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Potting Soil odor

Posted by sirmatthew 4 - Iowa ( on
Sun, Nov 15, 09 at 12:49

I have a schefflera planted in a plastic pot, about 16" in diameter. I transplanted it about nine months ago. Within the past month, I've noticed a strong odor (almost like body odor) emanating from the pot! The plant is growing beautifully, so I wondered if that ruled out some type of disease. I just know that the smell is aweful but i don't want to have to report it and find another pot, if I end up with the same problem a few months down the road. Is there way to remove this horrible odor?

None of my other plants in that room, or anywhere else in the house, smell like this, so I just can't figure it out. The potting soil I used was Miracle Gro potting mix, which I have always used, and never had problems. Other things I planted using that same batch of soil don't stink.

Any ideas?

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RE: Potting Soil odor

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 15, 09 at 13:24

If you don't have cats, it's a very good bet you're over-watering (and creating anaerobic conditions, the micro-organisms that thrive in these conditions give off nasty smelling sulfurous gasses, as well as methane & CO2 - none of which are appreciated by you or the plant.) There are good discussions about soils on this forum and the container gardening forum that will help you understand what makes a good soil and what problems poor soils can cause.

Stick a sharpened wooden dowel deep into the soil when you THINK it needs watering and see if it comes out wet. I'll bet you'll be very surprised at how many days after you think the soil needs water you come up with a wet dowel.


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