Dodder How to Control the Parasite Plant

Dodder is one of the worst weeds and should be thoroughly dealt with. Dodder is not a plain weed; this is a parasite plant. It originates from a bindweed family and belongs to quarantine plants. In the southern tropical countries, dodder grows as a perennial. But in the cold climate, it is an annual plant. Dodder weakens the plant on which it parasitizes. It is a carrier of various diseases and can exhaust several plants simultaneously. There are many species of this parasite that infect a wide variety of plants.

Dodder Description

Dodder has neither roots nor leaves. The stem is a strand whichbinds the stems and leaves of the occupied plant. There are suckers on the strand surface, by which it clings, sucks, and intrudes into the stem of the plant. Studies have shown that it detects the smell of plantssuitable for binding, which is how it finds a victim. Sticking to the plants, dodder flowers with a globular inflorescence of green, white or pink color, and then it fruits. The seeds can survive in the soil for more than 10 years, without losing any germinative ability.


The Peculiarities of Conquering the Habitation Space

Dodder is usually bright yellow, as all the plant’s parts have little chlorophyll since its use has been limited. When the dodder seeds germinate, they are quick to find their victim. A young plant detects the smell of victim plants and turns to them. If it does not find the victim within 2-3 days for some reason, then it dies. There are cases in which dodder seedlings have been germinative for more than 10 days, with a length up to 1 ft (30 cm). They move towards the plants to which they get stuck to later. In appropriate cases, dodder quickly sticks to the victim plants with its stickers and intrudes into their angio. The plant roots die, but the dodder completely binds around the victim plant. With the help of its tow filament, the dodder sucks nutrients from the plant, gradually destroying it. Adult dodder is a very dangerous and resistant plant. If you cut off the dodder stems and throw them to the ground, it wriggles and moves to a new plant with reappeared shoots.

Dodder blooms with small white, pink, or green flowers, gathered in inflorescence. The seeds become mature with 2-5 pieces in each capsule, up to 3 mm. They can survive in the soil for more than 10 years. Its seeds look like the seeds of the plants on which dodder parasitizes. This feature developed due to parasitic adaptation. Therefore, the difference can be seen only after careful examination of the seeds.


Measures against Dodder

If you notice small growths of dodder, then it must be cut off with the plantbecause it is impossible to separate them. Then, dodder is burnt. If it has already appeared in the garden, you need to mow the plants before the dodder begins flowering, and then carefully collect the grass, dry, and burn it. A positive effect will also be seen in the treatment of infected plants by ‘Roundup’ 0.5-1% solution. Spraying infected plants destroys either dodder or the cultivated plants.

If the soil is infected with the seeds of dodder, then provocative watering of the soil is performed. This is done before planting cultivated plants and seed sprouting. It is necessary to perform the procedure in spring and autumn. When dodder seedlings appear, they are liquidated.

Dodder is a quarantine plant. So, it must be destroyed


It is necessary to dig deep into the the soil, upturning the layers of up to 1 ft (30 cm) in order to prevent any dodder seed germination.

It is cut off along with the host plant so that dodder tow strands do not fall onto the ground. They are placed in a plastic bag, carried out of the garden, and burned.

It is important to perform this dodder elimination before it beings flowering and seed maturation starts.

Remember that dodder is a very dangerous parasitic weed. This is why it is necessary to deal with it not only in the garden, but in the neighborhood as well. Otherwise, dodder can easily get back into your garden.

Read also: Chickweed weed control Bindweed and how to combat it in the garden