Why are my hanging baskets smelling?

Hanging baskets are beautiful but what about a smelly one? Disgusting right so what are the possible causes of that rotten egg smell that your hanging basket is emitting? Let’s find out.

Why are my hanging baskets smelling? The most common culprit of the rotten egg smell that comes from your hanging baskets is excessive watering. The bacteria causing the smell thrive in soggy and mushy conditions and hence a pot that’s overwatered is the best place for it to live and multiply. To know if you are overwatering the plant check the bottom if there is excess water or there is a stinky dark liquid dripping from the pot.

You surely are overwatering. 

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As a rule of thumb while gardening any type of odor coming from or around your garden is not good news. An odor could mean that there is an underlying problem, especially if the plant looks healthy on the surface. It is better to examine closely right at the start to avoid permanent damage to the plant. 

What causes hanging baskets to smell?

The most common cause of the rotten egg smell in hanging baskets is excessive watering.

When the water does not drain well it tends to sit in the pot longer than expected. The bacterium causing the odor thrives in such conditions. The excessive moisture also causes root rot and other diseases that can prove fatal for the plant. 

The foul smell is generally accompanied by a sticky dark liquid dripping from the pot. Or a fungus layer on the surface of the soil. If you have a collection tray you will see a black or dark brown film on it.

These are all indicative of the fact that you are overwatering the plant and that there is no proper drainage for the excess water to drain out. 

Check out, Why Jade Plant Leaves Turning Black [Reasons and Fixes]

How to get rid of the smell from hanging baskets?

If your plant is smelling it means that you have been overwatering the plant. In such cases there is very little you can do to fix things on a superficial level. The only option here is to repot the plant.

While repotting it is necessary to use a potting mix of good quality. Here is a step to step guide on repotting a hanging basket.

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Step 1: Inspect the basket

Sometimes the overwatering might be the cause of poor drainage. This means that the basket is not porous enough and there are no drainage holes at the bottom. If this is the case the first task at hand is to puncher some holes. 

Step 2: Prepare the potting mix

A potting mix that is high in nutrients is great for a plant that’s recovering from trauma. It is also important that the soil used is airy and hence mixing in some cocopeat or coconut coir is a good idea. You can layer this in the pot. 

Step 3: Inspecting the plant

After you have the pot and the potting mix ready inspect the plant. Look at the root carefully to detect damage or root rot. If the rot is left untreated there are chances of it spreading and killing the plant. Hence, it is important to look at the roots carefully and get rid of damaged or decaying roots. 

Step 4: Repotting

After you are sure of the plant and have cleared any damaged parts it’s time to repot the plant. For this, all you need to do is loosen the soil a little and place the place gently in the soil. after placing the plant, water it and let the water overflow. Then leave it to dry for a bit before replacing the planter. 

Step 5: drip plate or collection tray

Once you have set the planter in its place. Replace the drip tray so that you collect the excess water while watering. Pay attention to the drip tray and empty it as soon as you see water collected. This will reduce the chances of reabsorption.

If the drip plate collects too much water and is not cleaned regularly it can start to smell as well. This is because of the mold or mildew growth. 

Check out, What Layer of Soil Is Best for Growing Plants

How to prevent the smelly hanging baskets from returning? 

As we know it the rotten egg smell comes from excessive watering so the number one advice, we would give to prevent the smell is to keep a check on the planter and the amount of water used. 

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Only water when the top layer of soil is dry. You can check this by inserting your finger into the soil or by checking using a stick. 

Check if the pot has drainage holes. You can punch a few holes if the planter does not have them. 

Clean the drip tray regularly to see that there is no water sitting in it for a long time. 

Set a watering schedule and stick to it. this way you are sure of not overwatering the plant. 

If you do overwater the plant lay off watering for a day or two till the soil is dry or at least semi-dry. Alternatively, you could place the pot on a draining rack and let the water drain for a few hours before placing it back.

Related plants tips:

  • How to Grow Garlic in Soil
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  • How to Add Calcium to Soil?
  • Why are my hanging baskets not growing?
  • How to improve clay soil
  • How to Improve Soil for Gardening
  • Best Soil for Growing Plants

In conclusion

When it comes to hanging baskets, smelly ones are a complete put-off. As these are higher the odor tends to spread faster. Hence if you are wondering Why are my hanging baskets smelling? Know that the cause is poor drainage and overwatering.