how long do peat pots take to decompose

how long do peat pots take to decompose

How Long Do Peat Pots Take To Decompose?

Peat pots are popular amongst gardeners for starting seedlings and young plants. They are made from a biodegradable material (usually cellulose fibre) that, although can break down over time, is often slow to decompose. Here is what you need to know about how long peat pots typically take to decompose.

Decomposition Time Frames

Peat pots can take an estimated 6-24 months to decompose depending on the environmental conditions and the conditions of the soil. This is because peat pots are made from cellulose fibers, which are considered to be very slow to degrade. Microorganisms in the soil help to break down cellulose products, however these need adequate levels of moisture, oxygen, and nutrients in order to be effective.

Factors That Influence Decomposition

There are a few different factors that can affect the decomposition rate of peat pots.

  • Soil Type – Clay based soils produce slower decomposition rates compared to soils with higher levels of organic matter.
  • Environmental Conditions – Predictably, decomposition will occur more quickly in warmer environments compared to cooler ones.
  • Age of pot – Pots that are already a few years old will decompose more quickly than a newly bought pot.
  • Size and Thickness – The size and thickness of the pot can also influence decomposition rate, with larger and thicker pots taking longer to decompose.

What To Do With Decomposed Pots

Once the pot has degraded enough to where it is not visible and no longer causes a visual obstruction, the decomposed peat should be left in the soil. The nutrients in the pot will be broken down and can add to the soils fertility.


Peat pots offer gardeners a great option for starting seeding and young plants, and they are compostable over time. Although the decomposition rate takes a few months, there are factors that affect it, causing some pots to last longer than others. With any pot, it is best to leave it in the soil when it is sufficiently decomposed to where it should not cause any visual obstruction.