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smelly diffenbachia

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by liberty53 on February 15, 2005 03:17 AM
I'm hoping someone will know what I can do for my plant. Last year (I guess around this time) there was a strong odor in my house that smelled like bug spray or fertilizer. I thought maybe my husband had sprayed around the house for bugs, but he didn't. Then we finally realized that it was the diffenbachia plant. It is so strong that we have to put it in the garage when it is too cold outside. It gives you a headache and is very overpowering.

It seems to happen when it puts out those large hard, well not sure what they are...look like rolled up leaves that never open and it drops droplets of fluid.

I know this is toxic, but I've never had a diffenbachia plant do this before.

When it is spring and summer and can be outside, it is no problem, of course. But, when it starts doing it when it's inside, it is too much to handle.

Any ideas of what to do about this? [nutz]

Thanks for any help.

by Will Creed on February 15, 2005 04:45 AM
Hi Liberty,

That is strange. Those hard things that don't open are either flowers or seed pods. But I have never known them to leak fluid, let alone smelly stuff.

Can you e-mail me a photo of Mr. Stinky?
by Amy R. on February 15, 2005 06:57 AM
"Mr. Stinky"
LOL! that is too funny, Mr. Will.
My diffenbachia weeps as well--why, i do not know, but I've yet to experience the aforementioned odor, thankfully, it seems. However, I look forward to hearing of similar experiences...until then, incense perhaps???
by Will Creed on February 16, 2005 04:44 AM
If I had a plant stinking up my house, Ms.R, I would be incensed!

by Amy R. on February 16, 2005 06:11 AM
you funny guy, Will! seriously though, do you know why they weep? mine is almost bawling right now, is that normal? hmm, maybe it's jealous of my heineken...
i'm quite proud of my diffenbachia, although i live in eternal fear of killing it. aside from one brown leaf tip, it's looking mighty nice. and i'm gonna brag about it up and down the block, as who knows how much time we have left together!
by Amy R. on February 16, 2005 06:16 AM
OOPS! my sincere apologies, Sir Will, i just re-read the thread and realized you already answered my query. please forgive me, i promise it won't happen again. until next time. [Embarrassed]
by Will Creed on February 17, 2005 03:36 AM

If I answered your question already, I must have missed it. So forgive me if I repeat myself.

Newly opened leaves on Dieffenbachias, Pothos, and sometimes peace lilies will occasionally emit water droplets at the leaf tips. This perfectly normal and healthy phenomenon has a fancy and unpleasant sounding name - "guttation" - that you can use to impress your friends or chase them away, depending on who you hang with.

From Liberty's description, I don't think that guttation applies to her stinky plant. I do think it applies to your Dieffenbachia, however.


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