I live in a small apartment. A couple days ago I added Jobes fertilizer to several potted plants. My home now reeks of noxious pulverized bone meal.

What can I do (short of removing the plants) to eliminate the odor?

  • 2
    What country are you in? In some countries (Europe/Canada) bone meal has been banned due to the rare possibility of transmitting prion diseases ( mad cow disease ) by inhaling the stuff. May 19, 2016 at 3:50
  • @GrahamChiu I'm in the US. The major ingredients listed on the bag are: feather meal, bone meal, processed poultry manure, and sulfate of potash. May 19, 2016 at 4:09
  • @samthebrand Just remove the Jobes spike and use a water soluble fertilizer
    – kevinskio
    May 19, 2016 at 10:07

3 Answers 3


If you used the spikes, I'd be surprised if you could smell those to the extent of your apartment 'reeking', but its simple to remove them. I suspect, though, you probably used the bagged granular formulation, and that would cause a stink, and there's not much you can do about it except to wait for it to pass, which it will, eventually. Either that or repot all your plants in fresh potting medium, removing most of the medium they're in now by gently washing it off.

For future reference, anything with bonemeal, blood or fishmeal is always best used under the top layer of soil, preferably outdoors. Like at the bottom of a planting hole...


I just had the same problem when I applied Jobes fertilizer on top of my indoor kumquat plant. I was able to eliminate most of the odor by sprinkling a generous amount of potting soil on top of the fertilizer. It's helped a ton. However, next time I'll be buying the Jobes fertilizer spikes, at least for indoor plants. Best of luck!


In theory it would be nice to use "organic" fertilizers however, most of them are not suitable indoors and probably do not contain all the elements and micro elements. Missing just one can cause problems. Remove as much of the added fert as you can and top up with potting media. It doesnt mention on Jobes website if the following elements are supplied in their organic fert: calcium, sulphur, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum and boron.

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