Updated: May 23, 2022

Gopher plants are beloved for their striking appearance and ability to thrive in harsh desert conditions. However, these plants are also vulnerable to nematodes, microscopic worms that feed on the roots of plants. Nematodes can cause severe damage to gopher plants, leading to stunted growth, wilted leaves, and even death. In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of nematodes on gopher plants.

Identifying Nematode Damage

Before we delve into the methods for getting rid of nematodes, it’s important to be able to identify the damage caused by these pests. Symptoms of nematode damage on gopher plants include:

  • Stunted growth
  • Yellowing or wilting leaves
  • Reduced fruit or flower production
  • Root-knots or galls on the roots

If you notice any of these symptoms on your gopher plant, it’s likely that nematodes are present.

Methods for Getting Rid of Nematodes

There are several methods for getting rid of nematodes on gopher plants. Here are some effective ways to combat these pests:

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is an effective way to control nematode populations. The idea behind this method is to move crops around so that nematodes cannot establish themselves in the soil. If you have a gopher plant that has been affected by nematodes, consider planting a different crop in that spot for a season or two before returning the gopher plant.


Another effective method for controlling nematodes is solarization. This involves covering the affected area with clear plastic and leaving it in place for several weeks during the hottest part of the year. The heat from the sun will kill off nematodes and other pests in the soil.

Nematode-Resistant Varieties

If you’re looking to plant new gopher plants, consider choosing nematode-resistant varieties. These varieties have been bred to be less susceptible to nematode damage, making them a good choice for areas where nematodes are a problem.

Soil Amendments

There are several soil amendments that can help control nematodes. One of the most effective is marigold plants, which release a chemical that is toxic to nematodes. Planting marigolds around your gopher plant can help keep nematodes at bay.

Another effective soil amendment is compost tea. This solution is made by steeping compost in water and then applying it to the soil around your gopher plant. The beneficial microorganisms in the compost tea will help control nematodes and other pests.


Are nematodes harmful to humans?

No, nematodes are not harmful to humans. They only feed on the roots of plants and do not pose any threat to human health.

Can nematode damage be reversed?

Unfortunately, once a gopher plant has been affected by nematodes, the damage cannot be reversed. The best course of action is to take steps to prevent further damage and control the nematode population.

Can I use pesticides to control nematodes?

While there are pesticides available that can control nematodes, they should be used with caution as they can also harm beneficial organisms in the soil. It’s always best to try non-chemical methods first before resorting to pesticides.

In conclusion, nematodes can be a major problem for gopher plants, but there are several effective methods for getting rid of these pests. By practicing crop rotation, using solarization, choosing nematode-resistant varieties, and using soil amendments, you can keep your gopher plant healthy and free of nematode damage.