How Long Can You Store Vermicompost?

Vermicompost is a valuable resource for any gardener as it offers some great benefits to your plants. However, you might harvest or buy more than you need, leading you to store the vermicompost. But how long can you store the vermicompost before you cannot use it again?

Vermicompost can generally be stored for up to six months. However, if you store your vermicompost in a bucket with holes drilled in the lid to allow airflow and keep the bucket in a temperature range of 60 to 80 °F (16 to 27 °C), you can store your vermicompost for up to three years. 

Can vermicompost still be used if it was accidentally frozen while being stored? When storing your vermicompost, what do you need to consider to ensure it stays healthy for as long as possible? Let’s find out!

How Long Can Vermicompost Be Stored?

Vermicompost, also known as worm castings, is one of the best ways to feed your plants and ensure they have plenty of nutrients to keep them growing strong and healthy. Many gardeners nowadays have their own worm farms to produce vermicompost themselves. 

This allows the gardeners to have access to the freshest vermicompost possible, which means more benefits for their plants. However, not all gardeners have the luxury of having their worm farms, so they need to buy it from their local gardening stores. 

Sometimes, when you have your own worm farm, your worms might produce more vermicompost than you have use for. Whichever applies to you, you will need to store vermicompost for later use, but how long can you store vermicompost before it’s no longer viable? 

Generally, the lifespan of vermicompost is around six months. However, vermicompost can last longer than this if you store it correctly, in which case the vermicompost can last for up to three years in storage

How to Correctly Store Vermicompost

So, vermicompost can last a while if you store it correctly and in the right conditions, but how do you store vermicompost correctly, and what are the proper storage conditions?

Before you store your vermicompost, you need to let it dry out slightly to the point where it is no longer wet but rather damp. This will help ensure air can penetrate the vermicompost sufficiently, which will prevent anaerobic bacteria from developing. 

These anaerobic bacteria can cause your vermicompost to “go bad” faster, affecting the material’s shelf life. When your vermicompost has been dried out slightly, you can move the material to a container that is not airtight. 

If you can buy a 5-gallon bucket with a lid that can be left ajar, then this will be a perfect storage container for your vermicompost. You can also drill a few holes into the bucket’s lid to allow for more airflow in the bucket if you wish to close the lid fully. 

You can then keep your vermicompost in a location where the temperature will stay between 60 to 80 °F (16 to 27 °C)

In these storage conditions, your vermicompost will begin to stabilize in the aerobic environment you have created for it, and it can last up to three years in these conditions.  

Can Vermicompost Be Frozen and Still Be Viable?

Now that you know how to store vermicompost correctly, you might wonder what will happen to your vermicompost if you live in areas with really cold winters where no matter where you store your vermicompost, the temperature will drop below the recommended storage range. 

Vermicompost that has been overexposed to ice, cold temperatures, or water still has value and can still be used to help feed your plants. 

If the temperatures go below the recommended range or the vermicompost is frozen in the winter, some of the micro-organisms in the vermicompost will die, but most will survive.

The only effect this will have on your vermicompost is that it will shorten the shelf life of the compost. You should not intentionally freeze your vermicompost in your freezer, as this is not a good storage method for the compost. 

However, if it happens accidentally, you can still use your vermicompost, but you will need to use it within six months. After which, your vermicompost will no longer benefit your plants. 

Considerations When Storing Vermicompost

Vermicompost is filled with living organisms that are beneficial to your plants. As this compost has a lot of lifeforms within it, which is where its “power” comes from, you need to ensure the life inside the vermicompost is supported when the vermicompost is being stored. 

These organisms have preferred conditions that will help them thrive and stay alive for longer when storing your vermicompost. Therefore, you need to supply these organisms with these conditions to keep them in top condition to help your plants later. 

You need to consider a few factors when you are storing your vermicompost to ensure the storage conditions are perfect for the organisms in the compost. 

You need to consider the moisture in and around the vermicompost, the oxygen around the compost, and the temperature you keep the vermicompost in.

Let’s go through these factors in more detail, so you can keep your vermicompost healthy and alive for years:

Moisture Around the Vermicompost

As previously mentioned, the vermicompost needs to be dried out slightly before you store it. However, you should never let the vermicompost dry out completely, as this will kill the beneficial bacteria in the compost. 

Once these beneficial bacteria have been killed by lack of moisture, there is no way to “bring back” your vermicompost, and the compost is no longer valuable to you or your garden. 

While your vermicompost is in storage, you will need to go and spritz it with some water from a spray bottle every few months to ensure the moisture levels remain correct for the bacteria living in the vermicompost. This will ensure the beneficial bacteria stay healthy and alive during storage. 

Oxygen Around the Vermicompost 

Oxygen is an important aspect to consider when storing your vermicompost. The beneficial bacteria and organisms in the vermicompost need oxygen to survive and stay healthy. 

These are aerobic bacteria and organisms, and they will slowly consume the organic matter in the vermicompost. These organisms and bacteria will multiply and die in a natural progression within the vermicompost, keeping the compost healthy and viable.

If there is no oxygen in the vermicompost’s environment, these aerobic organisms and bacteria will die and replace the bacteria you don’t want much of in your vermicompost, known as anaerobic bacteria. 

For this reason, never store your vermicompost in an airtight container but rather in a container that can offer airflow, lie a bucket with holes drilled into the lid.  

Temperature the Vermicompost Is Kept In

The last thing you should consider when storing your vermicompost is temperature. Even though vermicompost can still be useful after it’s been frozen, these are not the ideal conditions for your vermicompost, and it will affect its effectiveness in your garden. 

Then the temperature hits either of the extremes, too hot or too cold; this can significantly affect the health of your vermicompost as some of the beneficial bacteria in the compost will die. 

This is not ideal, as the compost will not last as long in storage when this happens as the bacteria population in it has been severely affected. You should strive to keep your vermicompost at a temperature between 60 to 80 °F (16 to 27 °C)

This will keep the bacteria in the compost happy, which will help your plants more when you apply the vermicompost to your garden later.  


Vermicompost is an excellent resource for gardeners everywhere, as it can help nourish your plants and keep them strong and healthy. Vermicompost can also help your plants establish themselves better when you transplant them, and it can aid your plant’s recovery from the cold winter months. 

So, vermicompost is a valuable asset, and in the right conditions, you can sort this valuable asset for as long as three years. This means you can have vermicompost on hand whenever you need it. Good luck storing your vermicompost!

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the founder of and its lead content writer. He created the website in 2022 as a resource for horticulture lovers and beginners alike, compiling all the gardening tips he discovered over the years. Alex has a passion for caring for plants, turning backyards into feel-good places, and sharing his knowledge with the rest of the world.

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