Dodder: a parasitic plant to watch out for

The dodder, also known as the god’s net, is one of those parasitic plants that are dangerous to host plants. Once it appears in the field, it will spread over plants or trees like a large fishing net. Here are some tips for controlling dodder.

The characteristics of dodder

The dodder can display multiple colors: yellow, red or even orange. This particular plant has no neither leaves nor chlorophyll

In summer the flowers bloom and the fruit will then be dispersed through water or wildlife to attack future victims. Thanks to the various sensors, the dodder will find the right host and begin to surround it.

Dodder Cuscuta
Credit: Kamruzzaman Masud/iStock

She will first bite and suck the nutrients from the plant. Without contact with the ground, it will develop and capture the host plant with its long stems of about 1 meter spreading in the branches of its victim. Little by little it will weaken.

The dodder can affect various garden plants such as beets, carrots, aubergines, radishes or even peppers. Plants in ornamental beds can also suffer. The olive and citrus trees are also often the prey of this amazing plant.

You should also know that weeds and nettles are the primary cause of dodder development.

Prevention and Elimination

It is in the period of spring, when the plants develop, it is necessary to keep an eye out to detect the dodder. Today, when buying seeds, it is very often indicated that there is no dodder. On the other hand, once the garden is infested, it is very likely that the dodder is still present and the small size of the seeds makes detection particularly difficult.

The only solution is to stop growing the plants that attract it for several years to avoid a new cycle of contagion† If you see the characteristic net of this plant, immediately remove all stems before flowering and seed dispersal.