Dodder the Killer Vine - Knowledgebase Question

Otisco, IN
Avatar for lcooper03
Question by lcooper03
December 7, 1997
This summer, my raised bed started growing the most horrendous killer vine I've ever seen. It was long, thin and orangy-yellow and had small clusters of white flowers. It attached itself to every plant I had in the raised bed and started climbing up some tea roses. And I've never seen anything grow or spread so fast! I never found the root(s) so I couldn't pull it up. My question is: What is this vine from hell and how can I get rid of it next year?

Answer from NGA
December 7, 1997
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 andmoisture it requires.

If it was 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.

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