The stench of Shasta Daisies

veetaJune 23, 2011

So I discovered the smell emanating from my flower bed was the flowers themselves! I deadheaded them all for now, but I trying to decide if I should dig them up. I absolutely hated the smell and I don't know if I want to deal with them anymore. Do you all find that only the aging flowers smell? So, if I religiously deadhead, then I won;t ever have to smell it again?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

to think that it would be easier to deadhead religiously ... rather than be done with a plant that violently attacks your senses...

makes no sense to me...

the further thought .. that you can not find something to make your toes.. and your nose tingle with delight every time you experience it... baffles me ...

if you dont like it.. GET RID OF IT .... why invest more time in a plant you basically hate???


    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 3:58PM
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Well it is beautiful and attracts beneficials, so it is fine otherwise. I was just wondering if those with expereince with this phenomenon could tell me if it was only the older flowers that were smelling because this was such a new discovery and I don't want to waste time experimenting.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 4:25PM
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I haven't noticed any off-odor with Shasta daisies, never mind a "stench".

Of course I've never been offended by the foliage scent of salvias, the sweet fragrance of night jessamine (currently in flower in my garden), the unusual spicy/cleaning product odor of the blooms of a certain tall Oenothera that opens in slow motion at dusk and self-seeds here, or any of the other scents that some gardeners find violently objectionable.

It'd be interesting to know if odor preferences/dislikes are ingrained at a very early age, if we're taught that certain scents are "nasty", or if it's a function of different concentrations/characteristics of olfactory receptors that lead to some being overwhelmed by fragrances that others find pleasant, interesting or neutral.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 5:56PM
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I have never noticed that Shasta daisies have any scent (I won't say fragrance) at all and happily winter sowed seeds from my neighbor's plant both last year and this year. The plants are covered with buds still to open so I'll have to pay attention to see if they stink. I've never picked any flowers for a bouquet--just waited until they were dry enough to harvest the seeds so I could grow more of them. I have a large, full-sun garden bed that needs filling up so I'm putting the effort into growing lots of things to plant in it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 6:05PM
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I don't like the smell of them either, but I only smell it if I stick my nose in them, so I don't do that. :-)

If I pull mine out it will be because they are always covered with aphids.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 6:14PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Veeta, some of the shasta types have a scent very distinct to some people...I can detect it always, but I don't find it either pleasant or unpleasant, just smells like daisy to me. The flowers, either forming or spent, the foliage...entire plant can have a scent/smell that can offend certain people, not others.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 6:18PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Some shasta daisies are more odorous to me than others. The ones that I have kept in my gardens do not bother me if they are not cut for bouquets.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 6:41PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I can't say I've ever noticed a stench. I'll have to pay closer attention if it ever warms up enough for them to actually bloom.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 10:43PM
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I wonder if you may have a daisy that resembles shasta daisy. Chamomile and feverfew resemble certain shasta daisy types. There is another one that resembles shasta daisy that may have a smell but I can not recall which one.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 2:43AM
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I remember shastas growing next to fields fertilized manure. They reeked.
The ones in my garden don't smell, that I can tell. And I can tell you I was on the alert.

Now English boxwood smells like cat urine, and cilantro tastes like aluminum and has s weird smell as well.

go figga.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 11:04AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I agree that boxwood sometimes smells like cat urine but I LOVE cilantro!

Feverfew certainly has an odor but I like it. Can't say as I've ever noticed an odor from Shasta daisies.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 1:32PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you sure you didnt have one of those obscene red mushrooms around ... of which i am totally blanking on the name ...

found it thru google by asking: mushroom that smells like poop ... yeah.. you read that right ... lets see if GW lets it slip thru .. lol ...


Here is a link that might be useful: you can find the latin name.. lol ... flip to the web side

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 1:41PM
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Since daisies were my childhood favorite flower I have to defend their presence in the garden for their long season of bloom & how they fill up space. I just don't sniff 'em if at all possible.

Maybe you can counter it with the lovely smell of Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) which makes my entire front yard delightful especially in early evening. A sweet scent that doesn't overpower.

I've been told Valerian is also a "smell up the yard flower" & I'm waiting for my 1st blooms this summer. Going to be watching them though because I've been told they seed around a lot like the Dame's rocket.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 2:05PM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

I think they stink too, but I do like them in my garden. I also do not like the stink of petunias or marigolds, so I don't grow those.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 2:40PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Hmmmmm, I can't say I've ever stuck my nose in one but I haven't noticed an unpleasant smell on any of the ones I have. I have about a dozen different varieties give or take one or two and still adding more as I find them.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 4:05PM
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I don't remember ever smelling anything awful coming from my dwarf shasta daisies. I'm going to check the blooms as they age as mine are in full bloom now. The next door neighbor has some Shasta Dasiy Becky that I can check too.

Although I love my May Night Salvia, I really hate the smell. But will put up with the cat pi** smell because the plant flowers almost non-stop from May to autumn if I keep it deadheaded.

But it might be an individual thing. A friend killed a stink bug while we were visiting her house, and I didn't smell a thing. Everyone there looked at me like I was nuts! Guess I didn't get the stink bug smell gene either.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 4:46PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I've never noticed any particular smell to a daisy, but
taste and smell are so subjective, and ability to detect scent/taste vary (I don't have great sense of either this time of year when I'm doped up on allergy meds).

My favorite summer scent is Oriental lily. I've often said if Heaven has a scent, it will smell like lillies. DH, on the other hand, can't *stand* the scent of them and thinks they look evil. Go figure.

Re cilantro: Not uncommon for folks to find the taste of cilantro objectionable (commonly described as soapy) - but I love the stuff!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 4:58PM
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I guess I am going to let them flower once more and decide if I can keep yup wit the deadheading required, or plant a lot more pleasantly fragrant partners.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 2:27PM
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Ken, some kind of stinkhorn.
There's another that doesn't smell, but the look of it will put you off your feed: dog vomit fungus.Seriously. I doubt the Latin name translates literally.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 9:43PM
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I grow shasta daisies (several varieties) right under the noses of deer and rabbits. They don't eat the daisies in my garden, so they must have a smell that they don't like -- so those plants stay. Great with Russian sage and red monarda.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 3:57PM
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pam_whitbyon(6 Niagara)

Oh yes, they stink!! I remember cutting some for a vase in the house, and then wondering where the smell was coming from. All the pets were blamed, hubby was blamed, all my garbage cans were emptied and my toilets were scrubbed thoroughly before I realized that my gorgeous vase of Shasta daisies smelled like sewers. Extremely pungent and very "number-two like."

So I don't know if it's a people thing or a plant thing.. lol, but everyone else in the house could smell them. So no more cutting, and outside they're far away from my patio.

Michelle, I LOVE cilantro!! I could smell it and eat it by the cupful, whereas hubby and son can't even be in the same room as a small bowl of chopped up cilantro.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 6:04PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Bumping this up......
Several of my Shastas are blooming now, glasses on to make sure there weren't any bumble bees doing their thing, I buried my nose in Aglaia, Ice Star, Snow Drift and another bought as Esther Reid but it isn't I couldn't detect any sent at all, but, when my nose got up close and personal with Snow Cap, OMG, rotten socks is the closest I can describe the smell. Summer Snowball and Cobham Gold have yet to bloom so I'll have to wait a bit on them, my guess is they won't have a noticeable scent either. Could it be it's only single flowering Shastas that smell bad?


    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 1:25PM
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A couple of weeks ago I noticed a distinct smell of "poo" around my herb garden. I thought the cats had done their duty there, which was unusual for them, preferring their indoor box. But, with cats, you just never know. I didn't dig around to find it, but a week or so later, smell is still there. Now husband is thinking it's something dead. Sure smells like it...maybe one of those pocket gophers we've been trying to get rid of? Then, just the other day I thought...dang if it doesn't smell like it's coming from that Shasta daisy, Silver Princess. Sure enough, I'm pretty sure that's it. Truly, it smells like something died! This plant it coming out....can't have that in the herb garden! Who knew!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:41PM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

What is a good smell or unobtrusive smell to some is just the opposite for others. It's just the way things work.

I have a friend who thinks the smell of laundry hung outside to dry to be one of the most vile smells on earth. When she told me this, I thought she was nuts, but what can you do.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 6:12AM
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Campanula UK Z8

they are fairly low down on the pong-o-meter for me but they do have a musty niff. Several other asteraceae plants are also a bit pungent, especially tanacetum. Codonopsis foliage has to be one of the most nastily odoriferous plants I have (and I will lift up the flowers to see the insane nectaries and wash my hands afterwards) although nothing, absolutely nothing beats the smell of a flowering titan arum. Our local Botanics had one in flower and kept the glasshouses open till midnight - there was a troop of little children in their jammies, waiting with their parents - quite a festival atmosphere but we could smell the inflorescence long before we caught sight of it - grief, it was a truly carrion graveyard whiff - quite gagsome.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 6:23PM
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Sadly, my Amorphophallus konjac did not bloom this year and attract the pollinating flies, though it has vegetatively spread and I have much attractive foliage and weirdly spotted stems to admire.

Nothing smells as horrible as Shasta daisies though. I can't believe municipalities even allow them, given the horrific, stomach-churning stench. When the petition drive comes to your neighborhood, vote to ban them. We've got to think of the children.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 6:53PM
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pam_whitbyon(6 Niagara)

Some Shasta Daisies do smell like Number Two's.. the ones in my last garden had a terribly heavy pungent odor that had me looking all over the house to see who had done what where. The Shasta Daisies I have now don't smell like anything at all. I was shocked and delighted to be able to have them as cut flowers again!

MX you're right about cilantro. I could eat it by the handful and LOVE the smell. Hubby and son can't even be in the kitchen if there's a bowl of it on the table.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Out of curiosity I went out to check the subject. Fiona Coghill, Aglaia and Broadway Lights do not have any detectable smell at all.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 5:21PM
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I've checked 2 additional varieties. Goldrausch does not have any detectable smell. But Phyllis Smith does. When I stick my nose into the flower and inhale deeply, I can detect a slight smell of an old Number One, definitely not Number Two.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 4:57AM
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The next door neighbor has some Shasta Dasiy Becky that I can check too.

I can save you the trouble:

I have 4 large established stands of "Becky" all 3 to 4 feet tall and each almost just as wide and I am always in the garden around these plants and never have I smelled anything...good or bad.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:04AM
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Leucanthemum Victorian Secret STINKS strongly of cat urin, you can detect it already at a distance of 15 cm from your nose. The worst of all I have tried so far.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Funny! I came by accident on Terra Nova's site to the description of Leucanthemum Victorian Secret. In the last sentence of the description they shout: Odor free! with an exclamation mark. It is not true! The biggest stinker ever!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 5:44PM
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My Shasta's stink. I thought they only threw their odor once cut till I realized that what I was smelling in the garden wasn't from neighborhood cats but the intact plant.

Anybody know if the sewer odor has a function, like keeping certain kinds of bugs or vermin away? Must serve some sort of purpose besides looking pretty. They don't go in any indoor flower arrangements, that's for sure.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 11:42PM
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AnnaA, sewer odor does not keep bugs or vermin away. Au contraire. It attracts flies.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 8:30PM
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There are heavenly scents eg roses, jasmine etc.

There are subjective heavenly scents eg mint, rosemary etc.

Believe me, after an unforgettable journey back from the garden centre , I can truly say.... Leucanthemum Broadway Lights STINKS!

Still going to grow it though. Will love it from a distance.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 6:41PM
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Cleome... smells like skunk. I suppose this is why the deer leave it alone :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 7:24PM
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Duplicate post.

This post was edited by Perennial2014 on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 2:58

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 2:56AM
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