Are Pet Ashes Good For Plants? 3 doable Alternatives

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When you’ve decided what to do with your pet’s ashes, you may feel a strange sense of relief. After taking the time to consider what is best for your pet, you must now consider the practicalities. Many of us want to reintroduce them to nature by burying them in a garden and build a memorial for your beloved pet.


So, Are pet ashes safe to use on plants? The answer is  a Big NO. 

Pet ash or “cremains” (simply pulverised bone remains) have little to no nutritional value and can be toxic to the plants & trees. The cremation ashes may be harmful when placed in high concentrations in the soil or around trees or plants.


This is due to the fact that ashes contain a high concentration of calcium and raise the pH of the soil. Too much calcium in the soil can quickly deplete the nitrogen supply and may limit photosynthesis. Soil bacteria and structure, as well as nutrient leaching and availability, are all hampered by high pH levels.

This, however, should not stop you from returning your furry friend to your backyard memorial ground.

There are ways to accomplish this without causing damage to your plans around memorial site.

Below, I explain why pet ashes are harmful to plants and trees and offer alternatives to burying your best friend’s ashes so you can still create a memorial spot for your best furry friend.

Why Are Pet Ashes Harmful To Plants And Trees?

It appears logical that ashes from cremated remains of your pet would be beneficial to plants, but cremains have a high alkaline and sodium content that is far from beneficial.


Both high pH levels and excess sodium discourage plant growth by preventing the absorption of essential nutrients.


This happens regardless of whether the ashes are buried or scattered on top of the ground.

Neutralising cremation ashes is the safest way to bury ashes or scatter cremains while also ensuring the viability of the memorial garden. Regular garden soil is incapable of buffering the high pH levels of cremains.


Furthermore, amending the soil will not address the high sodium content. Fortunately, there are a plethora of options.



Alternatives to Directly Burying Ashes in the Ground

Purchasing a Cremation Soil Mixture :

The price and methodology of products marketed to neutralise cremation ashes and make planting with cremains would vary. One option is to buy a soil cremation mixture that is intended to lower the pH and dilute the sodium content of the ashes. When cremains are added to this mixture, it creates a safe way to bury ashes in a memorial garden or scatter ashes on top of the ground. 

This method suggests allowing the ash/addition mixture to sit for at least 90 to 120 days before using it in the garden.


The safe balanced and stable soil is the way to blend the ash cremains into soil so the ash would become safe for spreading, scattering and even planting.


Biodegradable urns

Biodegradable urns are environmentally friendly cremation urns that are made from 100 percent natural materials and will naturally biodegrade over time, improving the environment around it. Knowing that a loved one has been laid to rest and has become a part of the environment is a very comforting feeling.


Biodegradable urns are classified into three types:


Cremation urns made of biodegradable materials. These urns are only intended for burying ashes. These will not produce any trees or plants. If you use a biodegradable urn, consider planting a tree with it or adding a memorial plaque, rock, marker, or bench to mark the location of the ashes. 

Living urns or biodegradable tree urns:  These urns are frequently made of natural plant fibres and allow you to plant a plant or tree in memory of your pet.

 Water Urns:  These urns are meant to disintegrate in water. This decomposition can take anywhere from one to thirty minutes.

Nondegradable urns

When you are using bio-non degradable urn for your pet ash, the earth on top of burial urns can crush them. As a result, many people choose to keep the urn in an urn vault. 

There are many different types of urn vaults made from various materials. Urn vaults are available at a variety of prices, but their function remains consistent and critical: to ensure that the urn remains intact and is not crushed.

You have the option of having an urn burial on your private property as your backyard memorial. However, before you do so, check with your local county to see if there are any restrictions.

To reduce the possibility of disturbance, dig a hole deeper than 2-3 feet (60 cms – 80 cms) if you are using a non-biodegradable urn.

Consider something sturdy and durable for non biodegradable urns, as the urn will be subjected to extremely harsh conditions.

Stainless steel, marble, or granite urns are generally the best options depending on your budget. However, if you want to protect a wood, ceramic, metal, or glass urn from the elements, consider using a protective burial vault. These are made of polystyrene or metal reinforced with polystyrene.

Final Thoughts

If you are content to leave the ashes in the garden indefinitely, bury them in a biodegradable urn in a nice deep hole. It is critical that the ashes are either mixed with soil or buried very deeply to limit the alkalinity.

To ensure that the spot is left alone, you may want to mark it with a plant or some other type of marker. It might be a good idea to involve the family.


Children can make a marker by laminating a favourite photo and affixing it to a lolly stick.

Planting something in memory of a pet can be a very helpful way for children to cope with loss.

For more about pets farewell see our other articles below

bunny 6

How Do I Cope With The Loss Of My bunny ?

Rabbits make excellent companions because they are independent, clean, low maintenance, quiet, playful, good with children, and cuddly. Furthermore, Rabbits are wonderfull tiny pets that allow us to form strong bonds.

The many characteristics of rabbits, as well as their cuteness, make losing one heartbreaking.

As a result, it is natural to experience a void in your life and heart when they pass away.

pet.jps 18g

Is it legal to bury pet in backyard

It’s heartbreaking, but it’s also a fact that every pet will die at some point. There is no getting away from it. We usually don’t know when, where, or how it will happen, but we do know it will happen. They all age and wear out, or they are involved in unforeseen events, such as accidents. As a result, as a pet owner, you will be faced with one final act: deciding what to do with the remains and saying good-bye.

About us

We are passionate animal Lovers. Dogs, Cats, rabbits  to Birds and all stuff in between. 


We lost our beloved Rabbit Juno 2 years ago due to a Cat attack. 


It was difficult to say goodbye to Juno, but the days, weeks, and months that followed were even more difficult as we navigated grief, adjusted to life without an important member of the family, and made decisions about his ashes.

This is why I started this blog: to offer practical advice as well as emotional support to those who have lost a pet.

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