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Past Articles Library | Plant Diseases & Control | Rose Mosaic Virus



Rose Mosaic Virus is caused by Prunus Necrotic Ringspot Virus and Apple Mosaic Virus, and is the most commonly found virus in roses. The symptoms generally appear in spring and appear as irregular coloration on the leaves - yellow zigzag patterns, splotching, or vein clearing.




This virus is found worldwide and is known to cause serious damage in stone fruits, apples, and rose bushes.




The symptoms are highly variable, depending on the variety, the virus and the environment. Some of the more common symptoms include; chlorotic bands or ringspots, wavy lines, yellow vein banding, oak-leaf pattern, and general mosaic (splotches of yellow and green on leaves). Color-breaking (mottled flower color) has also been reported in some cultivars. Symptom development on only a portion of a plant is common. Some infected plants never express symptoms. Symptoms usually appear in the spring and remain throughout the growing season. Infected plants have decreased vigor, produce fewer flowers on shorter stems, have poorer transplant survival rates, and are more susceptible to winter-kill.




1. RMV is not transmitted through vectors (such as aphids); it is primarily spread through propagation of plant parts. either through use of infected rootstock or buds for budded roses, or cuttings taken from diseased plants. Make sure any grafting is done between virus-free plants. You canít infect a healthy rose by using cutting tools you have use on an infected plant.


1. There are no known treatments for the elimination of RMV for the home gardener. The primary approach should be the purchase of healthy plant material. For the past 40 years, commercial rose growers have been working diligently to eliminate rose mosaic and other viruses in roses.

2. Purchase rootstock that is certified 'Virus Free', which means that the rootstock has been tested in a laboratory to confirm the absence of the virus in the plants tissue.

3. If you discover the disease, or if you have a severely infected plant, you should dig it up and destroy it because once the plant is infected, there is no cure. Infected portions of the plant can be pruned, however this simply removes the symptoms; the plant is systemically infected and will eventually develop symptoms on other leaves and canes.

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