Dodder parasite plant: types, description, control measures

Any weed can cause some damage in the garden. But there is a class of weeds, which is especially dangerous - these are plant parasites. Dodder is one of these pests causing a lot of trouble. Such an undesirable neighborhood deprives vegetables of food, which in turn affects their productivity and often leads to death.

Having found such grass on your plot, you should hurry to take the necessary measures. After reviewing the information from the article, gardeners will be able to find answers to questions about the harm caused by dodder, how to deal with such a weed.

The origin of the dangerous plant

Malicious weed migrated to us from equatorial Africa and tropical America. It belongs to the family of vines. Usually such plants find their base, twist it around and coexist peacefully with it. Unlike other bindweeds, dodder finds its prey and feeds on its juice.If there is no such plant next to it, then it dies, because the weed cannot exist independently. When a suitable support is found, it quickly takes root and adapts to any climatic conditions. There are two forms of weed bindweed, differing in the thickness of the stem - thick and thin.

plant parasite dodder


Since, by nature, the dodder weed is “dependent”, it has no roots. How does he eat? How, then, does the plant parasite absorb nutrients? Dodder, with the help of special suckers (haustoria), clings to other cultures and through them gets juice for food.

The body of the land parasite consists of a winding thread. The grass is yellow. There are such weeds and with red stems, for example, dodder thyme. The body of the convolvum very quickly grows in size and soon turns into a disorderly ball of yarn, which entangles its victim. Each individual stem reaches more than meters in length. The plant has no leaves.

European dodder


The weed in question blooms from June to July and by the beginning of September its seeds are completely ripe.They are carried by wind and melt water. It is noticed that even immature dodder seeds germinate well and develop faster than dry ones.

It is important not to allow flowering and seed ingress to the ground, because they can maintain their germination for 10 years.

You can bring a dangerous weed to your city with humus. Most often this happens when fertilizer is imported or purchased from other people.

In the seed of other plants, it is difficult to distinguish weed seeds, so they are often sown with other crops. A very great similarity in this respect in clover with the dodder field. In farms, the selection of seeds is carried out in special machines in which electromagnets separate the seeds of a parasitic plant from cultivated plants.

The problem is aggravated by the fact that the dodder is able to multiply with the help of parts from its stem. If, when weeding out a weed, there remains at least a small passage, it will soon take root and give a new generation of harmful grass.

dodder how to fight


The list of host plants for dodder includes very many species. This fact is deplorable for gardeners, because the weed can destroy not only vegetables. Only a few dodder species specialize in certain cultures.All the rest wrap around any plants. An elevated parasite can very quickly turn a beautiful flower garden into an area with wilted bushes. Shrubs, trees and flowers are often the beloved weed support. It can be seen on the grape bushes, berry crops and bahche. Moreover, dodder parasitizes both on perennials and annual plants. Does not leave alone this weed and field crops. The wide area provides an opportunity for its rapid reproduction, so it can cause damage to many farmers on a large scale. The European dodder can add considerable trouble in this regard, since it infects the fields with sainfoin, clover, lupine and alfalfa.

field dodder

Weed harm

The amount of weed in the garden will depend accordingly on the damage caused to them. He literally crushes his footing. Under the yoke of a parasitic plant, vegetable crops are deformed and eventually dry out. If the affected bush survives, then its development slows down significantly, and it will no longer have the benefit it was expected to receive.

The plant parasite dodder can cause tremendous harm.Besides the fact that the weed selects sap from other plants, it serves as a carrier of many viral infections, which subsequently infect healthy cultures. Through haustoria, the pest puts pathogenic bacteria into its victim.

Owners with pets need to be especially careful when mowing. Fields with clover and alfalfa are often littered with dodder field. If the harmful grass gets into hay, it promotes formation of a mold. Such food loses its beneficial properties and taste. There have been cases when, with a large number of dodder in the hay, cattle poisoning occurred.

dodder weed


Despite the simple structure of the weed, it has more than 100 species. The most common include the following plant varieties:

  • Field. A pale yellow bindweed envelops the middle and lower parts of the support. Blossoms in white, has abundant fruiting. Plants that the dodder can infect include: weeds, peas, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, melons, yellow clover, beets, alfalfa, clover, vetch, tobacco.
  • Thyme. The parasitic grass of red color differs in curling stalks and intensive growth. This type tend to be located at the bottom of the survivor plant. A clump of branching threads forms “impassable jungles” with pink-white flowers that are grouped into spherical inflorescences. Thyme dodder is considered a fine-stem and abundantly flowering plant. Parasitic on potatoes, weeds and many field industrial crops.
  • European.According to its external characteristics, this species is similar to thyme dodder. The only difference is that it has a slightly thicker stem. The European dodder settles on trees, shrubs, seedlings of vegetable crops, beans, tobacco, various weeds, hemp and many plants grown for animal feed. Reddish threads with pink flowers often twist around hops.
  • One-column.Powerful weed, which is different fleshy thick, but not too branching stems. It has a greenish color and spike-shaped inflorescences. It affects grapes, cultivated shrubs, beets, sunflowers, cotton. Distributed to weeds such as wormwood, quinoa and nettle.
  • Clover.Dodder has thin, red stems, white or pink flowers, globular inflorescences. Before flowering, she manages to create a thick clump of threads, and after creeping to the tops. It infects many weeds, potatoes, beets, alfalfa, clover, flax, nick.
  • Linen.The weed is yellow-green, the average thickness of the thread does not have a large branching, but rather juicy. Parasitic on flax, hemp, alfalfa, clover, beets and weeds.

parasitic plants

Fight with drugs

According to some gardeners, it is clear that simple agrotechnical techniques could not beat a tenacious weed. Neither kerosene, nor blue vitriol, nor even fungicides gave the expected result. In this regard, the question may arise: how to deal with dodder.

Knowing how difficult it is to get rid of a parasitic plant, many summer residents resort to chemical preparations for help. The littered area is treated with the means - “Tornado” or “Roundup”.

After the main cleaning of the garden has been carried out, the land is treated with chemical solutions. For this purpose, prepare a mixture, which includes: ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, ethylhexyl salt and ether.

Herbicides - the best option in the fight against dodder. However, they need to have time to apply, while the weed is young. After flowering, it becomes resistant to chemistry. Before treatment, it is necessary to produce abundant watering so that the herbicides have a better effect.

Effective drugs are considered "Zenkor", "Reiter" and "Liquid". With their help they save tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. To combat dodder on carrots used herbicides "Stomp" and "Reiter".

Along with chemical means, agrotechnical and preventive measures should be carried out.

dodder thyme

Mechanical method

This method is effective only at the initial stage of the growth of weed dodder. If the thread-like stem has not yet had time to firmly twist the plant, then it can be carefully removed. But it is better to immediately pull out the affected bush. It should be taken out of the garden or burned, otherwise the remaining particles can take root and continue the infection of other crops.

Effective method

Experienced gardeners have found a good method of dealing with a harmful weed. It is to provoke the germination of grass seed ahead of time.As soon as the snow melts, the garden plot is watered and covered with foil. Thus, the greenhouse effect is achieved and the weeds germinate rapidly. After that, they are destroyed and digging is carried out to a depth of 40 cm. After such a procedure, the dodder disappears for several years.


In areas where the parasitic plant is common, you need to take preventive measures. Weeding while removing the weed can be a defense against it. At the same time it is necessary to deeply loosen the earth and to carry out such work regularly.

It is also necessary to monitor the surrounding areas. It is necessary to mow the grass that grows around the land. This will not allow weeds to scatter their seeds.


The dodder-parasite plant is really a malicious weed that can add to the care of gardeners, gardeners and flower-lovers. To combat it, it is better to use all methods at the same time, because the parasite has a high survival rate.

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