Aloe smells like ONION!

mandi_s1December 10, 2006

It's GROSS. I was reading that they are a part of the onion family rather than the cactus family, so I can see that it's not unreasonable, but the stench is.

I cut a bunch of leaves yesterday from it, fearing that the same leaf blight from another of my plant had infected it. I cut one from the base, and one near a tip. The one at the base had a yellow sap, and the one at the tip was clear.

But humugudness. ONION. Savoya-reek. How can I make this go away, or am I stuck with a reeky aloe? I'd keep it anyways, but all the same...

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I don't know what you're reading, but that's not true. They're not part of Cacti or Onion family but part of the Lily family.

I've been many Aloes (10 diff. kinds) for years & NOT one smells like Onion. I dated an Aloe collector for a time & his Aloes never smelled like Onions either. I suggest there's something wrong w/ your plant.

I wonder if you posted this at Cactus & Succulent Forum (since they're succulents), what kinds of responses you'd get there, but I can say for sure, no way it's an onion!!!

Are you sure it's even an Aloe?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 6:59PM
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Positive it's an aloe, positive its realated to onions and lilys, but still no clue as to why it's so much more ridiculously stinky than other aloes.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 9:36PM
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Reading this post made me do a quick research on the subject, ha, come to find out, the aloe IS a member of the lily and onion family and is also related to garlic and asparagus! Who knew? But I also read that your aloe should not smell like an onion. Do you have a picture you can post of your aloe vera?

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 11:39PM
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Here it be...

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 10:44AM
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That is strange that your aloe has the scent of an onion! After reading your post, I totally agreed with pirate girl about it NOT be related to an onion, just the lily family.
Your aloe looks healthy enough though. Maybe if you don't cut it the scent won't be so noticeable. I have to wonder if you aloe absorbed the scent from something, or real onions at some point, who knows for sure.
When soil gets old and breaks down, it can get a strong musty scent (wouldn't say an oniony scent) If it's really the plant and not the soil, I don't know what to tell you, keep it further away fro you, or keep it in a room less used if it bothers you!
Like suggested, try posting this question if you haven't already on the C & S forum.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 12:07AM
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mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)

You know I've noticed that weird onion like smell in some of my pots after I watered. I figured it came from the perlite because I only noticed it after watering and on pots I had just mixed the soil for. Then again it could have been something in the C&S soil I used too. How weird.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 12:29AM
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It's not noticeable unless it's cut. No cutty, no stinky so guess that is the short term soloution. The pot itself has no smell. Just the inside of the plant.

I guess it's just not an altruistic aloe, and has decided to protect itself from my skin healing impulses with some stench. :-(

The thickness of the older leaves makes me wonder if maybe it was an already existing build up from the nursery I got it from. I don't want to cut into any of the new growth though to test the theory, so I guess I'll just have to deal.

Could it be something to do with being grown indoors? I don't remember if it smelled the same way when it was outdoors this summer.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 8:22AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

No, not an indoor thing, as I only grow indoors (am apmt dweller, w/ no outdoors to offer them).

When I pull a leaf for a burn, I'll grant you it's not a subtle smell, but I consider it sort of an Aloey smell, like if you buy Aloe gel for first aid, etc.

I guess the answer for you is, get your nose out of the plant!!! (only teasing)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 12:37PM
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Aloe smells like onion? gee thats nasty

But i have saviored the stench of an aloe plant before, it was when i went to Arizona. There was an Aloe plant growing outside in the hotel i was staying in. I removed a leaf just for the hell of it. I must admit, the smell of it was quite nasty. So, do not fear, your not the only one with a smelly Aloe plant.

- Pete

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 4:45PM
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My aloe plant smelled like onion too. It was so bad I had to air out my entire place. It started when i cut a leaf a few leaves off the plant and noticed the sap was yellow.

I live in an apartment and so i potted it back up and put it out in the buildings sunny hallway. Im hoping someone saves it. I will keep watering it until someoe does, but i dont want the plant any longer. That smell is hard to get over.

I have the worse luck with cacti and succulents.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 11:10PM
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I use my aloe for burns and cuts. When I snip off a piece of leaf the gel inside does have an oniony smell. The first time I did it it smelled gross but now it does not bother me. Can't beat them for killing the pain of a minor burn, especially when you keep a piece in the fridge.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 10:54AM
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I have a plant that I can't identify. I was hoping that you folks might be able to help out. It looks much like an aloe plant but the leaves or narrower or skinner. Also it white ridges that go up the stem horizontally. If my first one wasn't a gift then it probably had a label. That was years ago. Now I give away the groupings of them that I take out of the pot and can't tell anyone what I'm giving them. Any clue?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 8:49AM
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got a pic? im so bad with descriptions, but im getting really good at sight identification

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 2:41AM
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I've never noticed an onion smell with Aloes, but I suppose it's possible. BTW, Aloes used to be in the Lily Family, but are now in their own family, Asphodelaceae, along with Gasteria and Haworthia. Selene's plant is likely to be Haworthia attenuata, based on the description provided.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 1:25PM
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Since we're discussing Aloes, do variegated types work for medicinal purposes too, or just the green?
I'm going to cut a piece of my green aloe and take a ppl got me curious've cut pieces before, but never smelled an onion odor..But gonna give it a try..Toni

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 2:35PM
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Most Aloe sap comes from a few species, such as Aloe vera and Aloe arborescens. I believe some species have sap which can be an irritant.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 2:06PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

The "medicinal Aloe" that is on display in botanical gardens in Arizona is Aloe barbadensis, isn't it? I think?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 2:15PM
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