Keep up to date with

Special Gift Offer
URL:
http://www.gardengatemagazine.com/newsletter/2007/10/16/dodder/
Share:

Dodder

By: Garden Gate staff
Dodder is a parasite with suckerlike roots that penetrate into another plant’s stem to gather nutrients and water.

pest watch

Dodder Cuscuta spp.

IDENTIFICATION – Dodder is a parasite with suckerlike roots that penetrate into another plant’s stem to gather nutrients and water. It looks like yellow-orange, stringy spaghetti twining through garden plants.

The seeds germinate in the soil, and the seedlings bend to find a host plant. If they don’t find one, they die. When the search is successful, the connection to the soil breaks and the seedling fastens onto the host to begin feeding. It reaches for more plants, branching and spreading rapidly, eventually strangling and exhausting them. Small, white flowers bloom throughout the growing season, producing hard-coated seeds that can quickly germinate.

CONTROL – Pull and destroy infested plants. Or cut a branch below where the dodder has attached itself. Do not add it to the compost pile since each piece of dodder can regrow independently if it finds a living host. Pre-emergent herbicides are an effective control for dodder. Apply them in early spring and again in midsummer. Careful cultivation and a thick layer of organic mulch will also help keep it from getting too attached to your garden.

Tags:
  • None
Share:

Also in This Newsletter


Last Week’s Newsletter

October 9, 2007

Garter snakes

Common garter snakes are sometimes called garden snakes. The yellow stripes you see in the photo give these snakes their name.

Crown gall

A good word to describe crown gall on roses and other ornamental plants is “yuck.” The lumpy growths around the base of the plant are unattractive, to say the least.