Rob_NZ
Full Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:23 am
Location: New Zealand

Deadly Nightshade?

Might seem a bone question, but cleary Deadly Nightshade has poisonous chemicals within it, so is it OK to compost it, or is there a danger that the poison might transfer into vegies when the compost is used?

Cheers!

cynthia_h
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Well, I'm composting rhubarb leaves (toxic; do NOT eat).

Most people compost the very near-relatives of Deadly Nightshade--potatoes, tomatoes, peppers--without any problems.

Unless Deadly Nightshade is invasive (cf. English Ivy, hedera helix), there shouldn't be any difficulty.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Rob_NZ
Full Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:23 am
Location: New Zealand

Thanks Cynthia, good news because I've got lots,lol!

wingdesigner
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2038
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:58 pm
Location: Michigan--LP(troll)

Rob, here in Michigan nightshade IS invasive, and is on our Dept. of Agriculture noxious plant list. If the juice from the sap or berries comes in contact with skin or mucous membranes it can be deadly to some people. Whereas peppers and tomatoes can be composted, I wouldn't chance it with nightshade. Some folks are sensitive to the compounds in that plant and you probably don't know if you are one of them. I'm not talking rashes, but rather affecting the electrical system of the heart. IMO, it's garbage, not compost. (Getting off soapbox now.)
Happy Gardening,
Wing

Rob_NZ
Full Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:23 am
Location: New Zealand

Thanks very much Wing, appreciated. We often don't appreciate the things plants are capable of doing to us and I will err on the side of caution after your advice. Thank you.

wingdesigner
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2038
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:58 pm
Location: Michigan--LP(troll)

Well, I used to get paid to be a pessimist, did that for over 20 years, guess it ruined my personality... :lol: Seriously, I've been a big fan of NZ's island ecosystems (hope to go there someday) and Australia's, and it makes me wince every time I read about something introduced that becomes invasive because it has no natural enemies; whether animal or plant. Then there's the human toll. At my old house I used to be the crazy person chasing kids out of the yard (no fences) when I caught them picking ripe nightshade berries out of the quince bush. It was h*** on wheels trying to get that stuff out of there, but their little hands and arms fit between all the thorns quite easily. It boggled my mind why they'd want to eat something that smelled so awful!
Happy Gardening,
Wing

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Deadly nightshade is as bad as ground bindweed, IMO. I've been trying to get it out of my yard for 10 years, and it keeps popping back up. I hate the stuff. :evil:

User avatar
smokensqueal
Green Thumb
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:36 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO Metro area

Not knowing what this was I looked it up. WOW your not kidding it can be a not so good plant. Good thing I don't think we have it here, at least I've never seen it. But I would stay away from composting it for vegetable gardens. But if you want to compost it I would say it would be more then fine for trees, landscaping and general yard work.

As far as getting rid of it, it appears it likes moist, high PH soils. So I would suggest either drying out the location or just sprinkle on a little sulfur to bring down the PH.

Return to “Composting Forum”