Why Planting your Ashes Directly under a Tree will not work and How the Bios Urn® solves the problem

You may have heard that planting in cremation ashes directly will not work because the tree will not survive. Myth or Truth?

Well it is totally true and below we explain why this is and how the Bios Urn® was designed specifically to stop this from happening, enabling you to become a tree in the after-life.

Read on for more information about growing trees and plants in human ashes.

Why Planting in cremation ashes directly will not work

Why planting in cremation ashes directly won´t work and the Bios Urn solution

Planting in cremation ashes sounds like a straight forward solution and wonderful way to pay tribute to a friend or family member who has passed on, but can plants grow in human ashes?

Unfortunately, the answer is no, not very well, although some plants may be more tolerant than others. While cremains are composed of nutrients that plants require, primarily phosphate (48%), calcium (25%), sulfate (11%), and potassium (3%), human ashes also have a very high pH level, which can be toxic to many plants because it prevents the natural release of beneficial nutrients within the soil.


How the Bios Urn® helps solve this issue

The Bios Urn® has a patented double-component design which allows for the healthy growth of a tree, flower, or plant, even when planting in cremation ashes. It contains an upper and lower capsule, the upper capsule has been designed to hold a special expansion soil disc made of coconut-peat, vermiculite, and seeds/seedling of the user choice.

The lower portion of the urn houses the ashes. The design of the Bios Urn ® is intentional, as ashes must be kept separate from the seeds, especially during the first 3 months of growth – regardless of if the user use a sprout, or seeds, because ashes have high PH levels which can negatively affect, or even stunt growth.

The amount of ashes placed in the Urn will therefore not upset the delicate nutrient balance required for growth of or plants. After a period of time, the ashes have been mixed with the soil of the place where it was planted and the roots of the seed have grown enough to continue growing without problems. You can read everything you need to know about using ashes with a Bios Urn ® here. 

As a general rule, you can safely spread 20 pounds of ash per thousand square feet of garden. It should also be stated that scattering ashes in a woodland area, or placing them in the sea, has around the same effects on the surrounding environment as planting them – the only difference between scattering and using a Bios Urn ® , is that over time a tree grows, which in the long run is more conducive to the environment. We’ve address the environmental impacts of the Bios Urn ® in another post.


Why planting in cremation ashes directly won´t work and the Bios Urn solution


Did you try planting in cremation ashes and it didn´t work? Let us know in the Comments section below! We´d love to hear from you. For more tips on How to Get your Bios Urn® to Grow, click here.

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  1. Julie Pederick says

    Hi There,
    Many countries like Australia have very strict quarantine laws regarding seeds, plants, trees & wood items being allowed into the country.
    How does Bios get around this? And do you have a selection of trees/plants available for different countries?
    Does Bios have quarantine approval for Australia?

    • Bios Urn says

      DEar Julie,
      Thank you for reaching out to us and for your interest in the Bios Urn®, we are very grateful.

      All of our urns are sold without any seeds because they work with any kind of seed or seedling. No exceptions! We used to work with a family owned seed company, however we made the decision to stop selling seeds with our urn because we didn’t want people to feel limited by the six options we were able to offer at the time. So we wanted to offer every single person the chance to think about, research and source their own directly, making this process part of the beautiful journey back to nature. We didn´t want it to be limited by what we were offering on our website, we wanted to enable everyone to choose a tree which is sentimental and meaningful to them and their loved-ones. Fruit trees, flowering trees, evergreens or conifers are all completely compatible. Or some people also chose to plant a flower, a plant, or a bush instead of a tree.

      People are also then free to use a seedling, or sprout instead of a seed.

      Whichever you feel is right for you, we always recommend choosing a native tree species or one which is common to your location. We can’t stress enough how important it is to choose a species of tree native to where you live since they are respectful of the environment and ensure better growth. So be sure to check with a local gardening supplier or horticulturist for information on native tree species in your area.

      That is why we now only sell the Bios Urn® without seed, because we want to make sure that our urn is 100% compatible with all tree types and more importantly, all types of climates. Because this gives the tree the best chances to grow strong and healthy.

      This also means that there are no importation issues when shipping our urn to Australia. However we haven´t been able to ship anything to Australia for a few weeks now because of the pandemic (we are based in Europe). We have some parcels that are here on standby until shipping is allowed again, some customers did not need their urn urgently and are happy to wait.

      I have links to articles with more information regaridng tree choice and planting tips if you would find this useful. Send us an email at [email protected] if you would like us to send this to you.

      Many thanks!

  2. Trevor Lawrance says

    I have planted trees on top of ground covered in human ashes, dead animal bodies (planted at least two feet below ground level), charcoal burnt ashes and all sorts of other things.I have found that as long as the ashes are raked well in and left for a month, anything will grow on top with no problem.

    • Bios Urn says

      Thanks for sharing Trevor, that is great to hear that it worked for you. It will depend on many factors such as the tree species, the weather conditions, the quantity of ashes, how far away from the root they are kept etc, but overall any quick search online will show that overall ashes are too rich for young roots at first and is best avoided. It can affect plant health and growth and when planting with the ashes of a loved-oned, any chance of non-growth must be abslutely minimized.

      The amount of ashes placed in the Bios Urn will not upset the delicate nutrient balance required for growth of or plants. The patented double-component design of the Bios Urn was created with the specific intent of housing the seeds or a seedling safely, to ensure healthy growth. In between the double capsule lies an expansion disc which includes vermiculite and nutrients which aid in the growth of the tree. This expansion disc is a small compact disc, which expands tenfold in size when watered. It absorbs water to keep the roots moist and allows for a constant supply of nutrients. These components are beneficial for all plant life, made of natural materials, and excel in maintaining water level and soil balance. Ash PH levels can only harm seeds if the seeds are grown directly in them, as seeds require suitable soil to grow.

      Thank you for taking the time to get in touch and share

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