Newly Registered
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:50 pm
Location: Maine

Why does my Aloe stink?

I just bought an Aloe plant, it seems healthy but when I opened one of the leaves the gel was yellow and it stinks really really bad! Anyone know why or if I can change that? I thought most aloe vera had clear, odorless gel inside the leaves?


User avatar
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Does the plant itself smell bad, or just when you break open a leaf? If the plant and its container smell bad, then perhaps you might be overwatering it, which can lead to root rot. Plants with root rot tend to smell bad.

Newly Registered
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:50 pm
Location: Maine

No it only smells when I break it open. I haven't even watered it yet bc I just got it, but the soil is pretty dry, so I do not think that is it.

Senior Member
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 1:18 am
Location: Birmingham-AL, USA

could be that the lower most leaves on the plant have somewhat rotted. i've seen that... a lot of aloes get planted deeper than they really should, once they are repotted, in order to get them to stand up straight. did you repot it? even if you didn't, seeing as how you just got the plant, there is a high likelihood that whomever you got the plant from had recently repotted it...

when this happens, the lowest leaves slowly lose vigor and turn any sort of different orange and brown colors, depending on soil chemistry, i suppose (just a guess there). when this happens, the leaves, though not completely dead, and still attached to the main plant, slowly lose their ability to heal. so, rot and funk set in on those leaves. and, because of all of this, they start to stink to high heaven.

i would not recommend removing the new growth leaves off of your plant, but, if the plant is still alive and thriving, i'd be willing to bet that the newest leaves do NOT stink...

if they do, the disease and rot may have gone systemic, and you may have a slowly dieing aloe on your hands...

remove any low leaves that are severely discolored or mushy, resume normal watering routine, and hope for the best...
-Zone 7b
-Veggies, succulents, cacti, flowers, and houseplants!

Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:32 pm


I work at a garden store and we have some aloes which were marked as aloe vera, but I don't think they are because they have a yellow gel and smell like burning flesh when they are broken open. I don't know much about the different varieties, but I know that there are tons of types of aloe, and it sounds like the one you have might be the same one as we have in the store.

Return to “Cactus Forum - Cacti Including all Succulent Plants”