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[en] Four water extractable organic matter (WEOM) were obtained from composts made out of residues of: 1. artichoke (C-CYN), 2. artichoke/fennel (C-CYNF), 3. tomato/woodchips (C-TOM), 4. Municipal solid waste (C-MSW), and their bioactivity was tested for maize seed germination and maize seedling growth. The molecular properties of both original composts and their WEOM were characterized by spectroscopic (13C-CPMAS- and 1H NMR, FTIR-ATR), thermochemolysis-GC/MS, and thermal methods (TGA, DSC). While all WEOM had significant effects on plant growth, CYN-WEOM was the only material that concomitantly increased germination rate and primary and lateral root length of maize seedlings. The lignin-rich WEOM from green composts were generally more effective than those obtained from equally hydrophobic, but mainly alkyl-rich municipal organic wastes. A flexible conformational structure, due to the balanced content of aromatic compounds and carbohydrates, appeared to facilitate the release of bioactive molecules from WEOM suprastructures and stimulate plant growth. - Highlights: • WEOMs from composted green residues may be useful as biostimulants for plant growth. • Little information on the relationship between WEOM chemical composition and its bioactivity • WEOMs tested have different significant effects on maize growth. • The effects on plant are related to the intrinsic molecular composition of materials.