How to Grow the Stinkiest Plants in Your Backyard

How to Grow the Stinkiest Plants in Your Backyard

How to Grow the Stinkiest Plants in Your Backyard

Growing stinky plants in your backyard can be a fun way to add some unique aromas to your garden. With a little knowledge and preparation, you can cultivate some of the most pungently fragrant plants around. Here are some tips for growing the stinkiest plants possible in your own backyard.

Select the Right Stinky Plants

The first step is choosing which gloriously malodorous plants you want to grow. Here are some top options for the stinkiest backyard plants:

Corpse Flower

The corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) is one of the stinkiest plants in the world. When it blooms, it releases a stench like rotting flesh to attract pollinators. Be warned – this is not a scent for the faint of heart! Corpse flowers can grow over 10 feet tall, but can be tricky to cultivate.

Skunk Cabbage

Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) is a hardy perennial plant that produces smelly blossoms early in spring. True to its name, the flowers give off a skunk-like odor when blooming. The large, tropical-looking leaves also emit a foul, skunky smell when crushed.

Stinkhorn Fungus

Stinkhorn fungi are must-have additions for any smelly garden. These fungi emerge from soil suddenly and release a stench of carrion to attract insects that spread their spores. Some common stinkhorn varieties include the dog stinkhorn and the aptly named phallus impudicus.

Bradford Pear

While not the stinkiest, Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana) is a commonly planted landscape tree with flowers that emit a fishy odor in spring. Their smelly blossoms make them a great option for a backyard stink garden.

Pick the Right Location

When choosing where to plant your stinky specimens, consider these factors:

  • Sunlight: Most stinky plants need full sun to thrive. Select a sunny spot.

  • Soil: Check each plant’s soil preferences. Stinkhorns thrive in rich soil, while skunk cabbage likes moist conditions.

  • Spacing: Give stinky plants room to grow. Space them well apart so their scents don’t compete.

  • Wind direction: Consider which way prevailing winds blow so stinky scents don’t always blow toward your house.

Prepare the Soil

Many malodorous plants thrive in nutrient-rich soil. Here are some tips for great soil prep:

  • Add aged compost or manure to enrich the soil with organic matter.

  • Mix in a balanced fertilizer a few weeks before planting. Composted poultry manure provides an extra stink boost!

  • Improve drainage by tilling in sand, peat moss, or perlite if the soil is heavy clay.

  • Adjust soil pH to the ideal range for each plant. Stinkhorns like slightly acidic conditions.

Plant and Care for Your Stinkers

Follow best planting practices and care guidelines for your specific stinky plants. Here are some general tips:

  • Give stinkhorns, corpse flowers, and skunk cabbage lots of water during the growing season.

  • Apply mulch around plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

  • Stake tall flowers like corpse flowers to prevent toppling.

  • When stinkhorn fungi emerge, do not remove them – let them fully develop for peak stinkiness.

  • Monitor for pests like aphids that may bother plants and reduce their eye-watering aroma.

Enjoy the Full Stinky Experience

Once your smelly plants get growing, you can enjoy their fantastically foul scents to the fullest! Here are ways to maximize the stinky experience:

  • Sniff your stinkers up close to truly appreciate their putrid perfume.

  • Invite unsuspecting friends over specifically when plants are at their stinkiest.

  • Note weather factors like wind, humidity, and rain and how they affect the aroma intensity.

  • Share photos of the ugliest stinkhorn fungi on social media to disgust and delight.

With the right plants, location, soil, and care, you can cultivate delightfully smelly specimens sure to impress any connoisseur of terrible scents. Get ready to unleash eye-watering funk in your backyard!