Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Get Odors Out of Houseplants

Tip

Look for organic soil that claims to be free of chemicals and contaminants that tend to harbor odor-causing bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. If growing houseplants in plain water, refresh the water regularly to prevent algal growth that tends to smell bad. Some houseplants bloom with exotic smelling flowers. If the smell of the flowers is offensive, move the plant outdoors for the duration of the bloom. Alternatively, cut the flowers off and put them in a vase outdoors.

People have houseplants in their homes to add visual interest and natural décor to a living space. They also have them to improve the indoor air quality. However, there are occasions when houseplants can produce a bad odor that can foul up the indoor atmosphere. To get odors out of houseplants, find the source and address the reasons for the stench.

Determine which houseplant is the culprit. If there's a general smell of rotting soil in a house full of indoor plants, find out which container is causing the odor. Remove the stinking plant.

Check the water catcher or drainage saucer. Catchers are used to protect the floor and furniture from water and moisture seeping from the houseplants. In some cases, the water in the catchers remains standing too long and become foul smelling. Always empty the water catchers about an hour after watering so that it doesn't become a haven for odor-causing bacteria.

Remove decaying leaves and plant parts. Fallen leaves that rot on the soil can give off a musty smell.

Check the soil for fungus and algae. Affected container pots and plants cause odors and allergies and must be taken out of the house.

Avoid overwatering. Keeping the soil overly moist can cause root rot, which not only gives off a rotten smell but also kills the plant.

Use soilless growing media for indoor plants. Potting soil that is peat-based and pest-free is odor-free as well. Regular soil, which has compost and dried manure that tends to smell when wet, is best used for plants that are kept outdoors.

Use odorless fertilizer. Check for available brands at garden centers.

Related Articles

Peace Lily Problems
Peace Lily Problems
My Plant Pot Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs
My Plant Pot Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs
How to Maintain Indoor Plants
How to Maintain Indoor Plants
How to Use Mosquito Dunks to Control Gnat Infestations in Houseplants
How to Use Mosquito Dunks to Control Gnat Infestations...
Care Instructions for Bromeliad Plants
Care Instructions for Bromeliad Plants
How to Care for Neoregelia
How to Care for Neoregelia
Care Instructions For Aloe Vera Plants
Care Instructions For Aloe Vera Plants
Brown Spots on a Jade Plant
Brown Spots on a Jade Plant
Home Remedies for House Plants With Gnats
Home Remedies for House Plants With Gnats
How to Care for Fern House Plants
How to Care for Fern House Plants
How to Wash the Roots of House Plants
How to Wash the Roots of House Plants
What Causes Brown Tips on House Plants?
What Causes Brown Tips on House Plants?
How to Get Rid of Gnats in Potting Soil
How to Get Rid of Gnats in Potting Soil
Curling Leaves on a Ficus Benjamina
Curling Leaves on a Ficus Benjamina
Garden Guides
×