Have you discovered a strange looking fungus emitting a horrible odor in your garden? Sounds like you may have Stinkhorns growing.
Stinkhorns are a type of mushroom, part of the same family as Clathrus Ruber, another common garden fungi. Stinkhorns are typically quite thin and pale with a large round head.
While Stinkhorns don’t actually pose any threat to you or your pets, they do give off a rather unpleasant smell and aren’t particularly lovely to look at. Their bulbous heads produce a protective substance called gleba which smells horrible and looks very strange.
While you can try to kill Stinkhorns from your garden, this is quite hard to do, and they often come back. But, it’s possible to remove them in the hopes that they don’t return.
You can do this by either uprooting them or killing them with substances like lime or bleach. So, if you want to get rid of this pesky mushroom, you need to follow a few simple steps.
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How to Uproot a Stinkhorn
Put on some gardening gloves (or any gloves you own) and have a trash bag ready to insert the stinkhorns in. This is because the Stinkhorn will likely be very sticky and smelly, so it’s best to keep it contained and off your hands.
Find the base of the mushroom first and remove it from the source. If you just cut it from ground-level it will continue to grow. You’ll know if you’ve got all of it once you find the egg-like root.
Remove any soil in the vicinity. This is because there could be some developing stinkhorns hidden in the soil that could continue to grow.
Use a fungal killer to ensure anything left behind in the soil is properly taken care of and to prevent the area from nurturing stinkhorns in the future.
Spray the fungal killer as directed.
How to Kill a Stinkhorn
If you’ve tried removing Stinkhorns from your garden by uprooting them, but they have come back, you may need to try killing them using bleach or lime water.
If using bleach, mix freshly boiled water with your bleach solution. The water to bleach ratio should be about 1:1.
Do be careful when working with bleach products. Pour slowly to avoid any splashes.
Once your bleach and water mixture is ready to use, pour it onto the affected area. This should kill the mushrooms in the area and potentially prevent the soil from housing any future fungi too.
Additionally, you can also pour lime over the Stinkhorn and soil. This will help to further destroy any lingering Stinkhorn roots or developing Stinkhorns hidden under the soil.
It will also make the soil inhabitable for future pesky mushrooms.
Can you eat stinkhorns?
Stinkhorns when they are fully grown are super smelly and coated in a sticky protective gel called gleba. This is not very appetizing at all and not considered edible.
However, when the mushroom is still in its ‘egg stage’ of growth it is considered edible. In fact, in some areas of the world it is considered a delicacy. It is reported that it tastes a little like a radish. Due to its smelly nature it is not expected to be a very tasty dish.
Is clathrus ruber poisonous to dogs?
Clathrus Ruber is a type of fungi that shares the same family as the Stinkhorn. It is most commonly known as the ‘Lattices Stinkhorn’ due to its cage-like appearance.
Some report this mushroom as edible. However, there have also been reports throughout history that believe it to be inedible and toxic, causing severe stomach troubles.
It isn’t thought to be poisonous to dogs or other household pets, although those whose dogs have eaten Clathrus Ruber have found them to suffer with an upset stomach shortly after.
Fortunately like humans, dogs don’t appreciate the smell or taste and often avoid them anyway.
If you notice your dog has eaten one, try to induce vomiting within an hour of it being digested. This should minimize any intestinal upset for them.
If smelly, sticky Stinkhorn mushrooms are taking over your garden, there is a solution, and it’s pretty simple. Although it is worth noting that you do have the option to leave the fungus alone.
They aren’t poisonous, and they have been said to actually benefit soil. However, the smell is super offensive and will put you off spending any length of time out in your garden so getting rid of them would be the right thing to do in that instance.
If you don’t plan on being out in your garden, though, leaving them be may result in them going away on their own anyway.