Why Does My Aloe Plant Stink? Find Out the Reason Now.

Aloe is a common succulent that is popular for its medicinal and ornamental benefits. The plant boasts of easy maintenance, and it works perfectly for both indoor and outdoor gardening enthusiasts. However, one question that begs for an answer is, “why does my aloe plant stink?”

If you have noticed an odor emanating from your aloe plant, you are not alone. Over the years, gardeners have raised concerns over the stench coming from their lovely plants. In this article, we will look at the most common reasons why your aloe plant may smell and what you can do to remedy the situation.


Aloe plants are succulents, and like most succulents, they thrive in warm and dry conditions. They store water in their leaves and stems, which means they do not require frequent watering. Overwatering your aloe plant can lead to root rot, which then causes your plant to stink. The rotting roots produce a pungent smell that can be hard to ignore.


If you suspect root rot, stop watering your plant immediately. Remove it from the pot and inspect the roots. If they are brown, mushy, and have a bad odor, it is a clear indication of root rot. Cut off the rotten parts and repot your plant in fresh, well-draining soil. From then on, be sure to water your aloe plant sparingly.

Fungal Infections

Another reason why your aloe plant may stink is due to fungal infections. Fungal infections can attack your plant’s roots and leaves, and as the fungus spreads, it produces a foul smell.


If you suspect a fungal infection, inspect your plant for signs of the disease such as spots, discoloration, or mold. Remove the infected parts and spray your plant with a fungicide. Ensure you follow the instructions on the fungicide precisely to avoid damaging your plant.


Different types of pests can attack your aloe plant, including mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. These pests feed on your plant’s sap, leading to a decrease in vigor and the production of a stinky smell.


If you spot pests on your aloe plant, isolate it to prevent the infestation from spreading. You can then use insecticidal soap or neem oil to get rid of the pests. Be sure to follow the instructions on the products and repeat the treatment as directed to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Soil Mix

The soil mix you use for your aloe plant can also cause it to stink. If the soil is too compact or nutrient dense, it can lead to poor drainage, which then causes the roots to rot and produce a foul smell.


Ensure your soil mix is well-draining and contains a mixture of loam, sand, and perlite. Avoid over-fertilizing your plant and ensure it gets adequate sunlight and fresh air.


Your aloe plant should not stink, and if it does, it is an indication that something is amiss. By understanding the reasons why your plant may smell and applying the remedies above, you can ensure your plant stays healthy and odor-free. Happy gardening!

Common Questions About Smelly Aloe Plants

  • Why does my aloe plant smell like onions?
  • If your aloe plant smells like onions, it is probably due to a fungal infection. You should inspect for signs of fungus and treat your plant accordingly.

  • Why does my aloe plant smell sour?
  • If your aloe plant smells sour, it is an indication of root rot. Consider repotting your plant in fresh soil, cutting off the rotten roots, and reducing watering.

  • Can over-fertilization cause my aloe plant to stink?
  • Yes. Over-fertilization can cause your aloe plant to have a build-up of salts in the soil, which can affect it negatively and cause a foul smell.

  • Can aloe plants die from smelling bad?
  • While smelling bad is a clear indication that something is wrong with your aloe plant, it does not necessarily mean that it is dying. With the right care, you can salvage your plant and nurse it back to health.

  • What should I do if my aloe plant does not stop smelling?
  • If your aloe plant continues to smell despite your best efforts, it might be time to consider disposing of it. This is especially true if your plant is severely affected by root rot, pests, or disease.


  • Subramanyam, K., Khaleel, S., Krishnamurthy, K. S., Janakiraman, M., & Kumar, P. M. (2017). Medicinal Properties of Aloe Vera: A Review. IJIRMS, 2(1).
  • Baker, C. (2018, January 23). Common Aloe Vera Plant Problems. Retrieved August 23, 2021, from https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/aloe-vera/aloe-vera-plant-problems.htm
  • Deng, G., Shen, J., Yin, J., & Zhang, H. (2017). UV-B radiation induced changes in phenolic compounds and its antioxidative properties in Aloe vera. BMC plant biology, 17(1), 10.

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