Are Four-O-Clocks Toxic And Are They Safe For Compost

Question From: S. Chen - CALIFORNIA
Q: I see on your instructions that you recommend composting them at the end of the season. I was curious if that will be harmful in anyway since they are poisonous (at least that I what I've read elsewhere...that they are toxic to pests but also to humans and pets). Will putting it in the compost pile add "poison" to my compost/compost tea and so on?

A: Many of the plants in our gardens are toxic to humans and animals yet we grow them in our gardens and compost their remains. They usually make up such a small percentage of the whole the toxicity is negligible, Also the poisonous chemicals are broken down as the plant matter decomposes. That said, 4 o-clocks are not listed on the Cornel website of toxic plalnts. If you are worried, chop them up very fine and mix them in well. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy