How to Grow the Stinkiest Flowers in Your Garden
Growing stinky flowers can be a fun and rewarding way to spice up your garden. Some people enjoy the unique scents, while others just want flowers that will stand out. With a little planning, you can have a garden filled with eye-catching and nose-wrinkling blooms.
Choose Stinky Flower Varieties
There are many flower varieties known for their strong, and sometimes unpleasant, aromas. Here are some top picks for the stinkiest flowers you can grow:
The corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) is one of the stinkiest flowers in the world. As the name suggests, it smells like rotting flesh. This huge plant can grow up to 10 feet tall, blooming only once every 7-10 years. The flower’s rotten stench attracts carrion beetles and flies that pollinate it.
To grow this tropical plant, I need a greenhouse or conservatory. It requires very warm temperatures, high humidity, and rich soil. I may have to wait years for it to bloom, but it’s worth it for the shock factor!
Stinking Benjamin (Tagetes minuta), also called stinking Roger, is an annual flower native to South America. It produces clusters of small white or yellow flowers on bushy foliage.
True to its name, stinking Benjamin gives off a strong, unpleasant odor reminiscent of skunk spray. It’s easy to grow from seed in full sun and poor soil. I can plant it in borders or containers where its stench will really stand out.
Bulbine (Bulbine frutescens) is a perennial plant from South Africa. Its yellow or orange flowers are carried on thin, wispy stems.
What makes bulbine extra stinky is when its leaves or stems are crushed. They release a foul garlic-onion-stinky feet scent that earned it the nickname “vomit bulb.” For maximum impact, I can bruise its foliage or locate it along a garden path where people might brush against it.
Choose Stinky Locations
To make sure my stinky flowers really stand out, I need to strategic about where I plant them:
Near entryways or walkways – Position stinky flowers where people will brush past them or get a whiff every time they enter the garden. The element of surprise highlights the flowers’ stench.
Downwind spots – Plant stinkers in locations where breezes will carry their scent around the garden. That way, everyone can get a whiff without having to stand right next to them.
Containers – Growing potent flowers in pots and planters near patios or decks lets me control their placement. I can move them around into prime smelly locations.
Enhance Stinky Blooms
Aside from picking naturally smelly flower varieties, there are some tricks I can use to enhance or magnify the stench coming from my garden:
Apply organic compost to stinky flower beds – the richer the soil, the more pungent flowers will grow.
Allow stinky flowers to wilt intentionally – let blooms or leaves sit in water to intensify their odors.
Crush or bruise leaves and stems of flowers like bulbine to release extra scent.
Grow flowers in their ideal hot, humid conditions to really amplify fragrances.
Group many plants together so their scents combine into a real nasal assault.
Fertilize blooms with fish emulsion or compost tea – the nitrogen stokes stinky aromas.
With some strategic plant choices and care, I can have the stinkiest, most eye-catching flower garden in the neighborhood. Just beware of offending noses! Now let me grab my gas mask and get planting.