It is widely believed that turnover of nitrogenous (N) compounds (especially proteins) incurs a high respiratory cost. Thus, if protein turnover costs change with temperature, this would influence the dependence of respiration rate on growth temperature. Here, we examined the extent to which protein turnover cost explained differences in N-utilization costs (nitrate uptake/reduction, ammonium assimilation, amino acid and protein syntheses, protein turnover and amino acid export) and in respiration rate with changes in growth temperature. By measurements and literature data, we evaluated each N-utilization cost in Petunia × hybrida petals grown at 20, 25 or 35 °C throughout their whole lifespans. Protein turnover cost accounted for 73% of the integrated N-utilization cost on a whole-petal basis at 35 °C. The difference in this cost on a dry weight basis between 25 and 35 °C accounted for 75% of the difference in N-utilization cost and 45% of the difference in respiratory cost. The cost of nitrate uptake/reduction was high at low growth temperatures. We concluded that respiratory cost in petals was strongly influenced by protein turnover and nitrate uptake/reduction, and on the shoot basis, C investment in biomass was highest at 25 °C.