The Q&A Archives: love vine

Question: My impatients have a small yellow vine that is attacking my flowers and causing them not to bloom and are beginning to die. How can I rid this vine from my flowers

Answer: What you describe sounds like dodder. Dodder is a peculiar plant in that it begins life as a seed and develops roots for sustanence, but when it locates a suitable host plant its roots disolve and dodder takes its nourishment from the host plant. As a parasitic plant, dodder can literally suck the life out of plants. Sadly, dodder seed can remain viable for several years so you may have problems with it in the future. What you can do is hand pull the plants as they emerge - certainly before they set seeds. Try to plant something other than tender annuals or perennials in the beds where dodder has appeared. Plant woody ornamentals instead. If you must use the infested area for flowers or veggies, try placing a thick mulch over the bed after you've planted, to exclude light from reaching the soil and triggering the germination of the dodder seed.

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