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Sour smell?

Posted by toowide (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 19, 08 at 9:42

Hello. I have a plant that was given to me about 6 years ago and was told it is a peace plant or spath. ??? I dont know what the proper name of it, sorry. It has grown very large and looks so nice but I have just noticed a sour milk smell in it this morning. There is no children in my house to put anything in it and I have not done anything out of the ordinary with it, just water and sometimes fertilizer. It is not soaking wet. I let it get almost dry then water again and do not let it set in a puddle. I dont want to lose this plant so thought I would ask the experts here. Thank you.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sour smell?

Have you ever changed out the potting soil in the 6 years you've owned it? The peat in houseplant soils break down eventually and become foul smelling. When that happens it's called "sour soil." Fresh soil is called "sweet soil." Unpot the plant, knock off the icky soil, and replace it with fresh potting soil mixed with perlite. :)

RE: Sour smell?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 19, 08 at 18:27

Agreed. The sour smell is indicative of over-watering and/or anaerobic (w/o oxygen) bacteria activity in the root mass. Soils with adequate air porosity smell pretty neutral or earthy - soils that have structurally collapsed and that have inadequate aeration quickly begin smelling sour. Like Shiver, I would suggest you bare-root and repot into a fast draining and long-lasting soil.


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