10 Ways To Use Pistachio Shells In Your Garden & Home

Are pistachio shells biodegradable? How can I re-use pistachio shells at home? Are pistachio shells good for the garden? Are they any use? This piece will guide you.

There are so many uses for some of the food and fruits we eat. This includes every part of them or their trees, however, we have gotten so focused on consuming them alone that we do not pay attention to other things that could be useful. Many natural things that we consume have other benefits to offer us and we only have to look closer to discover them.

An example is eggs, the egg is typically consumed, however, eggs can be used for many other things like skincare, eggshells can also be used in the garden or for cleaning, etc.  

Have you ever heard of the pistachio nuts? Pistachio nuts are the seeds from the pistachio tree, a member of the cashew family. They are sweet and come in green. Although they’re referred to as nuts, they are seeds. They are full of nutrients that are beneficial to the body i.e. protein, fats, fiber, etc.

Although the pistachio nuts are known to be consumed, what many do not know is that the pistachio nuts shell can be used for numerous things in your home and garden. Amazing right!

The pistachio has a special color and texture; they can be used for a whole lot of things ranging from skincare to gardening and art.

Are Pistachio Shells Biodegradable?

Pistachio shells are just like walnut shells but they even seem tougher and hard and takes quite a long time to break down fully.

These precious shells won’t readily decompose and due to how hard it is, it might take a long while to biodegrade in a compost pile and even longer than 3 years to biodegrade outdoor. Its often recommended to have them crushed to enable them to decompose faster so yes, Pistachio shells are biodegradable but take a long while to break down.

The woody composition of pistachio shells makes them great for making useful stuff around the home rather than throwing them out. So rather than waiting for it to biodegrade, you can have it used for composting, they may take a few years to decompose as well but they make the compost less heavy. There are also other ways to use pistachio shells around the home.

Interesting read: Biodegradable Trash Bags: Worth it? (Best Options to Buy)

Creative Uses For Pistachio Shells Around The Home

This might be a time to reconsider throwing the shell away and read on to find out the many things you can do with the pistachio shell.

1. Mulch

Mulch are basic materials (compost, decaying leaves, bark, etc.) that are applied to the surface of the soil. Mulch improves the fertility of the soil, its health, reduces weed growth, etc. putting mulch on your farm not only gives it health benefits but also makes it look really beautiful.

You can either apply your pistachio shell to the surface of your soil or combine it with other organic mulch, then apply. Pistachio shells when broken down will add carbon, fats, carbohydrate, and protein to your soil. To get the shells ready, you can soak them into water overnight and apply them to the soil the next day

2. Fire Kindling

Isn’t this amazing? Pistachio shells are great for kindling fire, especially in enclosed fire pits and wood stoves. The shell’s texture, oil content, and air space make the shell very suitable for fire starting. You may want to hold on with using this shell for an open campfire, this is because, the oil content in it, allows it to pop when it is exposed to high open fire.

If you must use it for your open fire, you should wrap it first in some paper before getting fire to it. This will prevent them from popping out of the flame.

3. Pistachio Shells For Jewelry Making

This is probably one of the most known ways to reuse the pistachio shell. The pistachio shell is suitable for every and any jewelry, from bracelets to neckpieces. You can paint them in any color of your choice; you can also add some shine to them. To last long, use a strong thread, or monofilament string to hold them together, you can also arrange them in whatever shape you desire.

4. Wreaths

If you didn’t know, we are glad to inform you that not only can you make a wreath with flowers or leaves but also with a pistachio shell! You can use them for your festive seasons; Christmas, Halloween, etc. you can also make them for each season. You can paint your wreaths in colors of your choice.

5. Potted Plant Drainage

Another amazing way to use pistachio shells is as drainage peddles at the base of potted plants. We are aware that the regular material for potting drainage are small rocks and peddles, however, the pistachio shells have advantages that are better than these other materials.

One of the advantages of using pistachio shells is that they will biodegrade and this means that you will not have to pick them out when you want to re-pot, they also will prevent your plant from getting waterlogged. Pistachio shell as drainage also helps keep the root system healthy.

6. Pest Deterrent

Growing Celery On Plantation.

Is your garden suffering from pests? We know that when your garden suffers from pests, it not only affects them but you also.

The good thing is you can keep them away by using pistachio shells. Spread the shells around your garden; this will cover the soil and prevent animals like chipmunks, cats, squirrels, raccoons, etc. from digging in the soil. If your pistachio shells are salted, they can also be kept off slugs and snails. Simply sprinkle the shells in a line close to the plant or around your garden.

7. Garden Base

Decorating your garden or house plant just got easy with pistachio plants. All you have to do is line them at the bottom of your houseplant, potted plant, or garden. The first thing you need to do is to wash your shells, this is because the salt in the pistachio shells can hinder the growth of the plant.

When they are dried, you can now put them around your garden. Not only will they keep your garden beautiful they also prevent the potting soil from washing away.

8. Compost

Not only can you use the pistachio shells as mulch, but you can also use them as compost. Gather them in bulk, and let them decompose, you can also add other compost piles. This might take a long time i.e. eight to twelve months.

10 Creative Ways To Use Pistachio Shells In Your Garden

9. Christmas Ornaments

This is one of our favorite things to use pistachio shells for. you can paint them and add them as ornaments to your tree. It can also serve as an activity for your children to paint and create their decorations.

10. Candle Holders 

Unbelievable? This is another craft that is definitely worth your time. The pistachio shells can be joined together to make a candle holder. You can make them into whatever design you choose and also paint them to look more elegant and beautiful.


We tried to answer the most popular pistachio shell uses questions we get below, if you have more, please leave a comment below.

Can pistachio shells go in compost?

Yes! Pistachio shells are definitely good for composting. These shells can also help with water retention but instead of having them tossed in your compost bin, it’s best to crush them first.

Are pistachios bad for you?

Pistachios are considered healthy as they are filled with fiber, minerals, and unsaturated fat that can help you keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar in check.

Can pistachio shells be eaten?

No! You shouldn’t try to eat or even try to bite down on pistachio’s shell because they are likely to cause you a broken tooth. The shell ain’t toxic but they are unlikely to be digested by the body.

Do pistachio shells deter slugs?

Pistachio shells can be used to deter slugs and snails especially when they are salted. The shells sprinkled in a line around individual plants can help deter slugs and slimy gastropods.

Which is healthier raw or roasted pistachios?

Pistachios can be eaten raw or roasted as both are considered very healthy. Although raw nuts are believed to contain some bacteria, however they unlikely to cause any illness.

Are pistachio shells bad for the environment?

Pistachio shells are used to provide great soil drainage hence it has no specific effect on the environment. It has no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, land, etc.

Why are pistachios so expensive?

It’s simply expensive due to how it’s always in demand. After incorporating how much it costs to grow these nuts and how long farmers have to wait before making money from it then the pricing keeps going up.

Final Thoughts

Next time you eat the pistachio shells, do well to not throw the shells away, as you know now, they can be used for a lot of things. The pistachio shells allow you to be creative with whatever you intend to make. You should always wash the shells first before using them for your plant or garden.

This is because salted pistachio shells can hinder the growth of your plant.

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