Skunky houseplant...Decoy? in the
The Grow Room forums; Last night I brought in some plants and flowering hanging baskets to overwinter inside my breezeway. When I went out ...
Last night I brought in some plants and flowering hanging baskets to overwinter inside my breezeway. When I went out this morning a skunky aroma walloped my senses. I thought, damn...wtf? Everyone thought it was the neighborhood skunk, but I soon realized it was one of the plants I'd brought in.
So, I'm thinking this is possibly a perfect decoy scent, an adjunct to odor control...sort of in reverse. What do you think?
(I'll track down the type of plant and edit this, but there must be many plant varieties with similar properties.)
Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar Periwinkle)
The herb called the rosy periwinkle is a much branched perennial shrub which can reach 2 1/2 feet in height when fully mature. The rosy periwinkle has oval shaped leaves which have a peculiar glossy skin. The herb is also characterized by white to pinkish flowers that have five lobed petals. Rosy periwinkle also bears downy textured seedpods which are cylindrical in shape.
The Madagascar periwinkle known by the botanical name as C. roseus (earlier Vinca rosea) is one of the few plants that have generated recent interest in the scientific and medical communities around the world. The scientific and medical communities became interested in the properties of the herb sometime in the middle of the 1950's. It was at that time, that herbal researchers first came upon the traditional "periwinkle tea" used by people in Jamaica as a folk remedy. These researchers started to study the properties of the plant and tried to analyze its anecdotal anti-diabetic abilities - the main use for the herb in Jamaica. The research on the plant was very satisfactory as many of the properties hoped to be gained by the researchers was displayed by the plant, for example, the researchers found that the herb contained at least two anti-cancer alkaloids - the compounds vincristine and vinblastine - these two compounds were found to be capable of inhibiting the growth of tumors in the human body. The first alkaloid compound vincristine has proven to be of greater effectiveness when used in the treatment of childhood leukemia in affected children. At the same time, the second alkaloid compound called vinblastine was found to be effective in the treatment of testicular cancer and the condition known as Hodgkin's disease - which is the name for a malignant cancer affecting the lymphatic system of patients. Side effects which are similar to those induced by many chemical medications used during chemotherapy, were found to be inducible by these two alkaloids - taking the alkaloids induced nausea and hair loss in patients.
Different healing and medicinal properties are also evident in the Madagascar periwinkle; such abilities are also seen in the related herbs such as the lesser periwinkle, the rauvolfia herb, and all the other members of the dogbane family of plants. At least, seventy confirmed alkaloid agents have been extracted from the herb - some of these alkaloid compounds have distinct medicinal properties. Of the many types of alkaloids found in the plant, an ability to decrease blood sugar levels has been observed in some, while other alkaloids have been found to reduce the blood pressure in patients with elevated blood pressure problems.
Traditionally and historically, the Madagascar periwinkle has been used by many folk healers in many different cultures, for treating a variety of ailments much before the present day modern researchers studied and confirmed the plants varied and valuable healing properties. For example, this plant was used by the folk healers of the India, in treating wasp stings by a topical application of the juice from crushed leaves. External bleeding in the body was traditionally healed in Hawaii by using an extract of the boiled plant as a topical application. The plant was also used by the people in Central America and some parts of South America to make an oral gargle for easing the pain of sore throats along with ailments affecting the chest region. Traditional herbal eyewash made from the extract of the flowers was also applied to affected eyes by the peoples of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and other Caribbean islands. The majority of the traditional uses of the herb in these lands continue to this day. -more
Last edited by Viagro; 11-16-2010 at 11:42 AM.
Anybody have an opinion on this?
If you think it's a dumb idea, I can take it. I think there is some beneficial potential here. Maybe, maybe not.
Could be a good idea, but it may just create more of the skunky odor and attract unnecessary attention. People who would recognize that smell likely wouldn't know that particular plant also had that odor.
I've always thought a perfect "smell decoy" would be getting a pet deodorized sunk but have never looked into myself.
Yeah, I thought about that, but it is a more subtle odor, and when you pass by the houseplant you realize how skunky it is. Particularly if you brush against it.
Then, anyone that notices a slightly skunky aroma in the house would probably associate it with the houseplant.
I'm keeping it in the entryway, so you can't miss it.
Plus, if you are having odor problems, you already have an attention problem. This wouldn't really magnify it.
Originally Posted by skrillaship
I had a descented skunk, once. Two, actually.
Why not just get a giant can of chili with beans? Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Alternatively you could stop bathing and washing your clothes.
Covering one skunky smell with another is a bad idea I think. Grow it outside sure, it can cover any smells that drift out. But inside? Not so much, unless you live alone and plan to stay living alone forever.
Make yourself a ghetto carbon scrubber and perhaps you can even have company.
It doesn't cover the scent, it just makes it possible to associate the scent with the houseplant. I'm thinking this for slight odor problems, not major ones.
Originally Posted by Jefferstone
Fans are too noisy for me to go the scrubber route.
Why not get a scentless plant and blame the smell on it anyway? I used to work in a hospital where on occassion I'd get the wonderful opportunity to smell decomp. If you covered that smell with skunk, then you'd just smell decomp and skunk. Cover it with perfume and you smell perfume and decomp. Not a good scenario. But I don't know your particular situation. Have you tried Ona gel?
Re: noisy fans, you can get a couple of PC fans that are about 19dba - 24dba (not db) but still move 110 cfm for about $15 each. Do a search on CoolerMaster 200mm. You can barely, and I mean barely hear them. That's less than 0.1 sones. Buy two, hook some carbon to them, hang them in the grow room, (they don't even have to exhaust and you don't need to duct them) and you'll be amazed at the lack of scent. It took me about 20 minutes to make a small scrubber from plans on this site. And then the smell was just gone.
Good luck to you, I hope it works out.
I think you might be missing the point, or failing to see the bigger picture. I plan on having a few of these plant in my front yard beds, when it warms, as well as houseplants...the place will have a signature periwinkle scent, and any dank that enters in will be camouflaged.
Not a fan of ona gel. I like the Vaportek disk system.
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Sounds like a plan to me. At least you would have a plausible explanation if someone asked about your smell. Peace Jack
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