How to Grow the Stinkiest Plants in Your Garden

How to Grow the Stinkiest Plants in Your Garden

Growing stinky plants can be a fun way to add some unusual scents to your garden. While not everyone appreciates these pungent plants, they can also help deter pests and animals from your yard. Here’s an in-depth guide on how to cultivate the smelliest plants possible.

Select the Stinkiest Plants

The first step is choosing plants known for their noxious odors. Here are some top options to consider:

Corpse Flower

The corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) is famous for its rotten, meaty stench. This exotic plant blooms only once every few years, producing a fetid flower that smells like decaying flesh. I’ve found this challenging but rewarding stinky plant thrives in warm greenhouse conditions.

Skunk Cabbage

Native to swampy areas, skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) lives up to its name. Its large leaves and fleshy spathes emit a skunk-like aroma when disturbed. For optimal stink, situate skunk cabbage in boggy soil. The stench deters foraging animals.

Stinkhorn Mushrooms

Several species of stinkhorn mushrooms generate a foul, rancid smell. Notable extra-stinky varieties include the netted stinkhorn and the elegant stinkhorn. Plant mulch and compost to encourage these smelly fungi in shady garden beds.

Stinking Iris

With dark flowers and sword-shaped leaves, stinking iris (Iris foetidissima) offers graceful form and funky fragrance. Its roots, leaves, and blooms all exude the scent of rotting meat when handled. Plant in part sun areas with rich soil.

Provide the Right Growing Conditions

To maximize your plants’ stinky potential, tailor your garden conditions to suit each species’ needs:

  • Corpse flowers require greenhouse warmth and high humidity. Provide lots of moisture, fertilizer, and bright light.

  • Allow skunk cabbage to spread in soggy, marshy soil in part to full shade.

  • Grow stinky mushrooms in the shade by layering compost and mulch to mimic a forest floor.

  • Stinking iris thrives in zones 6-9. Give it full sun to part shade and evenly moist, fertile soil.

Getting the site, soil, moisture, and light conditions right will help your smelly plants prosper and reach peak pungency.

Fertilize and Water Liberally

Don’t skimp on feeding and hydrating your malodorous plantings! Apply fertilizer regularly to fuel growth and ramp up the stench:

  • Use compost tea or fish emulsion monthly to fertilize skunk cabbage.

  • Feed corpse flowers with a high-phosphorus fertilizer to promote blooming.

  • Maintain consistently moist soil for stinking iris through regular watering.

With ample nutrients and water, your plants will grow vigorously and emit eye-watering bouquets.

Propagate for More Stink

As your stinky plants become established, propagate them to expand the fetid fun.

  • Divide bulbs and rhizomes of stinking iris and skunk cabbage.

  • Collect seeds from skunk cabbage’s red berries.

  • Take cuttings from young corpse flower shoots.

  • Dig up mushrooms to transplant elsewhere in the garden.

With propagation, I’ve easily multiplied my most odoriferous plants. Sharing divisions is also a fun way to bond with fellow stinky plant aficionados!

Flaunt Your Funky Garden

Once your malodorous plants are flourishing, it’s time to show off your stinky achievements!

  • Give garden tours to share your plants’ nose-wrinkling wonders.

  • Alert neighbors about any impending corpse flower blooms.

  • Post photos of peculiarly shaped stinkhorns on social media.

  • Submit skunk cabbage shots to stinky plant fan groups.

Owning the garden’s stinkiest lineup is an quirky badge of honor. Have fun exhibiting your plants in all their aromatic glory!

With the right plant picks, growing conditions, care, and propagation, you can cultivate a garden that’s truly odious in all the best ways. Just be prepared for the occasional wrinkled nose from visitors not quite appreciative of your green thumb’s smellier side. Happy growing!