The Q&A Archives: Verciferous Little Vine

Question: I would like to know what kind of vine is strangling everything it touches in my yard. It is a very small vine with about 1 inch teardrop shaped leaves. It grows 2 or 3 or 4 at a time around eveything. I don't know how else to describe it. But I would like to know if there is something I could apply where it grows that would kill the vine but not contaminate the dirt so I would be able to plant my vegetables there.

Answer: What you describe sounds like good old-fashioned dodder. It's weird in that it germinates from seeds and then becomes parasitic on the host plants. It doesn't need roots once it attaches itself to other plants because they supply all the food and moisture it requires.

If it is in ornamental beds with woody plants, you can treat the soil with a pre-emergent herbicide such as WeedzStop (an organic product with corn gluten as active ingredient). This product is sold by Gardener's Supply Co. (; ph# 800/863-1700). You will need to reapply it every so often throughout the summer to keep the dodder at bay.

Until you get the pest under control, you'd be wise to find another garden plot for your vegetables. Herbicides are not good companions to edible crops!

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