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Interiorscape Forum / Scaper Talk Discussion Forum / Plants / OMG....smell like you wouldn't believe!!!
Posted:  15 Mar 2011 02:56  
  Walked into an account last visit, to be bombarded by comments on a single plant in the office.  Have had this account for 10 years, most of the floor plants and many of the smaller plants have been here this long too, and are VERY happily growing.  Two issues this day.

A Janet Craig, you might have thought something died in it!  They had moved it to an office that wasn't in use and shut the door.  You could STILL smell it.  this account is med to low light, but where this plant sits/sat it is in a window area.  It is NOT overwatered, if anything I let it dry down, sometimes skipping watering if needed.

Question on this one becomes;  Does anyone have remedies to rid soil of skunklikevomitsmelling odors or worse!?  Remedies that work quickly, don't hurt the plant, and are cost effective.

Plant has since been removed after they stuffed the 4' plant into a barrel and shut the door and lights off.  Barrel had a lid.  You can imagine my surprise and ....disgust for the treatment of this otherwise beautiful plant. 

there is also a Dracaena massangeana (older) onsite as well, developed large yellow blotches with brown edges at the same aproximate time this occured to the JC.   

I am suspecting some sort of "cleaning person" issue at this point.  Staff hasn't changed otherwise, I haven't changed either....

Either way...it's disheartening.  Replaced JC with a Warneckii, massangeana is still in place...hoping the newer growth doesn't have ill effects from same issue...little more costly to replace.  It is on the docket to go though.
Posted:  15 Mar 2011 03:56  
The key clue is your description of "vomitlike smell"...probably someone dumped coffee or some other dairy-containing beverage into the container...maybe more than once.  I had that experience once in a bank branch that had lots of built-in planter box runs into which one new hire had decided to pour her leftover lattes each day, until the residue in the planters resembled cottage cheese and smelled like sour milk.  She left for greener pastures soon after, not sure whether it had anything to do with her neanderthal table manners, though.

Remove the plant and replace it.  When it's back at your facility, unpot, remove the medium, rinse the roots in fresh, tepid water and repot into fresh medium with granulated activated charcoal (aquarium type) added to help adsorb any remaining objectionable odors.  Should be good to go on another account, or back where it was.

As for the old Mass cane, the blotches are probably symptomatic of nutrient deficiency, just coincidental with the JC problem.  Older leaves will be cannibalized for nutrients by the new growth, resulting in chlorosis (yellowing) and necrosis (death) of older tissues.  Replace, or try an application of soluble trace elements and then fertilize lightly with a high-nitrogen fertilizer.

Posted:  31 Mar 2011 01:54  
Thanks Clem,  oddly, the JC stopped smelling almost as fast as it started.  Wierd.

I have started fertilizing most accounts already.
Posted:  31 Mar 2011 15:15  
The soluble trace elements are the key, though...most interiorscape media are soilless for all practical purposes, and once the starter nutrient charge is gone, they provide no nutrients to the plant.  Many all-purpose fertilizers contain little or nothing in the way of soluble trace elements, so it's good to apply these once a year or so to make sure there are no deficiencies brewing.

Posted:  17 Apr 2011 13:43  
Thanks, I am aware of this nutritional info.  The Vomitskunk plant is alive, non stinky and doing well.  The offending Mass Cane with leaf acne, is doing better as well.  This little old plant usually shoots flowers out in winter too, but didn't this year.  I had pruned it down last year, so am not surprised by this at all.

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