Adsorption and desorption experiments, pot experiments and characterization test were performed to investigate the immobilization effect and mechanism of the smectite-OR-SH compound for reducing cadmium uptake by plants in contaminated soils. The results showed that the saturated adsorption capacity for the adsorption of Cd2+ on smectite raised distinctly after functionalized. The adsorption of Cd2+ on smectite-OR-SH compound was very stable and it was difficult for Cd2+ to be desorbed from it. Crop yields promoted differently in original soil, Cd 3 mg x kg(-1) soil and Cd 10 mg x kg(-1) soil after adding the smectite-OR-SH compound. And the cadmium content of the cabbage reduced 61.00%, 62.10% and 83.73% respectively compare with the control. Characterization test analysis showed that Cd was adsorbed by the compound successfully and ligand interaction occurred between Cd and the thiol group. Floc amount on the compound surface increased correspondingly. In addition to electrostatic adsorption, ion exchange and hydroxyl ligand adsorption, the reaction mechanism of smectite-OR-SH compound with Cd was mainly sulfhydryl ligand adsorption.