they can help to enrich the soil.

4. Are there any plants that orange peels should not be used with?

Orange peels should not be used with acid-loving plants such as blueberries, as they can alter the soil pH.

5. How long does it take for orange peels to decompose in garden soil?

Orange peels can take up to six months to decompose in garden soil, depending on factors such as soil temperature and moisture levels.