Are this plants allowed?

rosfromcroatiaNovember 15, 2009


I am a newbie in vermicomposting, but willing to learn.

I live in the submediterranean climate here, and have some plants in my garden which I don't know if the worms will accept. I thought of grinding the branches/leaves/whatever and precompost them for a few weeks before adding them to the worm bed.

I am not sure of their English names, so I will post the Latin ones:

Laurus nobilis (very aromatic)

Nerium oleander (I know it's poisonous for humans)

Prunus laurocerasus

Hedera helix (and other hedera species)

Seaweed - I guess I have to "wash" the salt out, after that it should be fine.

I might get to other "unsure" material, and I hope I can ask for opinions again.


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Hello rosfromcroatia. I think worms will eat any kind of decaying plant material, including the types you listed. I even feed mine citrus and pineapple, which others do not recommend, and they are thriving.

However, yard wastes are generally better to compost in an outdoors, microbial-type compost heap, while kitchen wastes can be composted either in worm bins or outdoors. I don't have space for a traditional compost heap so I deal with yard trimmings similar to yours by shredding them with my lawnmower and then using them as mulch.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 8:04PM
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I have read somewhere, not sure if it was this forum or another one, NOT to feed the worms oleander, ANY part of it.
I don't have oleander, but I have Datura, also called Angel's Trumpet, Brugmansia, and any part of it is also poisonous. I do not put that in my worm bin, but the backyard composter. The volume of it is so much larger, but I still do not feed the worms with compost from there.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 6:08PM
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Useful information about the oleander. I'll keep that in mind.
Also, I know Datura stramonium to be abused by some crazy people as a drug. A guy consuming it died last year.

I will try the pre compost method with the other plants, and try to feed a small amonut to the worms. Hopefully, noting bad will happen.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 4:17AM
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Something to keep in mind, when you compost a material that has salts, toxic compounds, etc. you can be concentrating the levels of those items in your bin. Depending on how you're going to be using the compost, you may want to either be careful or at least be conscious of that.

The leaves, stems, etc. of a plant containing anything toxic would of course not be toxic to that plant so if in doubt you could still make use of that material by mulching it and letting it decompose around the plant it came from.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 10:43PM
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